Beck's Blog

From Our Family Farm to Yours

25

Jul

2018

Outdoors with Mike Roux: Facts About Crankbaits

Author: Mike Roux

I made the cast well beyond where I knew the submerged brush pile laid. As the summer air was warm, I assumed the bass would be suspended around the structure. The water was 12 feet deep and I was finding the bass roughly eight to nine feet down.   

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9

May

2018

Why I Farm: Spring Around the Country

Now that the weather has finally warmed up, farmers and ranchers around the country have been preparing for a new season.Here’s what spring looks like for some of our Why I Farm Roadtrip featured farmers around the country.

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6

Feb

2018

We Are Beck's: Clayton Stufflebeam's Custom Toy Tractor Weathering

When Clayton Stufflebeam isn’t working as PFR Location Lead at our new PFR site in El Paso, Illinois, you might find him playing with his toy tractors. In 2013, Clayton picked up the hobby of weathering toy tractors. Weathering is a specialization of customizing these tractors, where the finished product looks like it was just put up after harvest after years of work. The end result is a life-like, and often sentimental, representation of a tractor the way it once was.

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14

Dec

2017

We Are Beck's: Neoga Location Spotlight

Halfway between Indianapolis and St. Louis, a small-but-mighty seed processing facility pops out of the prairie in the town of Neoga, Illinois. Beck’s Hybrids has been exclusively processing seed at Neoga since 2009, when Beck’s alliance with Brown Seed Enterprises was formed. Beck’s invested in an equipment overhaul and soon was producing high-quality, Escalate™-treated soybeans and wheat for the western part of our marketing region. Jim Herr, Beck’s processing manager, oversees all processing facilities and had this to say of Neoga, “The team at Neoga has fit into the Beck’s culture so easily over the past few years that it seems like they’ve been a part of Beck’s forever.”

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1

Dec

2017

We Are Beck's

Employee Spotlight | Bill Freitag

Beck’s follows the hiring philosophy of “get the right people on the bus,” and then “get people into the right seat on the bus”. It isn’t unusual for employees to enter new roles in various departments as they grow and change throughout their career. Employee development is one of the six defining objectives for 2017 set forth by leadership at the State of the Company address last spring. Bill Freitag’s recent move closer to his family in Minnesota, and transition from production to sales, is a great example of an employee finding the right seat on the bus with Beck’s.

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14

Nov

2017

Outdoors with Mike Roux

Deer Season: A Love-Hate Relationship

Author: Mike Roux

I hate deer season. No, I really do not. Anyone who knows me and/or reads this blog knows that deer hunting is a large part of my life and of my family’s heritage and tradition. In fact, I am right in the middle of one of my best seasons in a long time. However, having spent over 100 hours in the woods over the past few weeks, there are a few observations I would like to share about the frustrations, aggravations and consternations of deer season.

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10

Nov

2017

We Are Beck's

Pumpkins in Paradise

When most Midwesterners think about Hawaiian agriculture, pineapples and coconut trees leaning out over calm, blue water are about all that comes to mind. Many would be surprised to know that there are corn breeding facilities in Hawaii. During the six months of the year that corn doesn’t grow in the Midwest, the Beck’s breeding team doesn’t just sit idle. Every day, progress is made to advance new genetics and to improve seed for our farmers. For years, Beck’s used winter nurseries in Chile and Mexico to grow corn in the North American off-season until 2016, when there was an opportunity to invest in U.S. soil where corn can grow year round. Beck’s just celebrated one full year and three corn crops at our new Beck’s Hawaii Facility in the town of Kekaha on the island of Kauai. Last winter, when most folks in Indiana were shoveling their driveways, Beck’s employees made over a million hand pollinations in the corn breeding nurseries. Each pollination is a new chance to create an inbred line that could be a part of the next hot hybrid.

This year, as a way to give back to the community of Kekaha on the island of Kauai, the 11 full-time employees at the Kekaha facility planted about an acre of the farm in pumpkins to be given away.

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10

Nov

2017

Family and Farming

Caroline House: Michigan Farmer Helps Homeless Veterans

According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), there are around 40,000 homeless veterans in our country. In Lapeer, Michigan, Beck’s customer and Vietnam veteran, Pat Bell, is working to reduce that number by operating a homeless shelter on one of his farms.

The shelter is a relatively new effort for Pat, but multiple life experiences over the years lead him on this journey. It all started when Pat served in the Marines during the Vietnam War.

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28

Sep

2017

Outdoors with Mike Roux

White-Tailed Deer Biology

Author: Mike Roux

When it comes to knowing and hunting deer, most of us probably consider ourselves pretty well versed. I have found, however, that there are some whose knowledge and experience go far beyond my own on this subject. C.J. Winand is one of America's top white-tailed deer biologists. This man knows as much about deer as Jimmy Dean knows about sausage. Seriously though, he does know his stuff about deer. Much of this biological and behavioral knowledge can come in handy to those of us who hunt deer. I will do my best to accurately pass along what I have learned about deer biology from C. J. Winand.

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19

Sep

2017

Family and Farming

Therein Lies the Danger

When it comes to farming, there is always the potential for dangerous situations to arise. It surrounds daily tasks, but one of the most dangerous things a farmer can do is get into a grain bin. Arick Baker, of New Providence, IA, was buried alive in 2013 with 18 inches of corn above his head in an 80,000-bushel grain bin. He was certain he was going to die.

“My whole life I’ve been told that once you go down in a grain bin, you die,” Baker said. The ABC Show, In An Instant, detailed the miracle rescue that occurred on June 26, 2013, that ultimately saved Baker’s life.

September 17 to 23 is National Farm Safety and Health Week, and Beck's customer, Daryl Bridenbaugh believes that the ABC episode featuring Arick's story is a good reminder that farming incidents can happen to anyone. That’s why it’s important to take precautions while on the farm.

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28

Jul

2017

Intern Avenue

Here's to the Farmer

Last week, I had the opportunity to help with Beck’s PFR University. For those of you that don’t know, PFR University is a unique opportunity for farmers to visit Beck’s headquarters and spend two days learning and gaining additional PFR insights on new products and practices that they can then implement on their own farms.

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20

Jul

2017

OUTDOORS WITH MIKE ROUX

Summer Bass

Author: Mike Roux

When July and August get here, I turn my bass fishing into high gear. I am a born-and-bred topwater bass angler. Not many things give me the rush like seeing a huge bass attack a surface lure. So on August 1, I was lucky enough to be in a boat bass fishing with great friend Bryan Dralle from Coatsburg, IL.

Bryan and I are both just a little bit competitive, and I was certain there would be some sort of contest that day. We were both counting on a good topwater bite, but we disagreed on which surface to use. He chose a buzzbait and I went with the old reliable Jitterbug. The rules were easy; biggest bass wins.

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17

Jul

2017

Why I Farm

BECK'S WHY I FARM ROADTRIP: Mississippi FARMERS, Dennis & Nelda Mitchell

Nelda Mitchell grew up on a dairy farm. As a girl, she milked cows twice a day, 365 days a year. “On leap year it's 366 days, and it’s rain, shine, sleet or snow. Ball game, party, whatever, you still had to milk cows.” She recalls.

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16

Jul

2017

Why I Farm

BECK'S WHY I FARM ROADTRIP: Oregon FARMERS, The Crocker Family

Growing up in a suburb of Los Angeles, Debbie Crocker never imagined she’d end up a farmer in Oregon. On the other hand, her husband, Collin, never left the family farm he grew up on. 

“Literally, from day one, I never thought about doing anything else.” He says, standing in the farm office surrounded by his family.

 

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14

Jul

2017

Why I Farm

BECK'S WHY I FARM ROADTRIP: Utah FARMER, Kyle Wilson

Kyle Wilson is proud to honor his family’s traditions and help write the next chapter of their history in agriculture on his southern Utah farm. Along with his wife, Shelley, and their three children, Kyle raises vegetable crops, including heirloom tomatoes, and small livestock

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14

Jul

2017

Why I Farm

BECK'S WHY I FARM ROADTRIP: UTAH FARMERs, Kelby & Kathie Iverson

With their faith and family leading the way, Kelby and Kathie Iverson are building a legacy on their ranch in southern Utah. Both grew up with farming and ranching backgrounds, and are eager to raise their own six children with traditions of hard work and love of the land.

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14

Jul

2017

Intern Avenue

Investing in Others: Beck's Professional Development Workshop

“Keeping and maintaining relationships is one of the most important things you can do in your career.”

Those are the words of Beck’s CEO, Sonny Beck. After last week, I would say that everyone in the 2017 intern class had the opportunity to connect and create relationships at the Intern Professional Development Workshop.

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12

Jul

2017

Why I Farm

BECK'S WHY I FARM ROADTRIP: Oregon FARMER, Gordon Culbertson

Gordon Culbertson of Springfield, Oregon has been involved in forestry since he was 12 years old. Although he’s retired from his full-time career, he still has a couple of tree farms and generously shares his expertise with friends and family.

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12

Jul

2017

Why I Farm

BECK'S WHY I FARM ROADTRIP: Idaho FARMERs, Jay & Chyenne Smith

Growing up, Jay Smith was always told he could never ranch. Before they met, his wife, Chyenne got an art degree and started a construction company doing decorative concrete floors because it wasn’t possible to make a living riding horses. For years, people said ranching simply wasn’t in their cards.

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12

Jul

2017

Why I Farm

BECK'S WHY I FARM ROADTRIP: Oklahoma FARMER, Aaron Base

At Oklahoma State University, Aaron Base had professors that told him he’d never be able to farm. His diversified farm outside Geary, Oklahoma is proving them wrong. Today, Aaron and his wife raise a variety of niche products, like grassfed beef and wine grapes, along with their two daughters just down the road from the family’s main farm.

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