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Posted on August 13, 2013 at 8:00 AM by Iowa Corn

Grandpa Rich and I

Most people know him as Richard Sennert, but I call him Grandpa. He remembers farming with 2 horses and a moldboard plow. He also remembers buying a 1935 F20 International tractor for $700. Many things have changed since the ‘good ol days’ and Richard has had the privilege to see 89 years of agriculture evolve.

Richard grew up on a farm west of Albert City, Iowa. When he was 5 years old he milked 1 cow a day, when he was 6 it progressed to 2 cows and so forth.  He graduated from Lincoln-Lee Consolidated School and enrolled in the U.S. Navy on July 29th 1944, in the middle of WWII. He had a few near death experiences on the Atlantic and Pacific, but Richard made it back to Iowa safely and married Jane Jesse who also grew up on a farm. In 1951, they started farming in Marathon, Iowa. He then bought a farm south of Linn Grove for $118 an acre. Richard and Jane had three sons- twins. Randy Sennert and Ronald Sennert and David Sennert..

Ronald, Richard, and Randy

Today Randy and Ronald farm in northwest Iowa and are 3rd generation farmers. Randy farms south of Storm Lake, Iowa growing corn, soybeans, and he has a swine operation. Due to advances in herbicide technology the biggest change in farming according to him has been the absence of cultivation, which he has not done for 12 years. Randy’s advice for young farmers is to build relationships and work hard.


Nick Sennert - Son of Ronald

Ronald Sennert farms south of Linn Grove, where he grows corn and soybeans. The best advice he can give young farmers today is to get an education and take risks- farming is all about risks.

Richard Sennert, Randy, Ronald and David and their families stay closely knit together due to farming. Ronald has a son Nick Sennert who is currently a District Seed Sales Manager for LG seeds in Cedar Falls, Iowa. Nick likes working in and around production agriculture and looks forward to the possibility of being a 4th generation farmer. I am interested in agriculture as well. Communicating to the public about advances in agriculture, along with promoting the knowledge of where one’s food comes from is what I want to pursue in the future. 

Kate Sennert is the Communications Intern for Iowa Corn. She will be working on social media, blogging, attending booth/trade shows, and is doing a comprehensive state-wide farmer interview series this summer. She grew up on a farm in northwest Iowa where her dad raised hogs, cattle, corn and soybeans. She attends Iowa State University and will be a senior in the fall. She is seeking a degree in Agriculture Communications and a minor in Entrepreneurial Studies. 


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