2016 The Way We Live Award
sponsored by WHO Newsradio 1040.
The Iowa State Fair highlights six families during the Iowa State Fair. These families exemplify farm values derived from hard work and a love for the occupation of farming. Selected families show dedication to animal agriculture in their daily lives and in the lives of their family members!
2016 Award Winners
When Ralph and Becky married in 1976, Ralph was working full time for a neighboring farmer. After renting farm ground, they purchased their first farm in 1990, starting with a few bucket calves, and their cow/calf herd grew from there. In 1996, they built a 3,300 head hog confinement for Smithfield Hog Production. Today, the Dorale Family raises corn, soybeans and alfalfa along with cattle and hogs. Their sons, Adam and Alex, along with their wives, Karla and Kati, also work on the family farm. The family feels blessed to be able to live close and work together.
Bryan and Deb Branderhorst Family
The Bryan and Deb Branderhorst family has been raising hogs since the 1930’s. Bryan began farming with his farther Ron in 1976 while renting his first farm. The father son duo increased the number of sows to 200 head in the 90’s, and after Ron passed away in 2011, Bryan cut the sow herd to 65 to focus on quality show pigs. The Branderhorst family currently sells pigs for county and state fairs, AK-SAR-BEN and the American Royal. Along with the show pigs, Bryan, his wife Deb, and their children raise row crops. The family takes great pride in the different contributions made by each family member, based upon their interest. This includes day to day operations, selecting traits for the show pig operation, and marketing the operation.
Following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, Brad Lundell purchased his first farm at the age of 18. Today, Brad and his wife, Sarah, raise corn and soybeans as well as four children who are as passionate about farming as their parents. In 2006, they built the first of five hog confinements, finishing the final one in 2016. The family ventured into the turkey industry in 2008, building a four barn turkey site. The Lundell family members all play an important role in the success of the farm. Brad and Sarah work closely to take care of daily chores and responsibilities and the children help any way they can with planting, harvest and livestock chores.
Steve Jennett began farming with his father in 1989 after graduating from Iowa State University. After marrying in 1990, Steve and Chantelle purchased 280 acres where they raise three children. Today, the Jennetts farm includes row crops, wean to finish hogs, and custom raised broiler chickens. Each family member plays an important role on the farm. Steve plants, harvests and manages the hog and chicken operations. Chantelle helps with the chicken operation and bookwork for the farm. Their eldest, Maggie, helps around the farm with chickens and hogs when she is home from school. Mitchell, their son, helps to load hogs, grind feed for the hog operation, and help with chicken un-loading and general care of the barns. The youngest, Lindsey, helps with chicken chores, 4-H lamb chores and general help around the house.
Jones Dairy, LC dates back to 1906 on a 160 acre farm that was founded by Minor Jones. Beginning as a diversified crop and livestock farm, it transitioned into a crop and dairy farm in the 1960’s. In 1982, Patrick and his wife Nancy took over as the third generation. Today, Jones Dairy milks 1,000 Jersey cows and the operation also includes corn and alfalfa. Along with Patrick and Nancy, the farm is managed by three of their children; Aaron, Nathan and Sheila. Total, the dairy employs 20 full-time people. The large Jones family consists of five daughters; Aaron Titterington, Sheila Edwards, Cindy Bassett, Quinn and Haley Jones, and sons Nathan, Traver and Wesley Jones. All siblings contribute their talents to the farm on a regular basis, whether they are directly involved in the day to day operations or have a different career off the farm.
Ryan McKinney began farming in 1992 alongside his father Keith, making him a fourth generation farmer, on ground that once belonged to his great-grandfather. He and his wife Katy, along with their two boys Jack and Sam, now raise corn, soybeans and alfalfa, as well as a cow-calf operation, and sheep herd. Ryan is also a Pioneer seed dealer and an Umbarger feed dealer. The McKinney children share their father’s passion for agriculture, helping out on the farm with chores and being actively involved in 4-H and showing livestock. Growing up on a farm, Ryan learned responsibility, a strong work ethic, and how to work with family and the community. The McKinney family takes pride in caring for their livestock and the land. It is not only their way of life, but their family’s passion.