Thursday, October 2, 2014

Farming & Family: The May Family, Kansas



Welcome to day 2 of our 31 days.  I have been so overjoyed at the number of responses I have recieved from farm families wanting to participate in the series.  My original goal was 1 family every Friday the month of October...with in an hour we blew that goal completely out of the water and were over halfway to reaching the new goal of 31 farm families!!  

I can't wait for all of you to meet these awesome farm families from across America.  These are the families that are supplying the food on your table and the clothes on your back...not to mention some of them provide products you use to build your house.  

Today's family hails from Kansas!

1. Who are you & where are you located?

We are the May Family from Kansas. 

(L to R): Ryan, Erin, Roger, & Sue

2. How did your farm begin? 
May Family Farms was homesteaded in Decatur County, Kansas in 1887 by Roger ‘s great grandfather, Henry.  Roger began working for his father in 1988, following his graduation from Kansas State University. Roger rented ground and began a hog operation.   In 1993, the farm was incorporated.  Succession planning has eased the process of transferring the family farm from Walter to his sons Roger, Roland, and Robert.

3. What does your farm produce?
We grow seed wheat, corn, milo, alfalfa, triticale.  Most of our land is no-till. We have done a lot of terrace rebuilding through the years, and do some rotational grazing.  Currently we manage a 350 head cow calf operation.  Most years we feed the calves out to finish.  

4. What is the busiest time of year for your farm?
Honestly, the work never stops.  We work everyday of the year feeding livestock.  Harvesting, cleaning, and selling our certified seed wheat is a very busy time for us, but we are grateful that there is a market for our products. 

5. How do younger generations help on the farm?


When Ryan is not attending classes at Kansas State University, he is our farm hand, handling every assignment his dad gives him.  We do pay him so he earns his college tuition.   Erin is now busy with school and sports.  She raises steers with her dad's help to compete in 4-H. Both kids learned so much from 4-H and won Grand Champion with their steers. 


6. With all there is to do on a farm, are you involved off the farm?
Roger has served in  many leadership positions including:  Kansas Crop Improvement Board Member, Vice President of Standards, Chairman, Kansas Association of Wheat Growers Board Member, Am First Bank Board of Directors and Advisory Board, Northwest Kansas Farm Management Board Member, Farmer Direct Foods (AWWPA) Board Member, Decatur County Health Care Advisory Board Member, Decatur County  Conservation District Chairman & Board Member, Church: Head Usher.   I am very active in volunteering in our small rural community of Oberlin, Kansas. Some things I do are teach Agriculture in the Classroom, Sunday School, Story Hour.  I take pix for the newspaper and help run our movie theater, and volunteer at our ladies' dress store, which is owned by many ladies in our town.  I serve on the Kansas Farm Bureau Women's Leadership Committee, and our local Swimming Pool Committee.    I leave today to attend a national training event for women in Washington DC: American Farm Bureau Women's Communication Boot Camp.

7. What's your favorite activity to do together as a family on the farm?
We love to check baby calves in the spring.  Riding our 4-wheelers through the pasture is such a joyful activity, as we watch Ryan and Roger give each new calf a tag and immunizations. 

8. Why is family important to your farm?


 Our name is May Family Farms. Every sibling in Roger's family is involved, either by ownership or by labor.  We couldn't farm without them.  Roger's ancestors left Germany in search of better opportunities in Western Kansas.  I will forever be grateful for their courage and perseverance.  Roger coined the word "Farmily"  because we can't divide the two. 

9. What's one thing you want non-farm families to know?


We love what we do, and we care more about the land than you'll ever understand.  It has been in our family since the late 1800s.  Good soil=good crops.  We feed our family what we raise.   We don't like all the governmental regulations that interfere with food production, especially disconcerting is WOTUS, where the EPA will gain control of virtually all the waters in the U. S. 

10. Do you have a blog, a farm Facebook page, twitter, etc where people can find out more about you and your farm?  

No, I don't have a blog yet. 



Thanks to the May family for sharing about their farming & family life!  Do you have questions for them?  Please leave any questions below in the comments!  

Until we meet again...may God bless you & keep you,

Caci