Meet your feature farmer for Washington County

ken-sKen and Janet Schilling along with their son, Alex, own and operate a beef cow/calf family farm operation one mile north of Marietta on Waterford Road, on the Muskingum River Valley. They also grow and sell high quality alfalfa hay.

Ken is a retired CEO from Washington Electric Cooperative, Inc. His wife, Janet, is a retired professor and academic dean of Washington State Community College. The family’s favorite thing about being involved in the agriculture industry is the close relationship with Mother Nature and promoting a lifestyle like none other.

Ken said, “A family farm is a great place to raise a family; we have four children: Amy (Shaun) of Houston; Maria (Scott) of Grove City, Ohio; Alex of Marietta, Ohio; and Megan (Eric) of Parkersburg, W. Va.”

The Schillings said their farm is surrounded by housing developments on three sides, so it is important they be good neighbors to their nonfarm neighbors especially with their beef cattle. He explained they must be especially careful when using both herbicides and pesticides given the closeness of their pastures, meadows and barns to the neighboring homes.

The neighbors love to see the newborn calves, the bailing of hay, and the well-groomed pastures. This also has it’s challenges as well. Being so close to residential neighbors limits the amount of rental ground that is near the farm, Ken said. It also makes them very thankful for the Current Agricultural Use Value (CAUV) program.

“Farm Bureau’s support for the CAUV is critical to our farm, as much of our family farm could be taxed for development if not for CAUV,” he said. He also said Farm Bureau’s support for Agriculture Districts is also very important to their operation given the livestock, plus Farm Bureau’s support for high quality Extension services, Soil and Water Conservation Districts and all levels of education are very important to the Schilling Family.

In their spare time, they are active in the Washington County Farm Bureau. They have served on several committees as well as being delegates at the Ohio Farm Bureau Annual Meeting. Ken has been the county chairman of the Extension Advisory Committee for over 20 years. He serves on the Agriculture Business Advisory Committee at the Washington County Career Center and serves as the secretary of the Heritage Cooperative Board of Directors. Both Ken and Janet have part-time careers off the farm. Janet does consulting for Washington State Community College, while Ken serves as a Muskingum Township Trustee.

Thank you Schilling Family for being this month’s feature farmers and caring so much about agriculture!

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