The Face of NY Agriculture
Humphreys FarmNew Hartford, NY
Humphrey's is a 4th generation family farm, which produces crops.
Can you describe your operation?
Humphreys Farm is a 4th generation family farm and is located in New Hartford, New York. We are a crop farm that grows green beans, corn, wheat and soybeans.
What is your role on the farm?
As on any family farm, roles are always changing to get the task completed. I plant, and then harvest the crops when they are ready.
How has the industry changed since you started?
Not much has changed in the past six years that I have been back on the farm, other than more efficient ways of crop farming. The use of technology, no till planting and less pesticide use are some examples. A lot has changed since I was a kid on the farm. Machines have gotten bigger and more efficient and seed technology has also changed dramatically.
How do you incorporate technology into your operation?
We have GPS units inside a few of our tractors that use satellite guidance to steer them. This is especially used for planting and field work. Other implements have monitors on them to track seed count and more accurate acreage counting.
What is the biggest challenge facing the agricultural industry in New York State?
The weather and rising costs. Weather affects everything we do on the farm, from planting, to harvesting and everything in between. The rising costs of taxes, seed, fuel, property taxes and equipment are a few major challenges that we face today.
What is the biggest opportunity?
One of the biggest opportunities for me is getting to meet so many new people throughout New York State. I meet many farmers and their employees as well as meeting people through Farm Bureau. It is important as a farmer to network and get to know other farmers because we work together and help one another whenever possible.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
Harvesting the crops that I grow is very fulfilling and knowing that they are going to feed America. Satisfaction is a full trailer load of green beans.
If young people are interested in getting into farming, what would you suggest would be the best way to get started?
Start working on a farm to see what it is all about and take any available agricultural classes in school.
Why is Farm Bureau important to you?
Farm Bureau is there to support farmers and help them out when in need. They do a lot to show the general public what agriculture is all about and I think it is important that people understand the process of how crops are harvested and where their food comes from.