Harvest has finished around here. The combine is power washed and put away, the bins are full, the ground is being tilled in preparation for next year, and, hopefully, the grain checks are on their way. For a young couple with off farm jobs, a young daughter, and a baby on the way, the farming lifestyle and challenges of harvest aren’t always easy. But at the end of each day, when we get to do what we love, see our family grow and appreciate the land, it is always worth it.
We are Brian and Stacie Anderson from Wood County. We are 5th generation farmers on Stacie’s family farm, Wenig Farms. We raise corn, soybeans, wheat and raise hens, meat chickens, and beef for our local community. Brian works full time off farm as District Sales Manager for DEKALB/Asgrow and Stacie is the seed manager for Legacy Farmers Cooperative. Our daughter Audrey is 19-months old, and will be joined by a farm-hand sibling this winter. While we enjoy many aspects of farming, our greatest joy is continuing to build a legacy for our children that they can be proud of for generations to come.
As we continue to try and grow our farming operation, we knew we had to diversify to allow for us to generate additional income outside of our traditional row crops. With a heightened interest in the local food movement we did some research and signed up to become vendors at our local farmers market. Using Brian’s background in poultry production, we started out with 50 Golden Comet hens and 150 Cornish Rock chicks to raise as meat birds.
Two years, and two farmers market seasons later, we have grown into Anderson’s Farm Fresh Products. We take pride in caring for nearly 150 egg laying hens, raised in their mobile “chicken condo” in our pasture. Over 1300 meat birds were raised in rotation on our farm this summer, and we sold and delivered several quarters of beef to customers this fall.
Our brown eggs, cuts of chicken, and even some fresh produce graced our market stand each Wednesday evening in downtown Bowling Green from May to October. Our customers have been our biggest supporters, and their continued patronage and gracious feedback has been implemented as we expand and adapt our 2017 offerings.
This business venture has allowed us to interact with many wonderful people, expand our footprint in production agriculture, and provide a safe, affordable and local product in Wood County.
She scooped chicken poop with Mama in utero, fed and led show calves from the baby carrier at 2 weeks old, and one of her first words was “Gertie” the farm dog. From the word go, our adventurous, strong-willed and loving Audrey has sure found her home on the farm.
Today, at nearly 19-months-old, she screams for her boots when we pull in the driveway after work because she knows its chore time. She fills feed buckets, holds the hose to water the chickens, and enthusiastically gathers eggs with her dad each night. (We are still working on her gentle touch– a few eggs have sacrificed.)
Watching her develop a work ethic, a relationship with animals, and a true love for the outdoors is a blessing as parents. We encourage all other young farm parents to find ways to get their kids involved in their daily operations.
Beginning Farmers has a great list to use as a guideline on how to get your kids more involved.
When it comes to agriculture technology, Monsanto is the leader in seed and trait development. Brian is proud to work for DEKALB/Asgrow and be able to work with other growers on seed products to help maximize yield, reduce risk, and protect profitability on their farms each day. In addition, Monsanto has invested local funds to host FFA members in hands on agronomic training that we have both been able to be involved with.
If you live in Ohio and don’t know about concerns in Lake Erie or the increased effort around 4R stewardship, you may be living under a rock. Or at least you don’t work for Legacy Farmers. Stacie is proud to work for a company who has been at the forefront of ag retail in working to promote the 4R standards. Legacy Farmers Cooperative has been recognized across the state, and the nation, for investing in equipment, software, and personnel that can help make all agronomic recommendations that will also help protect our farmland for years to come.
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