It is not the ground, it is not the crops, it is not the cattle, it is not the machinery that makes a farmer. It is the faith, hard work, and love of it all that makes a farmer!
GARY, Minn. – Corey Hanson published this mission statement on his Facebook page, and as he tells his story this winter, Farm & Ranch Guide readers will have the opportunity to see what farming means to him.
Corey and his wife, Julie Noggle-Hanson, live near Gary, Minn., in Norman County. Crops on the Hanson farm include alfalfa, wheat, soybeans and corn. Corey has 90-100 stock cows with calves sold as backgrounders.
In mid-November, farming meant being “dog-tired” and frustrated.
“Farmers as a whole have been beaten up by Mother Nature for probably 13-14 months now,” Corey said. “It seems like we haven’t caught a break, whether it be snowstorms or cold weather, late spring or not much heat this summer.”
Giving his report on Nov. 11, Corey said temperatures moved below freezing on Nov. 5. Seven days later on Veterans Day, the high was only 12 degrees while the low was 1 degree with a much colder windchill. Temps were 30-40 degrees below average.
Corn for grain harvest was still in the future.
Wheat harvest had been a challenge back in September, and the Hansons hauled out some lower quality wheat to make room to bin the corn. The soybeans needed some drying before getting hauled to the elevator in town, so that task was done.
The cattle were doing fine despite the unusually cold weather. The Hansons moved the cows off pasture and put them on a fenced-in soybean field. Corey’s goal was to keep the cattle out of the yard as long as possible – just so everything didn’t get muddy and to keep the cattle healthy.
Serving on the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association Board of Directors, Corey knew the organization was in touch with Gov. Tim Walz’s office, as well the Congressional elected officials, Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith and Congressman Collin Peterson.
“There’s some people that are saying, ‘I’ve had enough.’ This past year, with not only the trying times, but tough economic times also, you know – lack of trade, excess supply. It’s really tough to get our prices,” Corey said.
When challenges like these come in bunches, the Hansons know that getting out to socialize and having hobbies is very important. Farming can be very isolating, so it’s even more important to drive off the farm for some fun.
The Hansons were getting together for deer hunting, and there were some younger hunters that Corey wanted to see get a deer.
It looks like ice fishing might start sooner than usual with the very cold temperatures – unless temps in the 30s and 40s return in late November or December.
Corey is also a member of the Lynn Christianson bowling team that won the 2019 United States Bowling Congress Open Championships in the Classified Division.
The 2020 bowling season was still off in the future. With the late fall harvest, the farmers and ag community still had work to finish first. It seemed to Corey that a lot of people were trying to help farmers through the difficult conditions – from driving tractor, to running for parts, to bringing meals.
“It really doesn’t just affect the farmer (when farming becomes so challenging),” he said. “It affects everybody in rural America, especially small towns where people are helping the farmers trying to get the harvest in. These are tough times, not only economic, but socially and mentally. I want to thank the people that think of those things that help farmers.”
Thanks to the Hansons for sharing their winter 2019/2020 with Farm & Ranch Guide readers!