FIELD NOTES CATCHES UP WITH FARMERS IN INDIANA, MARYLAND

MARCH 2014

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(Posted Fri. Mar 28th, 2014)

The National Corn Growers Association now offers its fourth season of Field Notes, a series that takes readers behind the farm gate to follow the year in the life of American farm families. While these growers come from diverse geographic areas and run unique operations, they share a common love for U.S. agriculture and the basic values that underpin life in farming communities.

 

Today, Field Notes caught up with Brian Scott, an Indiana farmer who began sharing his story with NCGA in 2012.

 

“I am a fourth-generation family farmer in northwestern Indiana,” said Scott. “I farm with my dad and grandpa every day, and together we raise 2,100 acres of both dent and waxy corn, soybeans mainly for seed production, a little bit of wheat and a few hundred acres of popcorn.”

 

In addition to farming, Scott helps cultivate public understanding of agriculture through social media.

 

“My social media involvement is really centered around my blog, www.thefarmerslife.com,” he explained. “From there, you can find all of my social media info, including links to my twitter account. I like to share pictures from our farm, links to current news and many other things. In my writing, I try and keep in mind that some readers may have never been to a farm and to explain things in a way that makes sense to those outside of ag.”

 

To listen to the full interview, click here.

 

Field Notes also caught up with another farmer featured last season, Jennie Schmidt. Schmidt farms a diversified operation with her husband on the eastern coast of Maryland. While her grandfather-in-law began the farm when he emigrated to the United States from Germany in the 1920s as a more traditional farm and ranch, the Schmidts now have moved from raising hogs and cattle to raising vineyard vines, green beans and tomatoes alongside their soybean and corn fields.

 

Like many other growers across the country, Schmidt currently faces persistently cold conditions which will probably delay planting.

 

“The cold weather is definitely going to push us back,” she explained. “We still have snow on the ground, about two or three inches, which just fell a few days ago. For Maryland, that is pretty unusual. The timing of harvest is based upon when the plants come to full maturity. So, since this process will begin later, we will be hoping to wrap up harvest around Christmas this year instead of around Thanksgiving.”

 

Schmidt went on to explain that a delayed planting season can impact actual planting decisions as well as the timing of harvest.

 

“In some instances, like with our vegetables, this may impact our ability to grow that vegetable at all. If the plant cannot come to full maturity and ripen before we will begin getting cold weather in the fall, then we may not be able to grow it at all.”

 

To listen to the full interview, click here.

 

Stay tuned over the coming weeks as Field Notes follows the growers who have opened their farms, families and communities up this year and meet the true faces of modern American agriculture.