Archive for March, 2010

Exactly what is a “family farm?”

March 20th, 2010

From my limited perspective, it appears that farming is going through a perception crisis.  What I mean when I say “perception crisis” is that the perception others have of farming, agriculture, and family farming is misunderstood and oftentimes inaccurate.  The urbanization brought on by  the Industrial Revolution resulted in a growing number of people moving away from the farm into cities.  Consequently, mankind created a divide in the connection between the population and the source of its food.  This divide has continued to grow exponentially. 

Recently there has been an increased desire among people to close this gap and understand where food comes from.  

Having grown up on a family farm, I always assumed that everyone knew.  For as long as I can remember, I have walked through fields of wheat and barley.  I have watched the predominant crops in our area shift from flax, sunflowers, wheat and barley to a greater number of corn and soybean acres.

Farming at it’s core is a simple process – put a seed in the ground, let it grow and harvest.  The complexities that surround these steps – crop marketing, global fertilizer supply, soil formulation…the list goes on.  On top of that, everything can be planned perfectly but one bad day (or hour) of weather can ruin an entire season.  I remember watching a hail storm destroy nearly our entire crop in one hour of “weather”.

This blog is my attempt to put a face to family farming.  I’m hoping to draw as many people to the conversation via articles and comments.  Let’s have a meaningful discussion on agriculture, and educate others on what farming is really about.

Please feel free to post a comment sharing your thoughts on the question: What is a family farm?


Welcome Tommy Butcher to our community!

March 19th, 2010

A quick introduction:

My name is Tommy and we have a small family farmstead in the Wheatland, ND area with about 10 acres. Currently we have a couple horses, some chickens and raise Wirehaired Pointing Griffons. In the past we kept a couple dairy goats for family use and are looking to possibly pick up a couple sheep for lamb meat and/or a couple miniature cows for milk/meat.

There are great benefits in having a small farmstead, especially when it comes to raising children and helping to provide fresh food. I have a edge with the dogs since I am technical in my profession and know how to position websites in the top searches for Google and Bing. This allows me to market my dogs online and reach a national audience.

The current challenges we have is finding where to purchase animals like sheep and mini-cows. We are fairly new to North Dakota, moved up from Texas 4 years ago, so we don’t have all the connections that long times rural residents have.


Schott Testifies before House Ag Committee

March 16th, 2010

Bart Schott, First VP for National Corn Grower’s Association, recently testified before the U.S. House of Representative’s Agriculture Committee regarding H.R. 4645, the Travel Restriction Reform and Export Enhancement Act.

The main article can be viewed here:

A written copy of Bart’s oral testimony can be read here:

Bart was also interviewed for a national radio story on 3/12.  We are fortunate to have a copy of that interview to share with you!

Bart Schott 03-12-10 Interview

NCGA , , ,

Welcome to Schott Farms!

March 16th, 2010

I am very excited to announce this blog, and let you know about some of the ideas that I have been kicking around in my head for this site.  Those of you that know me well know that I am passionate about building community.  It is my hope that this blog is a site does exactly that.  I’m hoping that this blog is a resource for people in the ag community to share, learn from each other, and is the starting point for discussions on ag-related issues.

Aside from building community and sharing ideas, this blog will be host to another purpose – raising awareness about ag-related issues, and putting a human face to the farm.  Those of us who grew up on family farms may not be aware of this, but not everyone fully understands what goes on around a farm, especially considering the care and stewardship that farmers so diligently strive to maintain when maintaining the land.  It’s my hope that this blog is a site that will generate discussions to that end as well, and allow farmers and ag professionals a place to tell their story.

Comments are welcome and appreciated.