Klick farm

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Agriculture is always on the cutting edge of technology because farmers and ranchers need to produce more with less. Ben Klick, a Stark County Farm Bureau member and 5th generation farmer, shares what new technology he has implemented to increase production and efficiency. 

Ben Klick family
Ben and Kourtney with their daughter, Annabelle

I am Ben Klick and I am the 5th generation on our family’s grain and cattle farm in Navarre, Ohio where I farm with my dad. We raise corn, soybeans and wheat across 1800 acres as well as finish out close to 600 head of cattle a year. Our cattle operation is unique because they are born, fed, finished and processed in Ohio. We sell the majority of our finished cattle to a local processor that sells and distributes to local meat shops, groceries and restaurants. 

I finished both my terms on the Stark County Farm Bureau board and Stark County Cattlemen’s Association board where I served the past six years. I am involved with the Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers Association where I served as president in 2022. I also serve on the National Corn Growers Member and Consumer Engagement Action Team where we focus on corn reputation in the public sector and how to bridge the gap between consumers and producers. I am passionate about learning how to become a better advocate for agriculture whether it’s in DC or at the Statehouse in Columbus. Getting to meet with legislators to share our story and the importance of what we do to feed our families, communities and the world is very rewarding. 

Engaging in new technology
variable rate
This is a picture of a farm we set up in VRT (variable rate). This map shows the different areas of the field where the spreader will apply different amounts of potassium based upon how much is needed in those smaller zones.

Following my graduation from Ohio State ATI in 2015, we began engaging in new technology. One thing we have done is transition some farms from conventional soil sampling to grid sampling to allow us to use variable rate fertilizer applications. This not only saves us money but helps us utilize our fertilizer better. Another example is we have updated our planter technology to allow for better seed placement and seed savings, both crucial for helping us be more cost effective and better farmers. 

We keep up to date with the latest technology the majority of the time by word of mouth; farmer trial and error per se. The best way to sell a farmer on something is his neighbor that he trusts. Likewise, things we read online or see in magazines can really spark our interest but knowing someone who has already transitioned to a different product or piece of equipment, that is the selling point.

Adapting to technology
fungicide chart
Fungicide trial with BASF using two different fungicides using drone technology

I am primarily the one implementing the new technology. My dad is slowly adapting to it but his famous saying is “I don’t like change,” which I believe applies to a lot of folks in agriculture no matter what their age. Honestly, if I want to try something I will try it on my own acres and if it works he will usually get on board. Applying and using fungicides is a prime example. We used to have a plane do it but now we hire a guy with a drone to do most of our corn. It is a little more expensive but we have seen it do a better job in our smaller, more cut-up farms. We also utilize some of the different “apps”  to collect and analyze data in regard to making decisions on seed selection for the next season or keep track of bushels of grain we have on hand to help with marketing. Year after year, it is becoming more of a joint effort. 

Technology wish list

One piece of technology that I would really like to try and think would greatly benefit our farm would be exact-apply on our liquid fertilizer system. We utilize row shutoffs for corn and soybeans that have saved us money but I think the electronic shutoffs on the planter and side dress bar for our liquid nitrogen applications would help us to not over apply nitrogen saving money in the long-run.

Young Ag Professionals Engagement Opportunities

Technology at Farm Science Review Sept. 19-21

Another way farmers keep up with the latest technology is at Farm Science Review where there are numerous displays and demonstrations on new ag technology. It will be held Sept. 19-21 at the Molly Caren Agricultural Center in London. If you find yourself there on the corner of Beef Street and Friday Avenue, stop in at the Ohio Farm Bureau booth to visit with staff experts or renew your membership! 


Save the Date: 2024 Winter Leadership Experience, Columbus, Ohio: Jan. 26-27

Labor has always been an issue, mainly because we are a seasonal operation. So that's a challenge finding somebody who only wants to work three months out of a year, sometimes up to six months.
Mandy Way's avatar
Mandy Way

Way Farms

Farm Labor Resources
I appreciate the benefit of having a strong voice in my corner. The extras that are included in membership are wonderful, but I'm a member because of the positive impact to my local and state agricultural communities.
Ernie Welch's avatar
Ernie Welch

Van Wert County Farm Bureau

Strong communities
I see the value and need to be engaged in the community I live in, to be a part of the decision-making process and to volunteer with organizations that help make our community better.
Matt Aultman's avatar
Matt Aultman

Darke County Farm Bureau

Leadership development
Farm Bureau involvement has taught me how to grow my professional and leadership experience outside of the workforce and how to do that in a community-centric way.
Jaclyn De Candio's avatar
Jaclyn De Candio

Clark County Farm Bureau

Young Ag Professionals program
With not growing up on a farm, I’d say I was a late bloomer to agriculture. I feel so fortunate that I found the agriculture industry. There are so many opportunities for growth.
Jenna Gregorich's avatar
Jenna Gregorich

Coshocton County Farm Bureau

Growing our Generation
Knowing that horticulture is under the agriculture umbrella and having Farm Bureau supporting horticulture like it does the rest of ag is very important.
Jared Hughes's avatar
Jared Hughes

Groovy Plants Ranch

Groovy Plants Ranch
If it wasn't for Farm Bureau, I personally, along with many others, would not have had the opportunity to meet with our representatives face to face in Washington.
Austin Heil's avatar
Austin Heil

Hardin County Farm Bureau

Washington, D.C. Leadership Experience
So many of the issues that OFBF and its members are advocating for are important to all Ohioans. I look at OFBF as an agricultural watchdog advocating for farmers and rural communities across Ohio.
Mary Smallsreed's avatar
Mary Smallsreed

Trumbull County Farm Bureau

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