Dave Lowe farms 1200 acres of corn, soybeans and seed beans in Jay and Blackford counties. While he doesn’t raise any livestock, he fertilizes his crops with hog manure that he gets from the hog farm run by his daughter Erin. The manure adds a “natural nutrient” back to the soil.
Dave is a fourth-generation farmer and is currently raising the sixth generation as his 14-year-old grandson helps with the day-to-day operations on the farm. When asked what he enjoys most about farming, Dave replied, “Seeing your crop come out of the ground for the first time is exciting. Some years aren’t as exciting,” with a slight laugh. “Harvest is my favorite time, because I am able to see the reward from the fruit of my labor. I love being in the combine!”
In December, Dave was elected President of Indiana Soybean Alliance (ISA). Previously, Dave served as Vice President for two years. Dave oversees the board which is made up of 24 members from 4 districts. His responsibilities are to conduct meetings, give direction, advise committee members and urge them to “think outside the box.” He also makes certain that the ISA spends checkoff dollars wisely.
The checkoff is a pool of money that soybean farmers pay into themselves to support their industry through research to improve crops and to develop new uses for soybeans (like candle wax and crayons).
While Dave says that serving as President can be time consuming, it is also very rewarding. “Farmers are natural introverts. It is exciting for me to see farmers come on the board and when they see what we do, they become more outgoing. It is important for farmers to share their story, because people are getting the wrong story. They are just like everyone else--families going to church and doing their jobs.”
Modern agriculture is very different than it was 30 years ago. Dave explained, “We can’t farm 300 acres and support three families like we could several years ago. Today, it takes 1200 acres or more to support them. We farm in the most economical and sustainable way. “
Dave and his wife Linda have been married for 41 years and are the proud parents of three children, Erin, Justin, and Rachel. “I am a farmer and have raised crops for several years, but our kids are the best crop we have ever raised!”