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Why I Farm

BECK'S WHY I FARM ROADTRIP - Arizona FARMER, Jeff Knobloch

Published on Monday, April 24, 2017

Jeff Knobloch grew up on a farm in Minnesota where his dad raised corn, soybeans and cattle. As a kid, Jeff participated in 4-H and FFA. He’s always enjoyed agriculture, but about two years ago, his dad sold the farm. “That's kinda how I ended up here.” Jeff says looking over the irrigated acres he cares for at Riverview’s Coronado Farm.

 

 

Riverview is a large farm with sites in New Mexico, Nebraska, Minnesota, South Dakota and Arizona. “This whole thing started in 1995.” Jeff explains. “It was a family farm looking to expand to get all three sons on the farm. Actually, 70 percent of the company is employee-owned. There's 320 investors, give or take a few, and they're either employees, family, or neighbors of our farms.”

“It's kinda cool for me because I've been here since we built this place.” Jeff explains. “I've been grateful for the opportunity to be down here. I own a part of the company. It's not a big part, but for me, my dad sold the farm so I didn't have anything I could go to. I didn't have any equipment that I could rent from him. Land is a lot more expensive up in Minnesota than it is here. Just to get into farming would have been a fortune. Here I can invest what I have and slowly build it that way instead of having a million dollar loan over my head.”

 

 

After working in the North on different farms part time, Jeff moved south near Wilcox, Arizona to begin a full-time position. “My responsibilities are in the agronomy section. Day to day, I'm the lead equipment operator. I'm usually in a tractor or fixing something. That's the fun part of farming in my opinion.” Jeff smiles.

At Coronado, the crops Jeff raises (like corn) are fed to the calves, heifers and cows. He’s proud to play his part in a big picture. “Some of the best moments I've had, are when we finished planting, or seeding, because a lot of that is my control. I'm the one who's actually going out and seeding it. When all the corn rows come up straight and everything is up with no skips, that's my point of pride. It doesn’t take much to make me happy.” Jeff laughs.

“I feel like ag has a big story to tell. A lot of people go about it in many different ways, and mine is just telling people what I do. I get to go out and say, you know what, I helped produce this much feed, and that went into the dairy cows, and they produced this much milk, and it's on your table now.”

 

 

But, even on large farms working with weather and equipment can have its challenges. "I don't have too many tough days, but when they do come around, the nice thing about working here is I've got a lot of people I can talk to that will lift you up and get you going again. 'Tomorrow is always going to be better.' There are days I've been covered from head to toe in manure, and think, 'What am I doing?!' But you go home, clean up, wake up and come back the next day and you realize, I love what I'm doing and one day isn't going to take that away from me. Farming has its ups and downs, but that's just part of the ride."

At the end of the day, farming is where Jeff’s heart is. “I farm because I love it. It's in my blood. There's nothing else I'd rather be doing.”

That’s why Jeff Knobloch farms.

 

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