Inspiration

Everyday Heroes - Farmer


Grainger Editorial Staff

Meet Trent Sanderson, a 7th generation farmer and Everyday Hero. For his family, farming is a way of life. But in the 21st century, farming isn't just about tractors, horses and hay bales, it's about using data to manage resources for the best possible outcome in a changing global and economical environment. Efficiency, resourcefulness and respect for the land are values that the Sanderson family have carried with them throughout the generations and that's what makes them Everyday Heroes.

 

It's a part of our heritage. It's who we are. I can't picture us doing anything else. We will go broke farming before we absolutely have to find something else to do.

My name is Trent Sanderson. I'm 25. I am a seventh generation farmer. I manage data, so I'm a computer geek for agriculture as it turns out. So, I'm tracking everything that we do in our all of our fields as well as for other local growers.

We're here on our farm. We raise corn, soybeans, wheat and we also raise our own hay. We have about a 50 head of cattle that we raise, cow-calf operation. Also on our farm, my uncle and my grandfather, we sell seed corn and seed beans to local growers as well. So, we're as seed distribution in the spring time.

Typically, we're planting by the beginning of May, late April, depending on the growing season. Sometimes mother nature allows us to plant earlier. Sometimes it's later, so we're at her fingertips and controls. And then as the growing season goes through in the fall, we'll harvest starting right about now, beginning of October on average, late September, again, depending on how our summer was.

We have to be patient and play the cards we were dealt from that standpoint. Then we have computers in all of our tractors that are tracking what we're doing and it's also controlling what we're doing. So, in the planter tractor, I set up my computer monitor to plant so many seeds per acre in each specific field.

So, I'm riding what's called a prescription, just like the doctor would write you a prescription for something, I'm doing the same thing for our fields for everything that we apply. So as we're harvesting, we're keeping track. Every second, it tracks how many bushels per acre we're producing in that spot in the field. It gives it a color scheme map, so when we're done at the end of the year, we'll take a look at those maps and we'll apply those over our soil types. And from that information, we generate those kinds of prescriptions that drive how much product we put in the fields.

What we're trying to do is be the most efficient. We're trying to take care of the land and provide the most product possible, whether that's the corn we grow or the beef cattle we raise. We do everything ethically. We give back to the best of our ability. And not that we can't be better tomorrow, not to say that, but we're constantly getting better and better at what we do.

We're our own mechanics, our own consultants. We're our own book keepers. We're a self sufficient farm ourselves and we need each and every one of us to build and keep moving forward.

Again, it's who we are and we're very proud of what we do. I love it. I wouldn't have it any other way. 

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