David Hemme (Sweet Springs)

Tuesday, June 24, 2014
David and Aaron Hemme (Rachel Knight/Missouri Farms)

David Hemme is no stranger to farmer. His family has been farming in Saline County since 1848.

"This was the first stop after Germany and we haven't even moved out of the township," Hemme said.

Hemme said the independence of farming is what attracts him to the occupation.

"It's not the hours," Hemme said.

When Hemme was 10 years old, his father sold out of the dairy business.

About 20 years ago, the Hemmes started dairying again. They have around 200 cows and 200 heifers. They milk around 160 cows yielding approximately 10,500 pounds of milk a day.

The milk is delivered to Dairy Farmers of America and they determine where it goes from there. Hemme mentioned some of it goes to Roberts Dairy in Kansas City, a cheese plant in southern Missouri and Hiland Dairy in Springfield.

In addition to the dairy production, the Hemmes also have row crops -- predominately corn and soybeans -- oats, corn silage, hay, alfalfa and other agriculture that helps sustain the farm.

Hemme and his wife, Janet, who also comes from a farming background, have five children -- four sons (John, Nathan, Michael and Aaron) and one daughter (Elizabeth).

John has a degree in business and manages the farm's row crop production. Nathan has a degree in animal science and manages the nutrition side of dairy production. Michael also has an animal science degree and is in charge of reproduction. Aaron is currently attending college majoring in ag business, but may switch to dairy science depending on the outcome of the dairy revitalization act. Elizabeth just graduated with her sociology degree.

"I don't know if its a genetic thing or what it is, but I do know that is why I broke that up," Hemme said. "We find one of the kids have a strong certain area and we let them go with it. We let them manage it. They'll sit there at night and ready the publication regarding agriculture and what they are interested in and, 'How can I utilize this?' But they are young, and they have the time and effort to do it."