SHERBURN, Minn. – A United Soybean Board executive committee member will be sharing her 2021 growing season with readers this year!
Rochelle Krusemark farms in Martin County with her husband, Brad, son, A.J., and A.J.’s wife, Maria, and their three sons, Titus, 6, Zeke, 5, and Silas, 3.
The Krusemarks raise soybeans, corn, vegetables, and forages/pastures. They have a cow/calf operation and custom feed pigs.
“We do a lot of rotational grazing,” Rochelle said. “We grow cover crops on all of our acres, and depending on the year, the cattle sometimes graze those acres before we plant. Sometimes we chop it for forage and plant soybeans.
“This year, we’re planting early so we won’t be harvesting any cover crops,” she added.
The Krusemarks, who use no-till and strip-till methods, had their equipment ready for planting soybeans on Saturday, April 17. Corn planting began shortly thereafter – with Brad running the tractor/corn planter and Rochelle running the tractor/soybean planter.
“It’s the first year we have ever planted soybeans before corn,” she said, “but soil conditions were great and we didn’t want to put corn in the ground because it was going to get cold.”
The farm received rain on April 23, snow on April 25 and rain on April 27-29.
Planting was finished on Monday, May 3, with some custom planting on May 4.
Temperatures during planting varied from highs in the 60s to lows in the 30s and 40s. There was one unusual day – May 1, when the temperature reached 93 degrees. Wind coming from the north was common in early May, with a little rain on May 5.
While it wasn’t yet possible to “row” any fields, the Krusemark fields remained “green” with cover crops. Rochelle is a crop insurance agent, and is glad that the Risk Management Agency is now allowing cover crops to stay on row crop fields longer.
“They changed the rule in 2020, so you just have to terminate it using best management practices prior to when it competes with your insured crop,” she noted.
Busy farm life
Many people know Rochelle because she is an elected director on the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council. She just finished the first year of her third term. She also serves on the executive committee of the United Soybean Board.
“I am able to serve on the Minnesota board and United Soybean Board because my husband and son (A.J.) are very supportive and see the value of serving,” she said.
Serving through leadership has always been important to her. Growing up, Rochelle saw her parents modeling community service as an important aspect of citizenship. Her father, Marvin Bosshart, was a building contractor, but he also served as president of the Minnesota and National Aggregate and Ready Mix Associations.
After graduating from the Minnesota Agriculture and Rural Leadership Program, Rochelle was approached by soybean leaders and asked to run as a Minnesota checkoff director.
“It’s important to be able to commit the time, and there is quite a bit to read,” she explained. “I believe in the value of being committed to a profession and developing partnerships.”
She is passionate about agriculture, especially promoting new uses, expanding markets, conservation and soil health.
Rochelle and Brad live on nearby Fox Lake and come to the farm to work. This gives Rochelle lots of opportunities to be with her three grandsons.
The three young boys love to farm, and Silas, 3, learned how to press the tractor cab buttons to engage autosteer. Papa Brad, of course, was right there with him.
During the COVID pandemic, the Krusemarks started a chicken project. The three boys are supervised, but are responsible for 17 Rhode Island Red and Araucana hens, 18 broiler chicks and 24 pullet chicks.
Preschooler Zeke knows how to give feed and grit, fill waterers, and collect eggs. He’s taken on that responsibility while Titus is in kindergarten.
Living a life of faith, Rochelle is grateful for the blessings of grandchildren, family and friends. A very serious accident happened last July that brought home this concept. Rochelle was making a left hand turn in her Polaris Ranger when a semi hit her.
The impact tossed the Ranger and her airborne.
While it could have been so much worse, her injuries left her with numbness in her left hip and down her leg, so she uses a cane. The doctor says a “tincture of time” will help heal the damage.
“A Ranger is no match for a semi. I’m alive. I am walking on my own accord,” she said, still expressing incredulity over what she survived.
So, along with the gift of life, Rochelle tries to express gratitude and servitude every day.
Readers of Rochelle’s Facebook page will note her posts talk about helping others in need. A dear friend lost her husband to suicide four years ago. If someone is facing a very difficult situation or possibly thinking of suicide, she wants them to call or send a text, and get help.
This new lease on life is something Rochelle values for herself, and for all those around her, too.
Thank you to the Krusemark family for this opportunity to follow along with your operation, and we wish you the best of success this growing season!
Please remember the Minnesota Farm and Rural Helpline is available 24/7 at 833-600-2670. Please leave a message if asked to do so. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 800-273-8255.