For the VanOrden family, farming is their favorite hobby.
Morgan VanOrden established their family farm in 1938 and passed it on to his sons who are now in the process of passing it down to the next generation. VanOrden Enterprises produces potatoes, wheat and sugar beets.
A way of life
“The farm is a huge part of our family identity. It’s been in the family for so long that it’s become a part of us” said Jeff VanOrden. When people ask about their hobbies or what they do for fun, speaking for the family Jeff simply replies, “We farm. That’s all we have time for and we enjoy it.”
The fun of farming, however, comes with sacrifices too. Agriculture, and especially the business of growing potatoes, requires a great deal of financial investment due to the need for specialized equipment specific to the industry.
“If you’re starting up from scratch, there’s a lot of money you have to spend, in the millions, to get all the equipment, the ground, everything that you’ll need to make it functional,” said Chad VanOrden.
And these prices only continue to increase. Mike Van Orden, who is part of the second generation on the farm, commented on the challenges facing his sons and nephews as they take over the operation: “One of the aspects that they’ve had to deal with is the increased expenses of farming, the production costs going into the crops have grown exponentially.”
A trusted partner
Thanks to Farm Credit, the VanOrdens have a trusted financial partner. The family has been working with Idaho AgCredit branch manager, Katie Wallace, for the past 13 years. Katie said, “I’ve known the Van Orden family for quite some time and at Idaho AgCredit we’re proud to be able to customize farm operating plans and help them through the highs and lows of their markets, their production and their operations as a whole.”
This degree of support and flexibility through good times and bad has proved to be very valuable to VanOrden Enterprises. Shane said, “Whether it’s from growing crops to raising cattle, livestock, whatever it is, Farm Credit is part of the agriculture world. And in our experience, Farm Credit has our backs.”
A new generation
Looking towards the future, the next generation even of VanOrdens is already dreaming about when it’s their turn to own the farm. Shane’s eldest daughter tells him that someday she’s going to own the farm. To that, Shane replies, “All the more power to ya.”