Wayne Trace Farms has been our lifelong dream. We both grew up on very small family farms and were instilled with the simple love of agriculture and a traditional agricultural life style. We have dedicated our educations, careers, professions, and lives to the passion of revitalizing the family farm. While the next generation of family farms may look different, they must be rooted in the traditional family farm values. However, without means of growing either family farm into the vision we have, we have struck out to create the farm we envision.
The farm we envision is one that blends the responsible adoption of modern crop and livestock production knowledge and practices with the strengths of traditional farming methods. We see the combining of the successful aspects of contemporary and traditional agricultural practices, while weeding out the wasteful practices, as the key to future growth of Wayne Trace Farms.
The farm we envision is centered on the family and community. While farming is a time sensitive activity, we take time for all members of the farming team. If our tractors are sitting still on a sunny spring day when we should be planting, you will find us at the local baseball diamond rooting on the Wayne Trace Farms sponsored Hoagland Indiana Youth League Team. We relish the days when the children outnumber the adults on the farm, we believe that the key to the future of agriculture lies in the hands of the children.
The farm we envision is driven by learning. The reality today is that less than 2% of Americans are involved with agriculture, while this is alarming, the more critical issue is the rapid decline in the consumer’s understanding of agricultural practices. We thrive on educating ourselves on improved farming methods, while taking the time to educate the non-farming community on the realities of farming methods. We feel that the future of American agriculture heavily depends on education of the consumer about farming practices.
The farm we envision is focused on equitable partnerships. Whether an agreement is over the sale of a dozen of eggs, purchasing inputs, or negotiating land rent, our goal is open and direct communications that result in an equitable agreement for everyone involved. This resounds throughout all aspects of the farming operation, as we strive to grow, we want the same for anyone we interact or do business with.
The farm we envision is dedicated to stewardship of the land. We see potential in land that other farmers pass by, we see what land can be, not what it is. We identify conservation challenges with every piece of land we manage and then utilize experience and contacts to work with local, state, and federal resources to find solutions to these challenges. We adopt no-till wherever practical. We intensively manage soil fertility; we want the fertility of the soil to improve and the water leaving the land cleaner under our management. We are driven to increase yields and reduce fertilizer inputs, which reduce production costs and environmental impact, while building soil fertility through adoption of creative and contemporary nutrient management practices. We believe that this is possible through improved efficiency in fertilizer use.
The farm we envision is sustainable. Many aspects of our profitability are not within our control, this includes weather and the markets, so we look to flexibility and diversification to ensure that the farm endures. The poultry products we produce are based on what consumers want, not on what is the marketing buzz word of the day. Many of our customers were purchasing certified organic, cage-free, free-range, etc. products, not because of the fear of a given feed input or animal treatment, but rather based on the assumption that these product equate to a healthy and safe food supply. For many consumers, this is the best they can do given that they cannot ask questions to address their concerns with the practices used to raise food products. Our customers want locally raised, fresh products that they can feed to their families, knowing exactly where the food came from and how it was raised. If a consumer of a locally raised product like ours has a concern or question on how a food product is raised, they can reach out to us and have an open discussion to address their concerns. If the desire of the customer changes, at our scale we have the flexibility in our operation to adjust accordingly.
What is your vision of a family farm? Do you love agriculture and the land as much as we do? Do you want farmers with experience and knowledge tending to your land and food sources for the next generation? Do you want to be treated honestly and fairly as consumer or land owner? Are you ready to be part of the next generation of family farms?
Jamie and Traci Bultemeier