I was born 38 years ago into a farming family. I have fond memories of my childhood on the farm. I remember helping with sorting pigs back when my dad had a small farrow to finish hog operation. This means we had sow’s that gave birth to baby pigs and we raised them until maturity and sold them to market. I also have memories of riding in tractors and the combine that seemed so big and massive at that young age. Then I moved to town with my mom and spent the majority of my formidable years as a city kid that only had marginal association to the farm. I give this brief but powerful insight into my childhood because now that I have a family of my own I understand as a father what those experiences and memories mean to me as a father as well as what they mean to my own children.
My family has come a long way from when I was a child when we farrowed those 80-100 sows and raised pigs all while planting 1000 acres of corn and soybeans. Over the years we have since stopped raising hogs and are now only crop farmers. Today on an annual basis we plant approximately 6500 acres of corn and soybeans. I say ‘we’ because our operation consists of 5 families, my dad Gary Willimack and his wife Tamra, Brent and Jessica Willimack and their daughter Addison, Jayson and Megan Willimack and their daughter Greyson, Scott and Kassidy Willimack, and myself Matt Willimack and my wife Amanda and our children Mairead and Owen.
I started farming with my family not long after my work off of the farm allowed us the ability to move back to DeWitt which I call home. I now work for Grain Processing Corporation in Muscatine, IA in addition to farming with my family. I started farming with my family because my father Gary has worked hard for many years to build a farming operation that could provide opportunities for his son’s to be a part of production agriculture. We now all work together for common goals. Some of those goals are things like:
- Creating a livelihood for those families involved in the operation
- Being good stewards of the land, i.e. using technology to be as efficient with things like seed, fertilizer, and chemicals to produce quality grain that helps feed a growing world.
- Keep land conservation in the forefront. Strive to leave our mark on the environment as better quality land, water, and air for the next generation.
- Perpetuating the legacy my Dad and even my grandfather started by giving their children the opportunity to farm.
- Raising our children to understand and appreciate agriculture and how the food they eat gets to the table.
We take pride in the fact that we continue to be a farming family. Our business is farming, but we are a family first, and we hope that our farming business stays that way for generations to come.
Matt Willimack, Agriculture Enthusiast