Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Tim Clark and I am the forage product manager for Dairyland Seed and a livestock and grain farmer from south-central Wisconsin. As a sixth-generation farmer, I am very young to agriculture, but have old values.
Growing up on a dairy farm in America’s Dairyland paints a picture that is as bold as a corn farmer from the grain belt, cattleman from out west or a cotton farmer from down south. Tradition was the glue that helped us endure the struggles in the 80s, dairy-crash in the late 90s and today’s volatile market. While we don’t milk cows any more, we still face many new challenges with our livestock and grain operations.
My parents, David and Patty, purchased our original farmstead from my grandparents more than 35 years ago. I am the youngest of five siblings, all of whom depend on agriculture to feed their families and their dreams.
Randy, my eldest brother, 33, owns an agricultural engineering and manufacturing company. RCI Engineering designs and manufactures agricultural equipment for many global equipment brands. In addition, he launched his own commercial hay equipment line, RCI, in 2010 with his first merger. Randy’s wife Wendy works as a Dairy Marketing Manager for Hoards Dairyman magazine. They have three children and are frequent visitors on the farm.
My second-oldest sibling, Kelly, 32, recently moved back to our area where her husband, Jason, works as an engineer for John Deere Horicon Works. Kelly and Jason have two children who enjoy spending time with the horses on our farm.
In our family, the middle of the gang is Greg, 30. Greg graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville where he majored in agricultural business. Nearly six years ago, Greg purchased an adjoining farm to our homestead and began our beef-feedlot expansion efforts. His acquisition expanded our cropland and fueled our investments in the livestock and grain industries. Greg also manages our custom-spraying business which he has sprayed over 30,000 acres in the past four years.
Next in line comes Tony, 28. After high school he worked for several custom-farming operations. Hauling dairy manure and harvesting forages was routine until he traveled out west to join a wheat harvest crew in 2009. After a year on harvest, he returned home with a new perspective and vision for our grain business. Currently he manages our maintenance programs and operates the majority of our equipment.
Lastly, comes me. At the age of 27, I purchased my grandparents’ home that adjoins the family farmstead. I am employed by Dairyland Seed, a Dow AgroSciences affiliate, as the forage product manager. I work with 32 district sales managers across nine states to position and manage our alfalfa and corn silage products. Prior to my employment, I attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison and earned degrees in agricultural economics and agricultural journalism.
My passion for agriculture is fueled by the tradition and support exerted by my family and friends. As a state leader in the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Young Farmer and Agriculturist program, it is my hope to establish a better communication channel amongst farmers to help foster a better relationship with our customers.
Through this blog, it is my intention to discuss topics that are pertinent to today’s farmers with reference to my experiences and values that are deeply rooted in Wisconsin agriculture. It is my hope that through continued discussion and debate we can create a healthy relationship amongst farmers to empower one another and ultimately benefit our customers.