By Hannah Thompson, Allie Walther, Mackenzie Miller, Madison Ingle, and Samuel Woodhams, members of the 9th grade English Language Arts Class in Schoolcraft
A multiple-choice quiz: How much work do farmers do during the winter months?
A) No work.
B) A little work.
C) A lot of work.
One hundred and three people of different age groups were surveyed; 78, three-fourths, chose C): Farmers do a lot of work in the winter.
What exactly keeps farmers busy during the winter months? Jennifer Gottschalk from J & J Acres grows corn and soybeans in Schoolcraft. She stated, “I am a full-time farmer, and winter can be busier than spring planting sometimes.”
Other area farmers were interviewed, and they all had similar responses. During the winter months, farmers work on all of the machinery and equipment, on finances, and they take business trips that will help for the next farming season.
Taking care of the machinery and equipment is a big part of what farmers do in the winter. They work hard to fix, repair, and touch up the paint to make the equipment to not only look new but to also ensure it is ready for the next planting season. As Cole Lehman from Walther Farms, stated, “My winter focus is making sure the equipment gets through and gets serviced for the planting season.” Overall, the process of taking care of the machinery and equipment is an important part of the winter season for farmers.
During the summer, fall and spring, it might be hard for farmers to work on their farming finances because they are so busy working outside in the tractors with crops, so the winter is a great time to work on a lot of the finances. Josh Reeves, CFO of Walther Farms, stated, “The winter is our busy season. We get everything ready for taxes, and put things on the calendar for next year.”
Farmers do not just stay in their barns or houses all winter. Many of them spend time taking business trips. It is important for them to go to other states and see what other good ideas different farmers have. They also might get some new equipment during those trips and gather and learn new techniques. Gottschalk stated, “We are constantly going to precision farming classes and learning more and more.” Farmers succeed in growing their businesses because they can keep up on all of the new industry ideas.
It may come as a surprise to many people, but it is proven that area farmers stay just as busy during the winter months as they do during their growing seasons.