The Sims family selected as Saline County Farm Family for 2019
The Sims family has been chosen to represent Saline County for Missouri's Farm Families at the Missouri State Fair on Monday, Aug. 12.
Located southeast of the county from the rural Sweet Springs area, the fourth-generation family farm has 2,100 acres of row crops, hay and cattle.
Ryan Sims talked about when he and his wife first started the operation.
“Our operation started in 1997 after Cindi and I married,” Sims said. “We rented land from my parents, and its grown from there.”
In 2000, Sims started a farm supply business that sold cattle equipment. While their family still does this, their main focus now is feed after they added it in 2004.
Sims noted the type of crops they generally grow on their property, as well as some of the techniques they utilize.
“We grow both corn and soybeans along with a cow calf operation,” Sims said. “In our row crop operation, we focus a lot on soil health so we rotate crops and use cover crops to maximize soil fertility and residue while keeping diseases at bay. We also use no-till and minimum-till practices to manage soil erosion and organic matter. We take great pride in growing soybeans for seed for local companies.”
For Sims and his family, not only has farming become a business, but a lifestyle, too. Although farming can be challenging at times, neither Sims nor his family would change it for the world.
“Farming is a lifestyle,” Sims said. “It's a way of life that is like no other. On our farm every field is full of memories that are shared from generation to generation. But the reality is that farming is a business. Sometimes it's tough and sometimes it's great. But every day is different, and you learn to make decisions to be sustainable.”
Sims, along with his wife, Cindi, have instilled these skills into their children, teaching them the ins and outs of the family business.
“Over the years we have incorporated our children into the different areas of the farm and let them be involved,” Sims said. “There is no experience better than hands-on experience. They all have experience now in crop science, animal husbandry, and dealing with public in retail sales.”
Sims thinks it has been an incredible journey to get them involved and hopes their family continues to conquer any challenges that may get thrown in their direction.
“Every day in farming your day is filled with challenges,” Sims said. “They can range from weather problems, mechanical problems, or having to pull a baby calf. Honestly you just never know what you may encounter any given day. But at the end of every day, when you return home, you have to conquered these challenges, and it's so rewarding to overcome these challenges to make them a success.”
“One piece of advice I would give is that it isn't easy,” Sims added. “You've got to have patience. Every farm is different, and you have to do your tasks in a manner that works for what you have. Just because your neighbor does something doesn't mean you should, too. But with patience and a will to learn, you will gain experience that makes your farm a success. Our family is very honored! Every year great families are selected to represent their county. And to be among these families is very humbling.”