Friday, May 1, 2015

I Am Indiana Agriculture: Kristin Flora

By Sarah Mahan of This Farm Family's Life

Kristin Flora and her husband Justin live in Avon with their 1 ½ year-old son, Gunner and are expecting a baby due in October.  Justin owns Flora Brothers Painting, along with his brother.  Kristin is a Purdue University graduate with a degree in Agribusiness Management and a minor in Communications.  She was very active in the College of Agriculture while at Purdue and continues to be active on campus by speaking in classes and at club meetings.  “I recently participated in the Leaders in Action program through Indiana Farm Bureau and had the opportunity to visit our Senators, Congressmen, and Congresswomen to lobby about issues that affect the agriculture industry.  It was a neat experience to be able to not just learn about issues, but be able to make our voice heard and make a difference.”

After Kristin’s parents graduated from Purdue University, they purchased their family farm shortly after she was born.  The farm is a  1,000  sow farrow-to-finish operation that markets approximately 20,000 pigs each year, and is still owned and managed by Kristin’s father and employs 8 people.  Kristin and her two other siblings were homeschooled through grade school “allowing more time to be spent following her dad around and learning the ropes.” 

“One of the fondest memories that I have from growing up on the farm is always feeling a sense of responsibility for the success of the farm.  I had chores from the time I could walk that taught me to always pull my weight and see what needed to be done.  I was blessed with parents who were very financially wise.  Rather than receiving an allowance, I was paid an hourly rate for my farm chores.  I would save up my hours and turn them in a month at a time.  My mom took me to the bank to cash my paycheck in small bills.  We would then divide the amount up and put 10% in the ‘church tithe’ envelope, 50% in the ‘college’ envelope and I was able to keep the remaining 40% as spending money.  With my 10 years of showing hogs in 4-H and taking a foods project that was sold in the auction, I would tithe 10% to our church and put the remaining 90% into my college savings account.  Although I thought all of these rules were completely unfair at the time, I am very thankful that I was able to cash flow all 4 years at Purdue with scholarships, college savings, and working between classes.  This gave me a leg up in the real world.”

While farming is in Kristin’s blood, she also gets to work with farmers every day.  A Corn Specialist for AgriGold Hybrids, Kristin works with growers to suggest the best hybrid seed choice with their ground.  “I love taking the time to sit down with my growers and make a field-by-field plan of what hybrid will be planted, what populations to plant at, and how to manage its nutrients throughout the growing season.  I scout their fields over the summer to check plant health and growth and to learn more about that field for future seed recommendations.”

Kristin wishes that others could see the heart that farmers put into their operations.  “One of the things I enjoy most about working with farmers is seeing their passion for what they do.  Farming isn’t just an 8 to 5 job behind a computer.  They care about their animals, about their land and the future.  Sharing in that passion has provided me not only a financially rewarding career, but more importantly, an emotionally fulfilling career.”

1 comment:

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