Marty Buoy and Becky Lenz reflect on their lives as farmers, remembering the joys of working together with family and the importance of Farm Credit’s support.
For Marty, farming is synonymous with collaboration. “If everybody in the group is willing to give selflessly to the operation, it's going to work. But it's a conscious decision to do that,” Marty said.
One way that the Lenz’s collaborate on the farm is in the face of crisis. For example, Marty explains how when a storm is coming, everyone on the farm works together towards the common goal of getting the crop out of the field before it gets destroyed. “When we focus everybody in one direction, it is mind blowing what we can get done” he said.
The Lenz’s also collaborate by sharing knowledge. As a family farm, the transfer of land and assets from generation to generation is important for the longevity of the business, and so is the sharing of information and experiences. “In a generational farm, we find that the older guys have learned a lot of hard lessons that the younger guys don't have to learn,” Becky said.
In good times and bad
In addition to working together among family members, Lenz Farms has been working with Premier Farm Credit since the 1970s. Marty recalled the tension of his family members in conversation with their Premier loan officers during the 1980s farm crisis. In the end, Farm Credit stood beside Lenz Farm, establishing a relationship that has lasted decades.
“The 80s were a rough stretch, but Farm Credit stuck with our family and got us through it. There was a loyalty created at that point that can't be broken,” Marty said.
Becky added, “The biggest value Premier has is the consistency. We know they're going to be there at any time for us. They help us expand and keep going in the bad years.”
What it means to be a farmer
Reflecting on her decision to become a farmer, Becky said, “It's great way of life. I feel good that we actually produce something that benefits people.”
For Marty, the beauty in the agricultural he’s chosen is the ability to start afresh each season. “I've always said the nice thing about farming is you always get to wipe the slate clean. Every year you reset and learn from what you did wrong last year and try something new,” he said.