(Posted Fri. Apr 24th, 2015)

The National Corn Growers Association now offers its fifth 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.


Field Notes met with a new participant in the series this week, Illinois farmer Chad Kleinschmidt. Along with his wife, Jessica, Kleinschmidt raises corn, soybeans and cattle in the center of the state.


Like many farmers, Kleinschmidt has had to delay his planting plans this year.


“With the cold weather and the moisture, we are running a little behind,” he explained. “There were a few guys in the field near us planting corn last week, but we got six-tenths of an inch of rain over the weekend. So, with only five percent of the corn planted, it has been at a standstill all week.”


In addition to farming, the Kleinschmidts participate in NCGA’s New Leader Program. Find out more by clicking here to listen to the full interview.


Then, Field Notes checked in with Maryland farmer Jennie Schmidt, who blogs as “The Foodie Farmer.” Again, rainy weather has delayed planting.


“We got about two inches of rain at the beginning of this week, so we haven’t begun corn planting yet,” said Schmidt. “While that has set us back, we should be able to start as soon as we get a few good days to dry down.”


While she has not been able to plant, she has been extremely active speaking in public forums on food, policy and farming. To listen to the full interview, including an account of her most recent engagements, 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.