Farming is just a family thing
There is no question that North Dakota is an agricultural state with so many farms sprawling across the land. Many of these farms, the job of being a farmer, and working the land, has been passed from parent to child for a few generations with farming being a family job.
One area farm, run by Howard Rodgers, is on to its third generation.
Howard Rodgers’ family farm is near Max with around 3,400 acres of land. Farming is something he’s been doing for as long as he can remember. The way of farming and the lifestyle that comes with it has always been something he really enjoyed and always kept going back to.
“I attended North Dakota State University and I would come back every summer to help with the farm work. Then I graduated in 1981 and I got married in 1985. I have just always farmed,” said Rodgers.
Rodgers currently grows small grains, such as wheat, canola, flax and soy beans. While some farms in North Dakota will also raise cattle, Rodgers said he no longer does, having sold them awhile back.
Without cattle, there was no need for a barn, so he took it down. Once the barn was gone, he built a shop where it once stood so he could do some work during the winter. The only animal on the farm now is the family’s dog.
According to Rodgers, the best part of being a farmer is the special time and opportunities it gives him to spend time and hang out with his kids.
“It’s a great time to transfer values and have quality time in a good quantity,” said Rodgers. “There’s a lot of work to be done so we can have a lot of time to do it and it gives me a chance to teach them and pass things along.”
Family has always been important to Rodgers, so having the opportunity to be able to work on the farm with them is one of the biggest enjoyments to him. Working on the same goal really brings everyone together, he said. Doing tasks and jobs together makes the family stronger, and as anyone who farms or has farmed knows, there is a lot of time together with all the work that goes into it all.
Of his children, one is planning on following in his father’s footsteps. One of his sons will be becoming a fourth generation farmer, taking on the family job.
Farming isn’t always an easy job, but it is something that Rodgers takes pride in doing. It isn’t the only activity that Rodgers devotes his time to though. According to his mother, Mary Rodgers, he is also very active in his local church.