People of Monroe County: Jason Clark

I owned my first tractor when I was fourteen. And then I farmed pretty much my whole life
ever since. It’s something you gotta be committed to,
married to, you gotta love doing it. And, you know, you got to know what you’re
doing. If you count everything [I’ve got] probably
1300 acres. Most of it is leased ground. I plant wheat and try to sell straw for, you
know, summer time income. And then I feed cattle through the winter
and try to make extra money doing that. And then, inside this shop, I try to, or well,
I can keep busy working on my own stuff. But, you know, I do work on other people’s
things when I get time. I practice a lot of no-till farming and I
do a few cover-crops. I would do more of it if I had the time to
do it, seems like I’m always on a gotta-keep-moving schedule and it’s all I can do to get done
what I’ve got to do. If I can do extra, I try to do extra, but
I don’t have a whole lot of help. And, a lot of the help that I did have, they’re
growing up now. My wife, Tonya, she’ll help me move equipment,
she brings lunch to the field a lot, dinner, doing things at home for me whenever I’m gone
in the field. And, all my kids have done that. I got a ten-year-old boy that’s helping me. He really enjoys it. And, you know, if there’s something here for
him, for both of us I should say, I hope there could be, or will be, but I don’t know. I’d hate to see somebody go through what I’ve
went through to keep doing it. But, on the other hand, it’s an enjoyable
life if you can make a living doing it. There was a few years it was pretty good and
then there’s been a few years here lately where it’s not been so good. I try to have, by rule of thumb, a third of
my crop forward contracted by the time I’m done planting. And, then I kind of watch what it does through
the summer and try to watch the prices and maybe sell more. And I don’t want to try to sell more than
what I have available. Cause you’re dealing with weather, prices
that you can’t control, you can’t control the weather, and now-days you’re dealing more
with people. That’s watching what you’re doing. And, in the area I farm at, that’s kind of
starting to become a big concern. Probably half of my fields have got at least
one house somewhere close to them. When you’re doing a project like farming,
everything don’t always turn out. Just farm with the best practice that you
know of suitable for what you’re doing at the time.

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