RENSSELAER, Ind. — Kendell Culp, a farmer from Rensselaer, was appointed to serve on the Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee for the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
His focus will be on trade in grains, feed, planting seeds and oilseeds.
Culp will serve in this capacity until June 14, 2023.
“From a policy standpoint, we need to collaborate with other agricultural organizations and industry partners to promote and protect our industry and producers,” Culp said.
“We need to be vocal and vigilant in our efforts to advance our agenda and promotional efforts.”
Congress established the advisory committee system in 1974 to ensure that U.S. agricultural trade policy objectives reflect U.S. public- and private-sector commercial and economic interests.
Culp shared his story with AgriNews.
What will your duties include on the committee?
The purpose is to give our advice and thoughts to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and Trade Ambassador Robert Lighthizer pertaining to trade for those grains, feed, seed and oilseed crops.
What are the benefits of volunteering for a group like this?
I hope to give them my perspective as a producer on the farm. It’s important that our voice be heard and our individual story or experiences be told to the government.
It’s not another entity or organization speaking on behalf of their members. This is a farmer telling what is taking place and how they’re directly impacted on the farm. I think that’s really important.
Tell me about your farm.
We’re located in northwest Indiana in Rensselaer. We’re a family farm. My son is the fifth generation. We’re a diversified farm with grain and livestock.
Mainly corn and soybeans with a little bit of wheat, then beef cattle and hogs, as well. We’re an independent hog finisher, which makes us a little more unique.
How was planting this spring?
We have a lot of firsts with planting on our farm. We started in April. We had a three-day window to start planting. Then we got rained out and got a little bit more done in May as far as corn goes.
We finished up in June. We got our beans planted in June. I’ve never planted corn in June before. I’ve never had to take three months to get corn completed.
How is the crop looking so far?
Our early April corn looks really good. We did have some water damage. A lot of corn we put in the ground two weeks ago. It came up pretty nicely — uniform stand.
That corn looks really good — if it was late May. But late June? Our concern is what our fall is going to look like. Will there be enough growing degree days to mature the crop?
What do you enjoy most about farming?
I enjoy the challenge and the independence of being a farmer. Mostly, it’s the ability to farm with my family members.
As a family farm, we take a lot of pride in that. We look back at the generations who have farmed before us and look forward to future generations.
That’s probably most rewarding, to farm with your family and grow a commodity that you know is going to provide sustenance and nutrition for people all over the world who depend on the U.S. farmer.