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"Dad was farming with his brother at that time. And as the kids were getting older, they split to start separate operations. He knew as the sons were coming up that he needed to expand at that time, and so he started acquiring more land. And that allowed us to come back, each of the sons. And we just kind of progressed on from there and that's kind of the direction that we're going so that our kids can now, the next generation is able to stay on the farm and continue to farm…
     "You needed to have more acres, more bushels to be able to continue to grow. You know, if you weren't growing you were kind of going backwards. And so, just the need for more acres and to handle more bushels…
     "This year we happen to be all corn and mainly the majority of it is all irrigated. And that keeps everybody pretty busy."
     [Question:] "Can you give me some numbers? How many acres, how many irrigated acres, how many pivots, how many gravity irrigation?"
     "The majority of it is pivots. It would be over 100 irrigation pivot systems. There is some gravity, some that we just do the corners and the few places that are gravity irrigated."
     [Question:] "And how many acres?"
     "That, I guess I'd rather not be – "
     [Question:] "Can you characterize it?"
     "It would be over 10,000 acres. There's four families that are involved, and we have three of the next generation of the boys that are back out of college or that are in college and are working on the farm."
     [Question:] "So, is there a place for the small farmer anymore?"
     "Oh I think so. I think there's some specialized markets, some specialized crops. There's a lot of people that have jobs in town that it's a nice fit for them to have weekend or evenings to farm, and I think there's opportunities for them at that. But it is a challenge to find the right situation and find land."

Mark Kaliff – Growing Bigger

   

Excerpts from Mark & Valerie’s Interview:

The Bust of the 80s
Government Subsidies
Women on the Farm
Rural Lifestyles Today
Mysteries in the Country
Growing Monocultures
Efficiencies with Pivots
Mining Groundwater
Farm Equipment Innovation
Tractor Technology
Conservation Tillage
Computers on the Farm