Good Neighbors Blog

From quirky extras that didn’t make it into the magazine to behind the scenes looks into the making of Country – we’ve curated photos and stories we think you’ll enjoy. Won’t you be our neighbor?

Announcing: The Winner of our Outdoor Animal Video Contest

 

The winner of our Outdoor Animal Video Contest is Thomas Vitale with his adorable video of a bunny and a deer.

 

Monday Munchkins: It’s Better Than Walking

Girls on horse(640x400)

Connie Rodeen shared this photo with us of her three oldest granddaughters, Shannon, Larkyn, and Cheyanne, spending a warm summer day riding the family’s horse, Baby. Looks like one patient horse and three very happy girls!

Oct./Nov. 2014 Farm & Ranch Living Diaries

Missouri Corn, Soybean, Sheep and Cattle Farm

Missouri Corn, Soybean, Sheep and Cattle Farm

Missouri Corn, Soybean, Sheep and Cattle Farm

Missouri Corn, Soybean, Sheep and Cattle Farm

Missouri Corn, Soybean, Sheep and Cattle Farm

Missouri Corn, Soybean, Sheep and Cattle Farm

Missouri Corn, Soybean, Sheep and Cattle Farm

Missouri Corn, Soybean, Sheep and Cattle Farm

Fresh Rainbow Trout in Wisconsin

Fresh Rainbow Trout in Wisconsin

Trout swim in the cool water at Rushing Waters.

Trout swim in the cool water at Rushing Waters.

Dori Sorensen with the morning catch at Rushing Waters.

Dori Sorensen with the morning catch at Rushing Waters.

Fresh Rainbow Trout in Wisconsin

Fresh Rainbow Trout in Wisconsin

In Virginia, Small Family Farm Finds Success

In Virginia, Small Family Farm Finds Success

In Virginia, Small Family Farm Finds Success

In Virginia, Small Family Farm Finds Success

In Virginia, Small Family Farm Finds Success

In Virginia, Small Family Farm Finds Success

In Virginia, Small Family Farm Finds Success

In Virginia, Small Family Farm Finds Success

    Our sister publication Farm & Ranch Living is gracious enough to share excerpts from the in-depth diaries featured in its Oct./Nov. 2014 issue, including stories on operations in Missouri, Wisconsin and Virginia. Take a peek at these businesses producing a wide variety of meat, fish and vegetables!

    Missouri Corn, Soybean, Sheep and Cattle Farm

    Fresh Rainbow Trout in Wisconsin

    In Virginia, Small Family Farm Finds Success

     

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    Sept. 24, 2014: Today’s Words to Live By

    Today's Words to Live By

    Missouri Corn, Soybean, Sheep and Cattle Farm

    Cattle Farm

    Cattle Farm

    Cattle Farm

    Cattle Farm

    Cattle Farm

    Cattle Farm

    Cattle Farm

    Cattle Farm

      By Anthony Henke
      Princeton, Missouri

      Editor’s Note: Our sister publication Farm & Ranch Living is delighted to share excerpts this week from its most recent round of diaries!

      Welcome back to Princeton, in north-central Missouri, 100 miles south of Des Moines, Iowa. My wife, Amber, and I—along with my mother, Donna, my younger brother Mac, my younger sister Amanda and their families—operate Henke Family Farms.

      It’s hard to believe how much things have changed here in the five years since we last kept a journal for Farm & Ranch Living. We now farm and graze 1,400 acres of our own and rent another 1,600 acres. We plant around 1,100 acres of soybeans, 600 acres of corn and 150 acres of wheat each year.

      Our cow herd has grown to 450 cow-calf pairs. We also have 100 head of registered Polypay sheep. The contract hogs and their manure are still a very important part of our operation. We have 12,000 contract finishing spaces as well as 3,000 additional spaces used for a gilt breeding project.

      The biggest change came in August 2010, when we unexpectedly lost our dad, who was just 58. He was passionate about farming and taught us that we should leave the land better than when we got it. He and our mom instilled in us the importance of family, integrity, a strong work ethic and doing things the right way. They sacrificed a lot to move their family here in 1999 so that we’d all have an opportunity to be part of the operation.

      Dad left some big shoes to fill. In the fall of 2010 I returned to the farm full time and have focused on the hog barns and row crops. The following summer Amanda took over much of the record keeping. Mac concentrates on the cattle farm aspect, hay, pasture rotation and breeding, as well as helping with row crop management.

      Our mom, Donna, is still a valuable part of the operation. She helps with the kids and bookkeeping and cooks daily lunches for the crew. She also shares useful wisdom when she sees that we may be heading off track. Amber gets everyone’s kids to and from school, picks up parts and runs errands.

      Michael Wagner and Mark Sanders work for us full time, applying 5 million gallons of manure a year, plus another 8 million gallons of custom work. Dad’s brother, Marty, Marty’s son, Mason, Ryan Davis and Jordan Delameter also pitch in when we need extra help.

      Amber and I now have three kids, Eli, Addy and Mikaylee. Mac’s two children are Emma and Judd. Amanda also has two children, Gracie and Reed, and relocated her photography business to work out of a studio at home. Her husband, Brent, is a school principal in Gilman City and runs a cow herd in Ridgeway on a farm they own.

      Photography by Amanda Mitchell