Darla Recker

Darla Recker – Fayette County

The boys told all of the daughters-in-law to go to the other room. I’ll tell you that’s the last time they did that.”

Iowa corn farmer Darla Recker recalled one of her first memories of joining her husband’s generational family operation with a smile on her face. “In fact, it was the one and only time”, she assured.

Darla has been able to watch the woman’s role on the farm evolve over the last 36 years, and she’ll be the first to tell you, it’s not like it used to be.

After completing her financial business degree, she took on the finances of her husband’s, Tim Recker, generational farming operation shared with his brother at the time.

If you were to ask her father-in-law what it took to have a successful farm back in the day, he would tell you that if you work hard you will make money. While those values still hold true, Darla believes that if you know your finances, you will make money.

Crazy, right? Handling finances, managing employees and decision-making aren’t aspects typically associated with the societal idea of what the farmer does.

>>But farmers ARE business people, they just don’t have to wear a suit and tie to do it.<<

Today’s technology is making the farming business change at an even faster pace not only in the books but on the field.

Now, Darla might not be able to tell you what seed was planted or what fertilizer was used during planting season, but she can tell you exactly what it cost, what their break-even cost per acre is and what they need to make per bushel.

The irony: Tim is leaving the land better than he found through conversation practices while Darla is leaving the farm better than she found it through financial records.

Two separate paths to the same overall goal

Darla didn’t grow up on a farm, didn’t understand a generational farming operation and was more likely to work behind the books than hop on a tractor.

But through organizations like Iowa Corn, she has been able to engulf herself in a world of cover crop planting, water quality improvement and healthy soil practices.

>>Because when Tim’s land is better, Darla’s books are better and the family operation…well, it’s better, too.<<

As Darla reflects on how the role of the woman, technology and sustainability has changed over the years, she can’t help but look forward to what the future holds, because it’s bright… and it’s also unknown.

But that seems to always be the case when it comes to farming, doesn’t it?