KINNEY, Ill. (WCIA) — Mitchell Hinds of rural Kinney joined dozens of other farmers Saturday at a memorial tractor ride for 12-year-old Caleb Coogan, who died in an ATV accident four years ago.
“It’s a charity, a little scholarship in the tractor drive,” Hinds said. “He enjoyed toy tractors, collected toy tractors. It was something he always enjoyed, so it’s a way of honoring and remembering him.”
Hinds and his wife Bailee operate a corn and soybean farm across the Macon-Logan County line.
“Kind of been in here. I’m the 5th generation,” Mitchell said. “My parents didn’t directly farm but took over from my grandfather. Been here long before me, early 1900s, in this vicinity.
“The majority of my role comes in whenever we are moving around from field to field,” Bailee said. “Usually I tell Mitchell I am a glorified taxi driver. Moving around from field to field, pulling the corn or bean head and getting everything switched over when we start fresh in a field.
“Trying to be young, progressive, and grow my operation,” Hinds said regarding his goals. “Took over from my grandfather, updating everything, modernizing stuff more for the next generation, I guess. Kind of growing and still developing to build up the operation.”
“Mitchell enjoys doing the record-keeping, and all that stuff.” Bailee said. “So a lot of it is, he does it and runs it by me, makes sure everything sounds good is good as far as marketing, new logos, stuff like that. Runs it by me, makes sure I am in agreement, and if I am then we are all good to go.”
While focusing on harvests, Hinds is also looking forward to the future of his farm and his operation.
“Just keep growing the operation sustainably,” Hinds said. “Don’t want to get too big and something I can’t handle. Start out with some good landowners, landlords that I can have some long relationships with and just grow it up another 1,000 acres maybe, and just be sustainable.”