BLOOMINGTON – A longtime McLean County family farming operation is looking to the future by adopting the latest agricultural technology.
Justin Maitland is in our Farmer Friday spotlight this week. Maitland returned to the family corn and soybean farm after attending Illinois State University.
“I’m starting to help out full time and get involved a lot more,” Maitland explained. “I always wanted to be outside. Sitting behind a desk is not really something for me.”
Maitland says the farm is hoping to grow on the technology side of things since he has a clear understanding of the concept. Maitland has been hooked on farming ever since his dad, John, let him run the planter as a teenager.
“It was such a great feeling to see I put that crop in the ground and it was coming up.”
John looks to Justin for assistance, especially since they have adopted practices such as variable rate technology.
“Justin is teaching me as in me teaching him,” John said.
John’s father and Justin’s grandfather, who served in the Senate, started collecting tractors back in the 1980s and always had a dream of returning to the farm to work on antique tractors.
“Unfortunately, that didn’t happen because he had a stroke, but he comes down here and he’ll sit and look at all the tractors and all of his toys. This building is for him,” John added.
Justin’s mom and John’s wife Terri is a big part of the farming operation. In addition to making the lunches, she operates the combine and auger wagon in the fall and runs errands. You could say she does a little bit of everything for the farm.
“I love to be in the combine,” admits Terri.
The Maitlands had a pretty good year in 2016 and are hoping for another successful season this year.