He’s used to teaching others about agriculture, but it’s been a learning year for Crooks, South Dakota farmer Adam Mohrhauser.
The historically wet year, punctuated by floods and brutal blizzards, left many producers moving to plan B, then C and D as weather dictated decisions in the field.
Mohrhauser rolled with the punches and learned new things. He typically works with cover crops on his oat acres – planting turnips, radish and rape seed. But this year he tried using covers in another capacity. He had fields he couldn’t plant during the typical window for row crops, and he needed feed he could bale for his cattle. So he went to work doing lots of research, he said.
Mohrhauser is used to sharing how things on his farm run as a volunteer with Ag United for South Dakota. The coalition, which gets support from several commodity groups, works to promote agriculture and grow family farms. He was named Ag United’s Agvocate of the Year at the organization’s annual luncheon in Sioux Falls Dec. 10.
Accepting the award from Ag United President Richard Vasgaard, Mohrhauser thanked his parents for giving him the opportunity to farm. He is the fifth generation growing crops and raising livestock on land homesteaded by his great-great-grandparents between Hartford and Crooks. He works with his dad, Gilbert, growing corn, soybeans, oats and alfalfa and raising 120 beef cows.
Since 2015, he’s been making videos of his day-to-day chores to share with kids as part of Ag United’s Adopt-A-Farmer program. Each month, he sends a video update from his farm to a fourth grade elementary school class. Over the years, he’s worked with kids at Harrisburg, Mitchell and West Central schools.
He visits the classroom in person each spring, and he likes to bring feed for the kids to feel and smell. It’s something those who don’t live on the farm don’t normally get to handle and see up close.
Feedback from those visits is what Mohrhauser likes the most.
“I just always enjoy what the kids have to ask,” he said.