NORMAL – Faith is what gets many farmers through another season. Take the Rader family, for example.
Even though growers are facing plenty of fieldwork delays all across the Midwest this spring, they are remaining patient.
“Our faith has kept us just waiting upon the Lord and being patient. I think that’s the secret,” said Lynn Rader, who farms with his sons near Normal.
After a fall which started out dry and ended wet, those working in the agriculture industry really weren’t expecting a cold, wet start to spring too.
“Once we get a window, things will shape up and we’ll get out there,” said Arin Rader. “It doesn’t take a whole lot of time to get a crop in the ground.”
The Raders want to get soybeans in the ground early as many agronomists are pushing for earlier plantings in the right conditions to maximize daylight exposure. Those plans could change if fields remain wet. This will be the second year the Raders will plant all of their beans first.
“Last year, we had exceptional beans and it was the first year we had done any beans on beans,” Arin recalled.
The Raders are also involved in the agritainment business as Rader Family Farms is open to the public each fall on Ropp Road near Normal. The business resulted from an attempt to diversify the operation several years ago to keep the kids on the farm and to guide them through the waves of farming.
“It is really growing and we keep thinking we are going to just keep growing as time goes on,” Lynn explained.
Lynn enjoys the community support and making memories for different families. Kids who visit the farm have the chance to learn where their food comes from and how agriculture changes constantly while still providing plenty of career opportunities.
Adam Rader acknowledges one of the challenges is staying current and having enough employees to grow.
“Weather is still a factor in our season,” Adam admits. “Last year was a wetter season and it affected how many people got to come out to the farm.”
Rader Family Farms can be found on Facebook and online at www.raderfamilyfarms.com. The agritainment season starts the second week of September and runs through the end of October.