May 2018 - Glacial Farms

May 01, 2018

May 2018 - Glacial Farms

“I do it for them.” Clark thought as he was leaving the driveway on a beautiful summer day. Why do I need to do this today? Being a farmer is not always the most glorious of jobs. You put in longer hours than most, experience multiple ups and downs, and your entire livelihood depends on things that are out of your control such as mother nature and market prices. Sometimes it can be discouraging; however, sometimes it can be gratifying. As Clark was leaving his driveway that morning, he was reminded that the reasoning behind all his hard work were a couple of grandkids, playing in the mud. While Mom, Andrea, wasn’t too thrilled about Mason and Hannah getting their boots full of mud and stuck in the water, Clark was quickly reminded that those grandchildren are the reason.

Fast forward to 2018. Mason, the little boy with mud-filled boots, is now a part of the farm operation along with Grandpa Clark, and his parents, Darian and Andrea. The five-generation operation goes back quite a few years. It all started with Charles & Katherine Moeckly, Clark’s grandparents. They passed the operation down to Richard & Alice Moeckly who then passed it down to Clark & Pam Moeckly in 1968. On April 1, 1997, Clark & Pam’s daughter, Andrea, along with her husband, Darian, moved to the farm. It was during a very terrible winter storm and they ended up being without power for 3 days. Welcome home!

Five years later, the business name, Glacial Farms, was formed. The operation currently involves Clark & Pam, Darian & Andrea, and Mason & Morgan. Mason joined the operation in 2016 and married Morgan in September 2017. They have been very fortunate to have had some great help throughout the years. Kenny Price worked with them for over 20 years and Shane Johnson, who works for them now, has worked for the family for 27 years.

There’s been several changes that Clark and Darian have experienced over the years. A few of the major changes have been sizing, equipment, and chemicals. The biggest change Clark has noticed is tillage. “Completely different equipment is involved now.” Not only did they have to worry about mother nature being good to their crops, but to experience it out in the open, unprotected, was an entirely different story.

Technology and communication have also come a long way since Clark has farmed. “Back in my day, you had to have your entire day planned before you left the yard. And once you were gone, that was it.” Now Darian and Mason don’t know where they’d be without their phones. “If we break down and need a part, I can just pick up the phone.” Darian and Mason both believe technology truly has made them much more efficient as producers.

The most interesting viewpoint on farming changes throughout the years came to the question of the importance of cooperatives. For those producers that are Mason’s age, immediate satisfaction is key. Having everything within a hand’s reach is important. It increases efficiency, productivity, and saves time. Their generation is thinking of what they need right now, not 20 years from now. For those producers within Darian’s generation, immediate satisfaction is not always the answer. By investing in hard work, having patience, and planning for the long haul, doing business with a cooperative can set you up for success in the future. For Clark’s generation, a person sees all aspects. “I don’t think the viewpoints have changed a bit. When I was Mason’s age, I didn’t realize how important a cooperative is. When I was Darian’s age, I began to see the benefits. Now at my age, I’m thankful I experienced everything I have up until this point because I have learned that cooperatives are much more beneficial than one thinks.”

It wasn’t until Mason went to the Cornerstone for Engagement class at the Land O’Lakes annual meeting that he realized the importance of doing business with a cooperative. “Nowadays, it’s easy to just buy based off who has the better deal at the time. After attending the class, I learned how cooperatives work and the benefits of being a member. We never learned about co-ops in school and it never even crossed my mind as to how they’re run. When I needed fertilizer, I’d just go pick it up. I never knew about the patronage that’s involved with doing business here.” The Cornerstone for Engagement class is held at the Land O’Lakes annual meeting and is a basic course on how cooperatives do business and how members play a role in their model. They give in-depth presentations and lessons on how members can get more involved in the ag industry. It is a truly educational experience that gives a great explanation on how cooperatives function. Patronage is the key ingredient that is easily overlooked.

Thank you to Glacial Farms for being our May Producer of the Month and for sharing your story. We wish the best to you and your operation for continued success as you involve the next generation and keep the family traditions going.

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