Generational farms focus on more than business
Farming is often passed down from one generation to the next who inherit a way of life along with a way to make a living.
“Those of us who work the land for a living, it goes beyond the financial significance,” Rex Savage said.
When Savage was growing up on his family’s farm, it produced livestock, soybeans, and alfalfa. Now, he and his wife deal mainly in calf-cow breeding.
“It probably means more to us because we know how much work went into it,” he said.
Rex and his wife, Carolyn, live on 110th Rd. a few miles west of Florence, on a farm that has been in his family for five generations.
Savage said he doesn’t want to pressure his children into taking over the farm in the future despite its long family history.
“I try not to project my wishes too far down the line and control things from the grave,” he said. “But holding that opportunity open is important to me.
“It’s something you have to want or you just won’t stay with it.”
The pressure that comes with farming is one reason some people don’t want to stay in the industry, Savage said.
However, he sees the business shifting back toward producing a variety of crops and livestock.
“I feel like agriculture has become a little over-focused on one thing, it’ll be corn and beans or cattle-only, whatever,” he said. “I suspect diversity will become more popular over time.”
Savage’s daughters would help with the farm when they were home from college as a way to make money, but it was more of a summer job, he said.
His daughters and grandchildren have expressed interest in the farm without being pushed, Savage said.
“It wasn’t something that was just handed off on a plate,” he said. “There’s some attachment to it because it came at a price, and I think you’d find that’s a wide-spread feeling among folks who are multi-generational.”
Last modified April 8, 2020