Q and A with T&E farms
We are so excited to introduce the family of T&E Farms, one of the farms that provides Glean with fresh sweet potatoes which we turn into our Sweet Potato Goodness. To learn more about Taylor and Evans, T&E Farms, & a day in the life of a farmer - keep reading!
Q1: How long have you been in or around farming?
I’ve been around farming or agriculture since I was very young. Pretty much my whole life I’ve been exposed to it, but really started working in it when I was 8 or 10 years old.
Q2: How did you get started with farming?
Well, I married a hog farmer in 2014 and started growing sweet potatoes the same year. So, I guess you could say I jumped in head first.
Q3: Tell us a little about your family!
I have been married 4 years to my beautiful wife Evans, who not only runs the farm office but takes care of my two year old son Dalton, and 9 month old daughter Ruby Jeanne.
Q4: What are some of the hard or ugly truths about farming?
Farming is getting harder all the time, and getting even harder for someone to get started. Competing with established farms in global markets makes it especially harder with falling profit margins. Consumers tend to want products cheaper and cheaper but it is costing the grower more and more to produce these products, so at the end of the day most farms end up suffering. So if being at the mercy of Mother Nature is not enough, falling markets and governmental policy can take just as much a toll on someone today trying to make a living farming.
Q5: How does farm waste impact your farm?
Waste impacts us in a way that it is producing something that you are not getting paid for and that is never what a farmer wants to do. There is not as much waste from the grain crops, but the sweet potatoes offers a lot of opportunity for utilizing waste. Sometimes there are sweet potatoes that are unmarketable but still have food value, but a lot of these never make it to a plate. Therefore, we aren’t getting paid for it.
Q6: What are some of the crops you grow?
We grow sweet potatoes, corn, soybeans, and wheat.
Q7: What are your favorite things about the lifestyle?
The best thing by far is raising my children on the farm. They get to see and are exposed to so many things that they would otherwise not have the opportunity. We also have a little more flexibility than a regular 9-5 job, as well as having the opportunity to work outside and enjoy the world God created.
Q8: What are some of the ways you practice sustainability on the farm?
We use cover crops and practice no-till where we can. Crop rotation is key factor as well.
Q9: What advice would you give to others who want to get into farming?
I would suggest to anyone trying to start farming is to always have a fall back plan and try to diversify as much as possible. It takes a lot of capital to get started farming and you want to be able to spread your risk out as much as possible. It always helps to have a good support group and to be open minded when making decisions about moving forward.
Q10: Why do you like what Glean is doing for farmers?
I like the fact that Glean is giving growers the opportunity to make money off something that they would otherwise not be getting paid for. All farmers need to work hand in hand with companies like Glean in order to reduce waste and have more opportunity to market their crops.