Muskingum County Feature Farmer John Quinn


John Quinn’s farm is located just east of Zanesville on Clay Pike. The Wilson Family Farm has been in operation since 1910 making it one of Muskingum County’s Centennial Farms. John took over the farm operation after his father-in-law retired in 1994, raising 40 head of beef in a cow/calf operation, plus corn, soybeans, wheat and hay.

Quinn said what he loves most about farming is the challenge. “You never know what or from where the next problem will occur. As a farmer we are able to use our life-learned skills to take on whatever challenges come our way, and then we get to see the results of our hard work. It is an added plus to have a job that allows you to see the sunrise and sunset, and getting to work outdoors,” he said.

Quinn feels that having a diversified farm with livestock and crops is what makes their farm different from other farmers. Many farms either raise livestock or crops. Beef cows have replaced the dairy herd that once supplied bottled milk to the residents of Zanesville from the Wilson Dairy. Improving the land is important to him and they are constantly working hard to make the land better by getting the water to infiltrate the soil. “We have primarily used no-till cropping practices since 1984. We have been working closely with local agencies to maximize the use of our nutrients, and to reduce any runoff.”

Getting time off is a challenge. Since being diversified, they always have something going on around the farm at all times. However, they are able to escape in
the summer for their annual trip to the family cabin in northern Ohio, where they enjoy some great fishing.

What are the biggest challenges that the Wilson Family Farm faces? Quinn said there are many challenges, but today he said it is a tie between a return on investment (making a profit) and people. He said expenses continue to stay high while income continues to drop due to reasons out of their control.

Another challenge they face is how close the farm is to the city limits. The road was constructed many years ago and is too narrow for the farming equipment. Quinn explained that the farm is divided by a one lane bridge, and moving farm equipment to the fields is getting harder. He reminded us that families who want to live out in the country should remember to slow down when you can’t see around the bend.

Quinn said  being a Farm Bureau member has been beneficial to himself and his operation. “Farm Bureau provides the voice for farmers. While we do not always agree with everything, they are the ONLY voice for all the farmers. The CAUV battle in Ohio was one of the latest benefits. They also help us get the resources we need to face the daily challenges on the farm. We still have many major battles that Farm Bureau needs to win from health care to free trade. One voice will never get it done, so it takes the unity of all farmers.”

We appreciate all the time and energy John has put into keeping his family farm in the business. Keep up the good work!

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