Mercer County’s spotlight members are Dennis and Theresa Howick of Celina. Both Dennis and Theresa have been heavily involved with the county organization for years. Dennis has served as a board member, county president and held other offices and chair positions. Theresa has been the county’s membership, communications and public policy chair and continues to be an advocate for farmers in the area on water quality and conservation issues.
The farm where they live has been in the Howick family since April 1837. Dennis’ great-grandfather raised draft horses to do the farming and the farm was a dairy farm until 1980. Now, Dennis and Theresa grow row crops of corn, wheat and soybeans along with raising beef cattle.
Dennis is a long-time member of Farm Bureau but became more involved with different activities when he was asked to be a part of the Mercer County Farm Bureau board of trustees. He feels it is important to become a part of the Farm Bureau because it is agriculture’s biggest voice. “Farmers have to become involved to be heard,” he said.
They feel the biggest change that they have seen over the years within the agriculture industry is the use of technology. Technology has had a positive impact on the way we get information out to others on certain issues. Dennis said he also anticipates that agriculture will face many more challenges with water quality and nutrient management.
As he and Theresa look forward to how the industry will be in 20 years, they see the industry looking toward bigger operations but on the other end of the spectrum having more niche markets and more organic farms.
“I am a multi-generational farmer. I guess I have never considered anything else. Seeing things come up, mature and get harvested is really amazing,” he said.
Thanks to the Howicks for their love of farming, community, and Farm Bureau!