Posted on October 18, 2016 at 11:27 AM by Natalie Te Grootenhuis
This week we followed Dean Meyer around as we captured what a “Day in the Life” of an Iowa farmer looks like in the fall. Dean’s day started with feeding cattle and fixing a dryer line before heading out to the field. Through the day we saw witnessed the challenges that go along with everyday farm life, from water in the drying line to broken parts on the combine. Through the struggles and adversity, we witnessed what truly drives Dean to keep going through the day was his family. Dean farms alongside his two sons and brother.
Their farm was started eighty years ago by Dean’s grandfather when he purchased a single parcel of land a few miles outside of Rock Rapids Iowa. Eighty years, and three generations later Dean continues to farm the same area of land that his grandfather bought all those years ago. Although things in the agriculture industry continue to change Dean attributes the success of his families farming operation to their changing techniques in order to stay up to date with the industry.
We sat down with Dean and asked him several questions about what it means to be a farmer and what it means to be involved in agriculture, be sure to check out his responses below.
Q: Can you give us a little bit of history about your farm. I know you farm with your family, your children and brother as well. So give us a run down of your farm.
Our farming operation started with my father and three of us sons. My dad is since retired and we broke off with the brothers and I work with two of my sons and have a partnership in hogs with my brother. We operate a corn soybean operation and we also have a cattle feed lot and hog operation.
Q. All the stress and pressure that you have on yourself, and then you have the air system going down, the combine go down. How do you keep a level head with all that going on?
Well, that can be a challenge sometimes to keep a level head, but you know when you're the one in charge and you're the one responsible for those who are working under you, you kind of set a precedence there. It's important. Some days they're going to be there, and how are they going to react. If you want this to be a successful operation, we got to keep a level head. Yeah, I get discouraged, believe me I do, just like anybody else, but like I said, we're setting a precedence. I've been through that already where it usually doesn't help to get all excited about it.There's times when you wish things would go better, there's times when you wish the sun would shine, but that's part of life. It is, and I wouldn't want to be doing anything else.
Q. About how farming is a lot about overcoming adversity and how that happens on a daily basis.
Yeah. Everyday we're faced with different levels of challenges, and some days are better than others. A lot of times I think back to when I was in FFA, and if y'all remember the FFA created the joys and discomforts of agricultural life. We experience it. That's a real thing. It is. It is a real thing, and days like this morning is ... We started off we're [green-dry-and-set-up 00:00:45]. We struggled to get the air system working and did some trouble shooting, but it delayed us for probably 45 minutes until we could go on and do what we wanted to do. Then we went to the field today and started, and it was going to be a great day. The sun was shining and we made 2 rounds and a belt broke and we broke a pulley, so we're down for hour and a half there. That's part of it. Some days are better than others. Some weeks are better than others, but that's part of a small business. That's part of sole proprietorship, and we do what we love here. When you love what you're doing, even having struggles you face it head on. You can get disgusted and go back to bed for the day, but we really enjoy what we're doing. You got to take the good with the bad.
Through the course of our day with Dean we wanted to show everyone how intense the job of farming is and for that reason we put together a schedule of what one day of Dean’s life looks like. And finally make sure you stay tuned for the “Day in the Life” video that will be posted soon!