It was harvest time on the Brockhaus farm near Humphrey, Nebraska when we arrived with our video camera one morning in October.
As we prepared for the video shoot, a grain cart moved slowly and smoothly past our parked car and proceeded down a row of freshly cut corn to be filled by the waiting combine. The driver handled the massive machine flawlessly.
At the time, none of us knew Denise Brockhaus was operating the grain cart while holding her three-month-old granddaughter and keeping an eye on another grandchild in the cab who was there checking out the action.
“She’s already been in the tractor quite a bit for, for as short as she’s been on the earth,” said James Brockhaus about his baby girl. He has vivid memories of riding farm equipment with his grandfather, too, and he dreamed from an early age about following in granddad’s footsteps.
But it wasn’t always a given that James would be able to join the operation, which needed to grow in order to support another family. That’s when the Brockhaus crew teamed up with Farmland Partners to rent additional land to expand.
Pat Brockhaus, James’ father, beams when he thinks about how far the family has come over the past five generations.
“My great, great grandfather came over and bought some ground. That’s where we live…on one of those places that he brought originally,” said Pat. “All of us have farmed…and we’re pretty proud of it.”
And based on what we saw that day, the farm will be in great hands for a sixth generation. Pat’s young grandson, Rowan, was quick to tell us: “I’m gonna be a farmer just like my garandpa.”