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The New Crop: Friendship Turns to Peer Network

February 28, 2013
By: Tyne Morgan, Ag Day TV National Reporter
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These college buddies are back home and farming with family. But their friendship is now more of a network, helping each find their place in their own operation. This network is one that seems to come quite naturally. There's nothing forced or structured about it.

"Stuck in line at the elevator, just give them a call and see what's going on," says Josh Lammert, who farms in Treynor, Iowa.

"No, it's not planned," comments Redding, Iowa, farmer Zach Lynch.

This peer network consists of three farmers, all on distinct paths: "Cattle guy (Lynch), seed guy (Lammert) and farmer," says Nathan Whitehead, who farms in Sidney, Iowa.

"I think we all have a different game plan; there's no one-size-fits-all for coming back and growing," Lynch says.

There's one common theme that interlocks these three friends together.

"We're all centralized in farming," Whitehead says. "But we all still have our little niches we like to do."

It's creating and growing that nice' that hasn't always gone as planned. That presents the biggest challenge going into their second full-year of farming.

"Being 23 and 24 years old, you don't exactly have control of the purse strings to do what you want when you come back," Lynch says. "So, it's fine between the three of us to talk about what we'd like to do, and this would be nice, but convincing Dad and Grandpa that's the thing to do isn't always as easy."

For each of these young Iowa producers, it hasn't been the straight path they thought they'd take upon returning home from college. But the neat part is, that's where they rely on each other too.

"It's a lot easier to talk to someone you're familiar with," Lynch says. "I don't see why I'd have to go anywhere else to talk about things or find the operation."

With each operation looking to possibly grow, a helpful tool is talking to someone who's already been in that seat.

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RELATED TOPICS: Farm Business, Young Producers

 

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