WINDFALL, Ind. — Scott Smith prioritizes his life by keeping
faith, family and farming at the top of his list.
With all three of these in mind, he entered and won the
Beck’s Hybrids “Why I Farm” Competition, part of a movement to tell the stories
of American farmers.
What he gained from the experience turned out to be much
more than a chance to tell his story. Smith and his family gained the
opportunity to help others in need. They donated part of their winnings to two
Smith shared his experience, and the reason why he farms,
Q: Why do you farm?
A: It’s the love for faming and where my roots are. Both my
parents and grandparents farmed, and it is what I grew up doing. I am very
fortunate to be the third generation of our family farm and given the
opportunity to pass this to our children and grandson. Every season is a new
challenge, and some years are better than others. But you endure it.
You remember farming is bigger than you. What you do
benefits so many people, including yourself. It’s a gift God has given us the
ability to do. That’s why I farm.
Q: Why did you decide to donate to
others, after winning “Why I Farm?”
A: There was never a question of donating, but just of how
we would give back.
I read the story of Joshua Jank on the Why I Farm website
and viewed his televised story. After watching it, I was touched. Joshua who has
a terminal illness, but the dying desire to help a 13-year-old boy named Jing
find a family to adopt him. I saw it, and I felt a conviction to help him.
One of my longtime employees lost his wife to cancer in
March, so we also wanted to help him. He lost his health insurance that he was
receiving through her employment. Now his health insurance is covered for the
Q: Does it feel good to give
A: It is always a blessing to “pay it forward,” to help
someone else in need.
Q: Tell me about your farm.
A: We grow 3,200 acres of corn and soybeans, including seed
beans for Beck’s Hybrids and processing tomatoes for Red Gold.
My sister-in-law, daughter, nephew and wife all work here.
We have many seasonal workers return here, too.
Q: What are some of the challenges
A: Many things — weather, marketing, labor, just to mention
a few. Also living a balanced life. You can have a tendency to be a workaholic
to the point where you don’t take enough time for family, church or a little
But there are seasons for everything. And it’s planting
season, so we’re really all-in to plant. But on the other hand, there are things
like Mother’s Day that you need to take time out and enjoy. I make sure everyone
who works here gets time off. But we still work hard.
My daughter says, “We don’t quit when we’re tired — we quit
when we’re done.”
Q: How has farming changed in your
A: Technology. Today we use mechanical harvesting instead of
handpick for the processing tomatoes we grow for Red Gold. Reduced tillage
passes, global positioning equipment for accuracy and rates used for
prescription fertility, pesticide applications and planting rates. All of these
things are sustainable farming investments for the future.
Q: Is it important for farmers to
have a voice in the community?
A: Yes, nobody can tell the story of food production better
than the farmer who grows it. We plant the crops and see it from the beginning
to end. It is a blessing to see God’s work at hand.