Posted on October 31, 2013 at 10:02 AM by Iowa Corn
Farming is made of traditions, just the changing of the seasons brings about planting and harvest, but this harvest when I went to Churdan, Iowa, I saw a very unique twist on tradition. Cale and Connor Juergensen have served on the Iowa Corn Collegiate Advisory Team. They have volunteered for various Iowa Corn events and recently volunteered to be a part of Iowa Corn’s new membership campaign representing the young farmer.Last Thursday was a cool fall harvest morning as I traveled with photographer, Ron Gee (www.geeproductions.net/). When we rolled up to the farm, we found neighbor Roger Coon and both Juergensen boys huddling in the cab of Roger’s tractor. Roger was patiently explaining the instructions on how to run the equipment before the men went to spread anhydrous. I watched asCale and Connor listened to each and every word Roger spoke. The boys are 20 years old and are a set of triplets who attended Iowa colleges to study ag. Cale attended Iowa Lakes in Emmetsburg and Conner attended Iowa Central in Ft. Dodge. Their sister went to culinary school and currently works at a bakery in Des Moines. This year, Cale and Connor had a soybean crop and managed the family hog operation. Next year, they will expand their production and grow corn as they have acquired more land. Cale and Connor’s story is truly unique as their father suddenly passed away a couple of years ago. Their father operated the hog operation and owned a trucking business, but never really took part in row crop farming. The boys’ love for row crop farming came from their Grandfather. Cale and Connor’s father recognized their interest in growing crops early so he asked neighbor, Roger Coon, to one day “show them the ropes” on growing corn and soybeans. Roger vowed he would teach the boys about crop farming when they were old enough and ready. Roger has not only kept that vow, but has also devised a succession plan for the boys’ future equipment and land needs. Roger and his wife have only one child, a daughter, who is married and lives away from the farm. Roger’s admiration for the Juergensen boys and their passion for farming was very evident as I watched him interact with them throughout the afternoon. It was not hard to see why Roger kept his promise to help get the boys started. It takes a special person, a dedicated friend and neighbor, to carry on the farming tradition and the next generation of farmer(s) a successful one. As the photographer took pictures, the boys waited for a call about 800 pigs they would be getting that afternoon. Cale and Connor are great kids beyond their years in responsibility, but with a farmer neighbor who has stepped up to make sure the next generation gets started right. Don’t get me wrong, they are great photos, but they don’t tell half the story about these young farmers.
Janelle Kracht is a District Field Manager for Iowa Corn. She has been with the Iowa Corn Growers for six years and enjoys working with active county groups and farmers to help educate the local consumer about corn and the many products derived from corn. She enjoys working with local farmers to promote their product and increase membership. Janelle grew up in the heart of corn country, Coon Rapids, IA and resides there today. Although she did grow up on a farm, she is passionate about farming and sharing the farming story. She graduated from Iowa State University with BS in Horticulture. Janelle is active in her community, serving on the City Council, the Golf Course Board of Directors, and in her local church group. She enjoys spending time with her family, golfing, volunteering and attending ISU Athletic events.