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Meet an Iowa Farmer: Mark Kenney

Posted on February 20, 2015 at 10:34 AM by Iowa Corn

The Iowa Corn Growers Association is proud to serve our more than 8,000 farmer members across the state. These members are the backbone of our organization and each month we are honored to introduce you to a new ICGA member through our "Meet an Iowa Farmer" series. This month we are proud to feature Mark Kenney, a farmer and ICGA member from Story County.

Tell about you, your family, and your background and farm operation
I was raised near our family's century farm in northeast Story County.  I am the fifth generation of my family to farm in central Iowa, and proudly work with my father on a daily basis.  Following graduation from Colo Nesco High School, I attended Northwest Missouri State University.  I received a B.S. in agricultural economics in 2002 and a M.S. from Northwest Missouri State in 2007, majoring in agriculture.  Before returning to the farm in 2006, I worked for two years at Agricredit in Johnston, IA.  My wife and I were married in 2005, and we are proud parents of Lauren (6) and Landon (3).  Currently, our farm operation includes corn, production seed corn, soybeans, and oats.  I plan to add a grass straw/hay business in 2015 in addition to drainage tile installation.

Why did you decide to be a farmer?
I chose to return to the farm to carry on our family's heritage.  I am very proud to be part of a century farm--as my daily work gives me a tremendous sense of connection to the generations that have come before me. And even though our modern way of farming is very different from those of previous generations, the end goal remains the same.  

What else do you dedicate time to outside of farming?
I enjoy reading, running, attending sporting events and spending time with family.

Any farming advice or life lessons you'd share with new farmers?

The best advice I could give anyone in farming is to be patient.  The longer I am involved in farming, the more I come to realize the importance of patience.  Farming is not an instant gratification enterprise.  Often it takes months, even years for work to pay off, and it can become frustrating when so much of our bottom line is dictated by forces outside our control.  I often remind myself of the old saying, “a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step”.

During the Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk game who do you root for?
No question here, Hawkeyes—which makes me a bit of a contrarian in Story County.

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