Our multi-generational family farm is evolving to meet new challenges. Our family sold out of livestock in the 1960s and began selling insurance to farmers and rural residents. This continues today and allows us a small revenue stream that protects us from weather or market catastrophes. More important, this frees us to be flexible and experiment with new ideas (we were the first in the area to widely adopt no-tillage, we have grown seed corn, and continue to successfully grow seed soybean and non-GMO corn and soybean). Our farm currently grows predominantly corn and soybean, but has always grown popcorn as a hobby. We wanted to take this sideline passion and turn it into a sustainable growth avenue for our farm.
Our farm is located in Oneida, Illinois. We grow our popcorn on the family's century farm, located down the hill and across the road from Pilot Knob. Our farm employs no-tillage, crop rotation and integrated pest management (IPM) practices. No-tillage reduces fuel consumption while keeping soil colloids less disturbed, decreasing erosion and runoff. Crop rotation allows some biodiversity to exist in our farm. We also employ integrated pest management practices that take into account social, economic, and agronomic considerations in addressing pests; it prevents the overuse of any one control method and focuses on sustainability.
Our family is involved in various activities that support our communities. Andrew is a graduate of the Illinois Agriculture Leadership Program (IALP), the current chairman of the Illinois Leadership Council for Agriculture Education (ILCAE), the Knox County Corn Growers Association, and teaches Junior High Sunday School at The Oaks Community Church. He is also a regular volunteer with area and state FFA events, supporting youth in agriculture education. Andrew is a graduate of the University of Illinois, earning a degree in Crop Sciences.
Karlie works for the Galesburg Community Foundation as their Communication Director, helping combine area nonprofits with community donations and endowments. She also currently serves has her P.E.O. chapter president, is on the board of the ROWVA Public Schools Foundation and is a current member of the Illinois Agriculture Leadership Program (IALP). She too is a University of Illinois graduate, with a BS in Agricultural Communications and MS in Advertising.