John Pat and Justin Samson (Marshall)
John Pat Samson has been farming in the Saline County area all his life as he took over for his father. He hasn't had to do it alone, since his son, Justin, decided that was the path he wanted to take in life.
"We are blessed with what we do and the people we get to work with and farm for," Justin said.
The Samsons farm around 4,000 acres of corn and soybeans, which includes custom planting and harvesting around 900 acres. They are share holders with property owners on a portion of the acres farmed.
John Pat's main duties in their operation are spraying crops, operating the grain cart, trucking and planting corn, running the bulldozer and of course, the bookwork.
John Pat's wife of 38 years, Jeannie, takes care of the checkbook and they really appreciate her help.
Justin's tasks include anhydrous application, planting soybeans, combining, tiling and operating the track hoe, back hoe and skid steer.
John Pat said his favorite part about being a farmer is planting and harvesting.
"You get to see you plant your crop and when you harvest, you get to see your final results of your hard work," John Pat said.
Justin's son, Jazztyn, 16, loves to help out on the farm when he's available. Justin hopes his son will carry on the farming tradition, but only "if he wants to."
"You don't want to force your children," Justin said. "If they find something they want to do in life, that they are more passionate about, then ..."
He does want him to learn what it takes to farm because it teaches him responsibility and hard work as well as a little appreciation in life.
Technology advancements have changed the way of learning from Justin's time as a teenager to Jazztyn's. Now they have expensive tractors with expensive implements and all the GPS technology.
"It's harder than what is was back in the day when you just put it in gear and drop the implement and go," Justin said. "Dad got in here and told me, 'This is forward and reverse and left brake and right brake,' and he got out."
Justin said technology has made farming better.
"It makes it more precise," Justin said. "You can plant your seed where you want to and you don't have to worry about over-planting. It saves you money in the long run."
When winter rolls around, they don't slow down. The Samsons spend their time working in the shop.
"We buy a lot of equipment and we put it together ourselves," John Pat said.
To expand on their operation in the future, Justin said they plan to try and get into cover crops this year.
"Farming is my hobby," John Pat said. "It always has been. My wife knows this ... farming comes first."
In a nutshell, agriculture is very important to the Samsons.
"It's everywhere. It's everyday life," Justin said. "Everything you do, even if you're not even tied into farming, farming is there, whether you realize it or not. It's part of everybody's everyday life."
Contact Rachel Knight at firstname.lastname@example.org