ASHMORE, Ill. (WCIA) — A large family with a progressive farming operation and a seed business has a special bond that guides their effort.
After her husband passed away, Anna Freeman continued managing Freeman Family Farms at Ashmore.
“Actually started buying ground in 1956 and my husband Wayne just kept adding more acreage throughout the years and family has helped to farm, the two son in laws,” Freeman says.
One of them is Rick Eskew.
“Our whole operation has really evolved and equipment, it has gone past me. The boys, they are pretty sharp cookies,” Eskew says.
The family has held a seed dealership for three generations, now managed by Mark Eskew to build relationships with neighbors.
“We meet a lot of good folks, and develop some good relationships with them, provide them a good product and hopefully good service, help them out and it helps us out as well,” Mark Eskew says.
The operation has a bright future thanks to cooperative succession planning says grandson Andy Houk.
“As anyone who farms can tell you, there’s a lot of challenges that come with farming,” Houk says. “We have found that facing these challenges together, is preferable than trying to face them alone. So there’s a lot of security and a lot of putting our heads together, and once in a while butting a few heads, but normally, its just a real blessing to be able to have some counsel, everybody has some input, and you respect your elders, and get the job done so hopefully we can continue to do that.”
“We’re hoping you’re looking at the future of our operation,” Rick Eskew says.
“I might as well say one thing,” says Mike Houk. “The reason we’ve stayed together, so far, is we all serve the same God, and we pray, pray, pray. The Lord’s kept us all these years and that started out with Wayne and Anna.”
“That’s the backbone of our whole family, is prayer,” says Freeman.