Snider family, Hardin County

Derek Snider is part of his family’s DuLynn Farms, LLC where they raise corn, soybeans and wheat on over 1,000 acres using no-till conservation practices. His grandfather saw the benefit of no-till farming a number of years ago and they have been consistent with that practice for over 20 years. The Sniders said it works well for them since both Derek and his father have off-farm jobs and are second shift farmers: “We get a lot accomplished at night and normally use our vacation time for planting and harvest,” he said.

Their farm ground is a mixture of owned, family owned, cash rented, and share cropped acres. They have a fair amount of on-farm grain storage which works great in the fall as they are less dependent on the local elevators’ hours since they work with their lights on a fair amount of the time, according to Derek.

The Sniders also raise and make hay for their herd of beef cows which consists of approximately 35 Maine Anjou and Shorthorn brood cows. The heifers are kept to be placed back in the herd while the bulls are kept as steers and raised to market weight. Once finished, they are sold as freezer beef or at the local livestock market. 

Snider has been a member of Farm Bureau since high school, but his family has been active Ohio Farm Bureau members for years and their roots run deep in Hardin County agriculture.

The story behind our farm name

DuLynn FarmsWhen my grandmother and grandfather Dulin (my mother’s parents Dean and Barbara) got married and started their own dairy farm in the early 60s, we already had relatives actively farming in our area using the name Dulin Farms. My grandmother wanted something different and unique that stood out. Since our main farm is located in Lynn Township, Hardin County, she combined the two to create the name “DuLynn Farms.” This unique name has stuck all these years even though the dairy cows have been gone for a number of years. Many people want to know where it came from since my last name is Snider and if they do not know the family connection, it’s fun to keep them guessing. It is a great story to tell and share since both my grandparents have now passed away. It is also a way to honor their legacy as they began the farm and we continue to grow and expand it today.

My full-time job

Derek SniderI work as an account officer for AgCredit, ACA in the Kenton branch. I jokingly say that AgCredit is the only place I have ever really worked. I interned in the Kenton office in college and was hired after graduation and have been there ever since.  It’s great to work in and serve those who are part of the Hardin County agricultural community. I enjoy working with the members as they grow and expand their own farming operations much like I do after hours as part of my own family farming operation. 

Why Farm Bureau

As I mentioned, my family has deep roots in the Hardin County Farm Bureau. I always knew how important the Farm Bureau was and what the organization did and stood for.  As a college student at The Ohio State University, I started attending the Young Agricultural Professionals winter conferences when they were held in Dublin. After graduation and being hired at AgCredit, I was encouraged to become more involved in local organizations and was elected to the Hardin County board. I have served on our county board since 2014 as our county treasurer. Apparently if you work with numbers all day, you fit the description for someone to serve as treasurer of a board.  

What is happening on our farm

Since it is February, we on the farm have been busy filling our winter corn and bean contracts. When the weather is fit, we keep loading the trucks to get the bins empty. Looking at some of the contracts we are hauling in, we would have been better to wait looking at the current prices, however when we made those contracts they were above our break even and we were making money.  The prices could be reversed just as easily as we have seen in the past. With my dad and I working off the farm, we take full advantage of any holidays and have the ability to get two trucks dumped after work if we get them loaded, to town and parked the night before. We are also busy with the calving season. We aim to have the first cows start calving around the first of the year and finish up late March, early April. Our goal is to be wrapped up with calving before the corn planter leaves the barn. So far this year’s calving season has been decent.  We have had a few problems, but that comes along with the joys and discomforts of agricultural life. 

Current challenges

As we sit down and plan for the 2022 growing season, a challenge we are facing like everyone else is the increased cost of inputs. From fertilizer to seed to parts and fuel, everything has increased. As I have mentioned at the office, we all know we are going to plant a seed in the ground. Once that seed is planted, we better take care of it until harvest to raise a great crop. For us, we are fortunate to work with some great input suppliers. We have everything purchased and almost all paid for already. As I have sat down to input everything into a spreadsheet, this year it is extremely important to know what our break even prices are. As we look ahead, currently grain prices are elevated which is good because it allows us to lock in some fall or winter delivery at prices we know are above our break even.

I think another challenge for us this spring and into summer and fall will still be the availability of parts. We had a breakdown at the end of the 2021 harvest and struggled to come up with a plan to get it back in the field. No matter how much we work on and complete preventative maintenance on our equipment, something is always bound to break but we have to be prepared to handle it when it comes. 

A pleasant surprise

Snider-cattleFor our family raising beef cattle, we have seen an increase in those interested in purchasing freezer beef directly from us. We have always sold freezer beef from the steers we raised, but with the recent supply chain issues, more individuals have reached out inquiring about purchasing quarters, halves, and wholes. This has opened up a different marketing avenue for us and we are excited to try and expand it.  We have a great working relationship with two local butcher shops which helps getting appointments scheduled when the livestock has reached market weight. 

What I’m listening to

Whenever I have a longer trip in the car, I am starting to listen to more podcasts. I have enjoyed the Successful Farming Podcast as well as Damian Mason’s The Business of Agriculture. AgCredit also has also started its own podcast and its nice to hear topics presented that are relevant and interesting as they relate to agriculture today.

What inspires you when life gets hard?

Snider harvestI have told this story to others before, but one of the farms we rent from a relative has been in the family for over 100 years since the barn on the property says Dulin-1904. Whenever I am on that farm either planting, harvesting, or any time in between, I have to think of how far we in American agriculture have progressed in a little over 100 years. When my ancestors purchased that farm and planted their crops, they looked at the rear of a horse all day long and worked extremely hard. Today, we are in nice comfy cabs and have far superior genetics and crop care techniques. We may say we have it hard, but being a fifth-generation farmer, I know that those who came before me have worked a whole lot harder for much less and it is very humbling to think about. Continuing their agricultural legacy/heritage inspires me when we have tough times on our farm much like the 2019 prevent plant year or the loss of a newborn calf. 

Cars and ice cream

So my family and I have a new summer goal we have been trying to achieve the past few years. We love ice cream and have a few vintage cars we like to drive around in during the summer. Our goal is to take our old cars – a 1966 Ford Mustang, 1966 Chevy C10, and 1972 Chevy Corvette, and cruise to fun, different ice cream shops to enjoy a nice summer treat in the evenings or weekends. We have not been as successful as we have hoped but plan on trying again this summer. It is a great way to relax, road farm and check out the crops, and enjoy tasty treats from area ice cream shops. 

Tell us a joke or funny story.

What type of jokes do farmers tell?———-Corny Jokes.

 

Photo caption: David, Deann, Demi and Derek Snider

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Eric Bernstein

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