COLES COUNTY, Ill. (WCIA) — One Coles County farm family extends from the wisdom of a 90-year-old to some energetic teens.
Bill Coffey has come full circle growing up on the farm near Ashmore.
“I would get up of a morning and go out and shuck a load of corn before I went to school,” he says. “Then when I come home, I went out and shucked another load.
At the age of 90, Bill has somewhat retired back to the farm, after running the John Deere dealership in Ashmore — as son Tony and grandson Tony Jr. running a highly organized family farm.
“Right now we farm a little over 3500, mostly corn and beans. We do bale some hay and we also have some livestock,” Tony Coffee Jr. says. “Organization is pretty important, especially with some of the springs we’ve had, we haven’t had that big of a window to get it done. We have one full-time, and two of my boys help.”
Son Jake, a junior at Charleston high, manages a pumpkin operation.
“We take them up to the house and sell them,” he says, adding they make money off them and this was their best year for selling.
Why was that?
“I think people were tired of staying inside so they went out and bought some stuff,” Jake Coffee says.
Brother Ben, an eighth grader, has a small beef herd to finance his college
“I have cows, and I feed them out, some of them,” he says, “and we’ll butcher them for the meat. For my cows, we’ll breed them and they’ll have their calves.”
WCIA asks them, why do they do what they do?
“We don’t know that,” Tony Coffee, Sr. says, “Cause we say, why do we farm? It’s a great place to raise a family, and it’s family working together. I don’t know of many jobs you can have when the whole family can be a part of it. Because he started it, I had it, and it’s over to him now, and after he’s done with it, the boys will take over. So it’s a family-type business and it’s a good life.”