The best time of year to be on the farm? For the Bozdech family, there’s only one answer: when the crop is coming in. It’s not only seeing the fruits of their labor realized; it’s also the sights and smells of the fall that make it the can’t-miss time of the year. Bill Bozdech answers the questions in our latest installment of Farm Family of the Week.
(Have someone to nominate? Email ag writer Dave Hinton at firstname.lastname@example.org)
How long has your family been farming?
My great-grandparents bought our home farm in 1890. Our sons, Case and Gage, are the fifth generation to farm the land and sixth generation to live on our home farm.
Where is your farm?
Our “home farm” is located northwest of Villa Grove; however, we farm in Douglas, Champaign and Vermilion counties.
What does your operation consist of? Is it strictly grain, or do you also have livestock?
Our operation consists of grain (corn, soybeans and wheat) and feeds out approximately 30 head of cattle every year, along with also having a small purebred cattle herd.
How many people in the family does it support?
Our operation supports our family of four along with Roy Harris and Rock Hudson, who are part of our farming family.
Are any family members also working other jobs?
Yes. My wife, Amanda, works for the USDA Farm Service Agency. Case and I work full time on our home farm, and Gage helps a neighboring farmer when he and Case aren’t working on their own acres.
How have you seen farming change over the years?
We’ve seen great advances in technology, seed and chemicals. We have also seen a lot of the physical labor removed.
Your equipment: Green (John Deere), red (Case IH) or other?
We have a mixed line of equipment, but our oldest son is named Case!
What makes farming such a good vocation?
My wife, Amanda, and I both grew up on family farms and know the blessings of working together as a family.
It is such a reward watching our sons carry on the family tradition.
We enjoy the challenges of trying to improve production every year using newer technology, equipment and ideas about fertility practices.
If you could change one thing, what would it be?
I think the number-one change I would like to see is less regulation, less government involvement in our marketing and our reporting.
What’s the best time of year to be on the farm?
All four of us love harvest. You get to see the outcome of all your hard work for the year.
How much of an impact have higher inputs and soaring fuel prices had on your operation?
Very large impact.
You really have to pay attention to input costs and try to make a decent margin on your sales.
Do you find that higher costs are forcing farmers to farm more acreage?
Yes. As machinery and labor costs escalate, we need to spread those costs over more acres.
— DAVE HINTON