Why I Farm – Haun Farms
Joining the family farming business starts at a young age in the Haun family. Tom and Misty Haun of Holden, Missouri raised their sons, Alex and Nathan, on Haun Farms located in Johnson County. All four of the family members have been involved in the operation ever since.
“I think it is unique that our farm involves everyone in the family,” Alex said. “No one has another job. We are all there all of the time and have a really close family connection in that way.”
Tom and Misty both agree that the farm is a family affair.
“It’s pretty interesting that the boys really were involved from the time they entered elementary school,” Misty said. “They have been a part of it since way back then. Their grandfather made sure they each had their own cows. They had even earned enough money from working on the farm to file their first tax return at 15 or 16.”
Because of the dedication of the entire family, Haun Farms is able to produce corn, soybeans and wheat on 2,000 acres. They also own 200 head of cattle that make up their cow-calf operation.
Alex and Nathan have also added their own specialized services to the family farm. Alex is a chemical salesman and will graduate from the University of Central Missouri with a degree in agribusiness management in May. Nathan currently does seed treating and is working to obtain his custom applicators license.
Misty believes that getting started in the family business early has allowed Alex and Nathan to specialize and add their own businesses to the farm.
“We get started pretty early around here,” Misty said. “My sons are at college age and almost done, and they already own established commercial sales and service businesses. Their cattle herd has also grown. Getting started young, they were able to expand and become successful.”
The Haun brothers’ initiative is just one example of how Haun Farms operates on a shared passion for farming and a dream to continue the family business.
“My passion for farming comes from my dad,” Tom said. “It’s the only thing I’ve ever wanted to do.”
Alex agrees that farming is what his family loves and will continue to do.
“It’s part of my family and that’s what we do and what we enjoy,” Alex said. “My passion comes from just growing up in ag, raising things and producing something that helps others.”
Misty admits that farming wasn’t always her dream, but joining her husband’s family farming business changed that for her.
“It originated with my husband.” Misty said. “It was his dream all along. The rest of us were just pulled along and we came to love it. Being able to raise sons on the farm and with this way of life is not something I sought out as a young girl, but has been the absolute best way to raise children. They know more about how to raise animals and crops than they do about how to play video games.”
The family business has grown with this passion for the industry since its founding over 100 years ago. It has also been named a Missouri Century Farm.
“I have farmed for 28 years, my dad did it before that and my grandpa before that,” Tom said. “It’s unique that our farm is a Century Farm. We’ve been at it for a long time. Not many people get to do that.”
Although the entire family shares a determined state of mind that plans to grow the operation and continue the farming tradition, they admit there will be challenges to overcome in the future.
“A big challenge is public perception,” Alex said. “Getting the public to understand what we are doing and why we are doing it.”
Misty agreed that the farm has a duty to inform consumers along the way.
“We have to continue to work and prove to the consumer that we are providing a safe and healthy food option and the food they have been eating their whole lives isn’t and has never been hurting them,” Misty said. “That is our biggest job.”
In addition to public perception, Tom thinks real estate prices will be a problem in the future as Haun Farms looks at expanding its operation by purchasing more farm ground.
Whatever challenges the Hauns have to overcome, they plan to continue and grow the family farming operation.
“We have been here a long time and don’t intend to go anywhere,” Misty said.