Why I Farm – Twellman Farms

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A passion for farming and agriculture runs five generations deep on Twellman Farms, located in Silex, Missouri. Mark Twellman and his wife, Cheryl, raised their three children, Christy, Jeffrey and Caitlyn, on the farm.

The family farm, primarily operated by Mark and Jeffrey, produces corn, soybeans and hay while also managing a cattle herd on their 350 acres. They use a combination of no till, minimum till and conventional tilling methods due to the needs of the different types of soil on the acreage they farm.

Twellman Farms was established well before Mark and Cheryl took over. It was founded in 1908 and has been run with passion and dedication ever since.

“I farm to produce food to feed the world,” Mark explained. “Farming has always been a part of my life and I am proud of the farming heritage we have. Our family has been here a long time and there is a lasting goal to keep the family farm alive.”

Jeffrey agrees that farming is an ongoing family tradition.

“It’s what I love,” he said. “That love has been passed down from generation to generation. I grew up with my dad on the farm along with my grandpa. Seeing the care that they put into it made me want to join and continue farming in the future.”

This determination to continue the family business was recognized when Twellman Farms was named a Missouri Century Farm commemorating their 100 years of service to the farming community.

Cheryl explained that this honor represented the importance of farming in their lives.

“Being a Missouri Century Farm is important because it instills that farming has not only been a part of our lives in the past, but continues to be today and will be in the future,” she said.

Successfully running the family business for so long has not been an easy task. Mark said it takes the whole family putting in a team effort to accomplish all of the undertakings on the farm, especially since he has a full-time job as a highway maintenance engineer in addition to his duties on the farm.

“Jeffrey is always there just to open the gates for me,” Mark joked. “But in all seriousness, I involve the whole family in the decision making of the farm and we have to collaborate to run our family business successfully.”

Cheryl agreed that the whole family has an interest in the farm today. She added that this interest will continue in the future.

“In order to preserve this farming lifestyle, we all have to keep investing in the family farm,” Cheryl said. “We have to continue to work to make sure our farm is successful, even if that means working outside of the farm just to keep it running sufficiently.”

This collaborative effort and love for the industry will be beneficial for Twellman Farms in the future. Mark said he would like to expand the number of acres farmed and grow the cattle side of the family business. He is also looking forward to handing the farm over to Jeffrey one day.

“I am proud to look to the future as my son is stepping up as a fifth generation farmer on Twellman Farms.”