Denny Friest

Denny Friest – Hardin County

Denny used to LIVE for getting his hands dirty on the farm. Feeding the pigs, driving the tractor, repairing fences… You name it, he’s probably lived and loved it!

But 52 crop years later, and 14 prior with his dad, Denny has been cutting back his duties on the farm as he’s approaching retirement. With retirement comes reflection. When he looks back on his farm memories, he thinks of his father…

His father grew up during the Great Depression where they farmed with horses and pigs were their major source of income. Denny began working with his dad in the late 50s during a time of farming where you could replace capital with labor.

You can’t do that today!

Denny has worked for decades and seen the changes on his operation and on paper.

He watched these advancements in his lifetime become greater because of technology.

>>And his father thought going from farming on a horse to a tractor was an adjustment.<<

It’s made for more effective planting by measuring how much nutrients a crop actually needs.

He often thinks to himself…

“We have tools in our toolbox that are amazing and with them I can manage my farm in a much more efficient, economical, and environmental condition.”

If that opportunity doesn’t scare farmers a little bit, then they’re thinking too small.

Denny believes it’s important to keep making improvements and to keep building new markets as farmers continue to figure out how to compete and be successful.

>>This is the next horse to tractor adjustment.<<

The evolution, expenses, and misconceptions are not in vain. Someone–whether it be your neighbor down the street or a child in another country–will be able to have food on their plate because of what farmers are doing today.

Denny looks at every farmer differently: We all manage differently. We all incorporate different practices. We all farm different size operations.

But these differences allow us to tell various versions of the same story to our customers and legislators who are making decisions that impact our farms.

It’s hearing these stories where Denny advises that there’s not one right way to do things and farmers need to make their best management decisions for the farm… starting at the desk and then monitoring it on the field.

Denny still loves being a part of the farm with his family. The decisions he’s made on his operation over the past 50 years have been worth it as he prepares to hand it off to his son.