ERHARD, Minn. — There is no denying that the landscape of agriculture has changed over time. From once using horses to plow the fields, to now using precision agriculture to get the job done, the ag industry has transformed itself for the world to see. The farmers of yesterday that tilled the ground with their bare hands were planting roots for future generations of agriculturalists.
In Erhard, Minn., the Field family is dedicated to nourishing those roots, even 100 years after they were planted.
A family affair
Mitch and Ben Field grew up immersed in agriculture. Being the fifth generation tied to their family’s farm, which originated in 1913, the ag industry quickly became second nature.
“My mom always tells me my first sentence was ‘go see cows,’” Mitch Field said.
Mitch sells minerals for VitaFerm and is a salesman for the Bobcat dealership located in Fergus Falls, Minn., while Ben is a product support specialist for Intelligent Ag, located in Fargo, N.D.
“The heat and humidity have been pushing things along in the fields. It’s been pretty stellar. We’ve been lucky enough to get about an inch of rain a week,” Mitch Field said.
The Field family uses their alfalfa crop as forage for their registered Black Angus cattle operation. Any additional alfalfa they harvest is normally kept back for future forage for their herd or sold to local farmers in the area.
A new venture
The Field family uses artificial insemination with their herd and credits AI for the genetic quality in their herd.
“We saw an opportunity to increase the genetic quality of our herd in a short period of time, which is what made us want to do AI,” Ben said.
The herd encompasses 150 registered Black Angus. The majority of their offspring is sold private treaty to customers in North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota for breeding stock.
For the brothers, the cattle operation gives them a sense of excitement.
The brothers now have youth in the area show their cattle, as they are now too old to show themselves, something they grew up doing. The Fields showed in their county fair and local open shows. They even brought home some purple ribbons from the Minnesota State Fair.
They pride themselves on customer service, making sure to go the extra mile for their customers.
“We try really hard to go above what our customer base needs,” Mitch Field said.
In the future, the Field brothers hope to expand their cattle operation to 200 to 250 cows, and they envision an even herd that is profitable to the farm. They also look forward to stepping into the industry as the cattlemen of tomorrow.
As some generations chose to find their footing elsewhere, leaving the farm, the Field brothers plan to be tending to their farm’s roots for decades to come.