Eric always liked the action of farming and while his dad and brother managed to farm around full-time off-farm jobs, he has found ways to establish himself as a full-time farmer by “doing things on the side to make ends meet.”
He and his brother Chad farm about 400-500 acres in the Carleton area, growing corn, soybeans, wheat and hay. He grows the hay primarily for his horse owning customers and a petting animal farm. They also make old-fashioned small rectangular bales of straw from their wheat and that of some neighbors—11,000 to 12,000 of them this summer! Nearly all of those are sold by a retail farm market for Halloween decoration.
While his parents, Brad and Agnes, own the feedlot and cattle, Eric does those daily chores for additional income. He has continued in his parents’ long tradition of Farm Bureau membership.
Eric also installs drainage tile in farm fields, improving his own and doing custom work for other farmers. Each of these sidelines is demanding of time and labor.
RoseAnn is now a registered nurse at U-Mich hospital, but she and Eric met when she agreed to come with her brother to help unload bales on the farm where her Dad bought straw. He was impressed with her willingness and ability to do farm work.
Eric and RoseAnn are in the process of certifying their farm in the MAEAP program to ensure their practices are environmentally friendly for their family’s future. That will include Brooke, 14, Kylie, 6, Kelsie 3 and Kolten 1.