Paul was born and raised on a farm and began his own operation in 1997 after graduating from ISU. His grandparents purchased the family farm in 1973. Paul and his father farm 1,000 acres in corn, soybeans, oats and hay and also have a cow/calf operation. He has also implemented rye cover crops, installed waterways and terraces and has some CRP ground.
He also has 40 acres for organic corn and soybeans. The soybeans are sold to an organic soy milk company. His organic corn goes to a local egg producer. Although a no-tiller on the rest of his acres, Paul sees the marketing and income potential with his organic crops. He knows that tillage is necessary with organic farming and is working on minimizing the effect of erosion on his organic acres as well as the rest of his farm.
Paul and is wife, Janet, are busy with three young boys. He is a member of Farm Bureau, Corn Growers Association and thr Dry Run Watershed Improvement Association.
Building a Culture of Conservation:
“I have always hated going through fields and seeing erosion channels: maybe because I know how long it will take to get it back; maybe it’s because I am young and I worry what the land will be like when I am older. Once it is gone, it is gone.”
“We need to reach the younger farmers. Farmers in their 30s and 40s may be more willing to try new things than the older farmers.”
Goats on the Hunter farm.
Paul and his dad, Gordon, hosted an ILF field day on their farm in June 2009.
Matt Helmers demonstrates the rainfall simulator to the field day attendees.
He is also involved, through his local church, with the Food Resource Bank, a nationwide project to help third-world farmers grow their own food.