Our family: Bob, Autumn and daughters, Emma 4, and Kaitlyn 2
How we met: We grew up in the same church and the same small town. However, the age difference between us is seven years, so it was not until Bob returned home from college and (was) working out of state for a few years that our love was able to blossom. It has been told by a few in our church that Autumn may have had her eye on Bob in the early years as well.
Our farm: We own a registered and grade herd of Angus cattle in Jefferson County. (Grade cattle are nonregistered but mostly pure bred Angus without papers.) We also have a sweet corn and a novelty crop market. Bob also works off the farm as a tech services manager for Synagro. Autumn manages the marketing of the natural beef, sweet corn and novelties. She also is a Premier Designs jewelry consultant.
Hardest chore: When we started farming we wanted to ease in without a large debt load, so we bottle raised three dozen calves a year (low start-up cost). Raising them was probably the most time consuming chore. Now we are developing a year-round grazing program and only need to feed hay two to four weeks per year. When we have to feed hay, it takes the most time and energy as compared to grazing.
Favorite tool: A 3:1 geared wire reel, miles of poly wire and bundles of plastic step-in (fence) posts. With these tools we can feed 200 head of cattle in 15
minutes. We can stretch our forage and provide a balanced diet for our animals, burn no diesel fuel or have an equipment bill.
What makes us tick? Our family. We enjoy farming and want to create an environment that our children can enjoy and will want to remain a part of. We want to create a business that can financially support multiple generations.
Achievements: We were just named Outstanding Young Farm Couple for Ohio (by Ohio Farm Bureau).
Why we farm: We are the fourth generation on this farm. It’s an opportunity to continue a legacy on this land. Also both of our families live here and family is very important to us.
Why are you a member of Farm Bureau? Farm Bureau has been a building block all of my (Bob’s) life, from building my self confidence by square dancing and line dancing to speaking at the annual meeting, being a county president, representing the state on the Young Agricultural Professionals Advisory Team, and now in AgriPOWER Institute. Where else can you belong to an organization that tremendously supports your business and invests so much into its leaders for tomorrow?
Our future: One of our secrets to success has been to keep our debt load low. It has taken us longer to get from step A to step B, but we have avoided some of the setbacks that can be experienced when you operate on someone else’s money. So, our plan is to keep growing.