What’s your name? Louis Morton
I have been a farmer since: [I] started farming full time in 2011.
I have been a Farm At Hand user since [I have] been using the Farm At Hand app for a little over year and a half. Since I have my phone on me at all times, I can access my data at anytime when I am driving around different fields and want to look at specific dates of field activity.
Where do you farm? Stratford, Oklahoma
What do you grow? Alfalfa, Millet, Oats, Sudan, Triticale, and Bermuda hay. We also run around 300 head of purebreed beef cattle along with some commercial cattle.
How did you get into farming? My dad and I had a small operation growing up and after I graduated from Oklahoma State I went to work for a food service company. A few years later, dad wanted to expand the operation and asked me to come run it with him.
What do you love about farming? The part I love about farming is being able to share my everday experiences with my two boys and also working beside my father. Having the ability to try new ideas and practices and see the outcome. Also, there is nothing like raking alfalfa hay early in the mornings as the sun comes up.
Tell us a little bit about why you became a farmer and who you farm with. We became a farming family because it is a lifestyle that not everyone is cut out for. Raising my two sons in an enviroment where they learn real life skills, responsibility, and how to enjoy hard work and the rewards it pays. Not only do I farm with my two boys, but also with my father.
What’s one of your favourite moments when you’re out in the fields? One of our favorite moments was one night we were trying to bale alfalfa hay in the field and some storms started to form south of us. The wind picked up and the windrows of hay started to blow around. We made a few phone calls and a few neighbors came out with semi trucks and tractors to help get the hay out of the field. Just before it started to pour rain, we had all the hay baled and parked in the barns. That showed me how a farming community can come together and help out a neighbor in need.
Has technology changed the way you farm? How so?
Yes, information is key to a successfull operation. Being able to utilize GPS to save on spray and seed waste or having immedient access to information you did in the past can helps with the bottom line.
What is your biggest challenge this growing season? So far this season, the biggest challenge is the weather. Farming would be much easier and less stressfull if we could turn on and off mother natures “sprinking system”.
Can you share with us what you think our biggest challenge in Ag right now? Right now, our farming population is getting older, with fewer and fewer younger people able to get into farming. The amount of money it takes to start and continue an operation along with the risks involved make it nearly impossible.
Do you think the way we farm and produce food will change in the next 10 years? Yes, as farmers we are asked to produce more and ask more of the land we have. Techonolgy is always changing and helping in this task by giving us more and more information about the land we are farming and how we are farming.
If there is one thing you want the general population to know about farming, what would that be? Farming is not for everyone, and it takes a special type of person and family to succeed in a business where we buy our inputs at retail and sell our goods at wholesale. A good farmer cares about the land [he uses] and always wants to leave it better than it was handed to him, always improving and making things better.
Note: We really liked what Louis said about farmers taking care of their land so we created the image below for Earth Day 2015. Feel free to share it on social media!