“My dad is still very much involved with the farm. I draw on his experience and knowledge.”Adam Howell
Name: Adam Howell
Location: Middletown, Indiana
Years farming: I’ve been making my living here for 11 years, but I grew up on the farm and have been working here for the last 30 years – or since I was old enough to help.
My family: My wife’s name is Keri and we have three daughters. Lauren is six, Lilly is two, and is Anna 8-months-old. We farm with my parents, David and Mary, my brother Aaron and his wife Katy, my sister and brother-in-law Audrey and Mike Behrendt, and sister Amanda Howell, as well as non-family member Doug Biehl and his wife, Jennifer, who have five children.
How I came to be a farmer: I grew up on a farm and probably knew all along that I would eventually farm myself. I did not know that I would come back immediately after college. I went to an Ivy League school and was considering investment banking or consulting. Only late in my senior year did I realize that I couldn’t imagine myself doing anything else. Although I have always enjoyed the “fun” physical part of farming, the draw, even at that age, was to work in a family business that was far more important to me than any other business in which I could have been employed.
The best thing about being a farmer: The best things about farming are the simple things. Our farm is not a traditional Indiana corn and soybean farm where there are two busy seasons that last a total of about three months. We work lots of hours year round, but I am fortunate enough to be working for and with family. In this business we are reminded of our dependence on God daily. This provides constant lessons for young children. No matter what the stresses of surviving and growing a business may be, on any given day we get the opportunity for those to be washed away by a nice looking field, a sunset, or a laughing child that we get to sit with at lunch.
My personal philosophy on farming: I am tired of it being some kind of revelation to people that “farming is a business.” Of course farming is a business -- the business that I personally happen to enjoy and care more about than any other industry. Farm business managers have been working for years to succeed in growing their business and feeding their family from their profits. Modern agriculture is where this has brought us. It is a risky business that we are willing to participate in. Let us pursue these interests and succeed or fail just like any other American business. It is a rare industry in that most of these businesses happen to be multi-generational family businesses. That is an added benefit held over from tradition.
For more information about corn farming in Indiana, please visit www.incorn.org