Elgin Farmer Brings Family Back On The Farm [PHOTO TOUR]
When driving through the countryside just outside of Elgin, it’s easy to miss the driveway for Wenger Family Farms. But those that know where they are looking are welcomed onto a farm that exemplifies care standards, not only to their animals but to the environment.
On Thursday, Wenger Family Farms was presented with the Wergin Good Farm Neighbor Award for leadership in their community and the agriculture industry.
The farm was founded back in 1886 and received its Century Farm distinction back in 1988. It is a sixth-generation operation that is now owned and operated by Aaron and Kali Wenger.
Both Aaron and Kali’s families had ties to agriculture. While Kali grew up on her family farm and Aaron did not. Arron gives credit to the community and different organizations that helped him and his wife come back to the operation.
I came back to an operation that skipped generations and there was a lot of need for improvements and a lot of need for modernization.
Wenger Family Farm raises corn, soybeans, and alfalfa, as well as has a custom swine feeding operation and beef herd.
Kali grew up on a dairy farm and has also been able to help when it comes to adjusting to farm life.
There have definitely been moments where I give a little hint or an idea of something- back and forth like that- but it's definitely helped. When we moved up here when we first got married, adjusting back to farm life was easy and exciting.
Growing up, Aaron would spend time on the farm during the summer. Aaron says that he had several family members working on the farm and he wanted to help to do what they were doing, whether it was bailing hay or vaccinating cattle.
Aaron and Kali are raising three boys on the farm, teaching them the value of hard work and pride in their family’s legacy. Aaron says that raising his kids with a farming lifestyle gives them the chance to live through them.
I try to keep that childlike perspective of what they get to do and the kind of a thing that I missed out on. It's just fun to help see them grow, it helps their minds adapt to animal agriculture and agriculture in general.
Looking toward the future, Aaron says he wants to be able to give his sons the opportunity to take over the farm if they choose. He says he never wants to be in the position where he has to say he can’t do anything.
Listen to hear more about the Wenger's story: