Clayton Deis (Gilliam)
Clayton Deis is no stranger to agriculture. He was only six years old when he got involved in his grandparent's operation. He lived about a quarter of a mile away from his grandparents and his grandfather would stop and pick him up so they could go feed hogs and cows together, ride in a tractor or combine, depending on what time of year it was.
That has led up to Deis farming with his grandfather, Morris Strodtman, and his great uncle, Dale Strodtman.
"Without either one of them, I don't think it would be possible for me to be farming today," Deis said. "They have taught me everything."
Also, while in high school, Deis was very interested in FFA and received dozens of proficiency awards, which went to the state level. He also received his State and American degrees.
"Agriculture is important because I believe that it is the backbone of America and being involved in agriculture is what I love," Deis said.
Deis' operation includes row crops -- corn, soybean and wheat -- 50 acres of corn silage, around 300 bales of hay and a 75-head cow/calf operation. He has also ran a hay crew putting up square bales since 1997.
"I don't think I have a favorite thing about being a farmer," Deis said. "I enjoy sitting in a tractor for 10 plus hours or in the combine for who knows how long. I enjoy watching the crops grow in the summer, helping a baby calf -- in the dead of winter -- nurse, because the cold has made it weak and then watching the calf grow to 600 pounds.
"Maybe the most important to me is being able to bring my kids with me, because as many farmers know, there's not a lot of family time," Deis stated.
Deis enjoys spending time with his wife, Trisha, whom he married in 2003, and their three children, Taylor, Addisyn and Jace, who attend St. Peter Catholic School.
Deis has lived in Saline County all his life. He said it has many rich soils and great market choices.