Meet the Two Families

April 26, 2010 07:00 PM

The Ultimate Farm Quest centers around two high-profile families that will serve as case studies. The families will work with a team of advisers who will help them improve their agronomy, technology, economic, business management and conservation and environment practices. Both Farm Journal and Top Producer will feature a family.
Farm Journal Ultimate Farm Quest Farmers:
Leon & Jennifer Knirk
LDK Farms
Quincy, Michigan
Leon and Jennifer Knirk farm approximately 2,000 acres of corn, soybeans and wheat in south-central Michigan, near Coldwater. In addition, they own and manage a 400-head, Holstein feeder-to-finish operation. The Knirks like to evaluate marketing, technology and production practices that can take their farming operation to higher levels of success. This year, Leon is assessing the value of vertical tillage and devoting a 75-acre corn plot to that purpose. He also is evaluating variable rate seeding and used it to plant 1,200 acres of corn last year and again this spring. The Knirks are the proud parents of 1-year-old Lincoln, and they look forward to the arrival of their second child in August.
Top Producer Ultimate Farm Quest Farmers:
Doug & Nancy Rupp
D & N Rupp Farms
Stryker, Ohio
Doug and Nancy Rupp farm 2,000 acres of corn and soybeans in northwest Ohio, near Stryker. The Rupps are progressive farm family operators who use marketing strategies, technology and a teamwork mindset to attain the on-going success of their farming enterprise. While Doug farms full time now, he taught business and free enterprise classes for 30 years at the local high school and community college and also ran a painting contracting business, all the while building his farming operation. At one point in his teaching career, Doug also coached the high school wrestling team. Today, he emphasizes the value of taking a team approach to farming by working with and learning from various agronomic, management and marketing experts. Nancy was a teacher and guidance counselor for 39 years, and continues to work in the Pettisville, Ohio, school system part-time. In addition, she manages the farm finances. The Rupps are the proud parents of two sons, Noah, a nuclear engineer, and Jacob, a senior at the Ohio State University.

You can e-mail Rhonda Brooks at 

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