Thursday, September 25, 2014

We Are Indiana Agriculture: Maple Family Farms

By Sarah Mahan of This Farm Family's Life

Denny Maple and his wife Rita have been married for 41 years.  Their corn and soybean farm and wean-to-finish hog operation is located in eastern Howard County.  “Our farm was started in the early 1900s by Rita’s grandparents,” Denny explains.  “My father-in-law continued farming until the early ‘70s when Rita and I continued to grow the farm to what it is today.”

Denny and Rita are the proud parents of Bart, a Purdue-trained construction engineer who lives in Texas with his family, and is part owner and president of a construction company; Ryan, a Purdue graduate in mechanical engineering, who lives in Lafayette with his family, where he works for Cat; and Tiffany, who lives in Hanover, where her husband is a visiting professor of Physics at Hanover College.  Tiffany has a degree in elementary education.

“I grew up on a grain and livestock farm with three brothers and one sister and all we knew was hard work and farming.  There are two times that are really important and satisfying to me, and that is in the spring at planting and in the fall at harvest.  Planting is so important in getting the crop started and having a good stand so you have a chance for a good crop.  Then in the fall, at harvest, to see everything come together with a good crop--although sometimes that doesn’t work out that way--with bad weather.  Harvest is really the most important; whether harvesting grain or harvesting livestock, it’s time that you measure how well you did.”

As the current president of the Indiana Corn Marketing Council (ICMC), Denny says that his duties include sharing the Council’s story and how ICMC’s efforts work to support corn farmers and identify new uses for the farming staple.

“Every generation we get further and further from production agriculture and how farmers produce food and how we care for the land and livestock.  As world population continues to grow, it’s our job to produce a more high-quality and safe food for this population to eat.  It’s sad that we allow special interest groups to tell our story when they don’t really know our story of how we care for our land and livestock to produce the best and highest quality food in the world.”

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