Steve Turner doesn’t put all his eggs in one basket. To begin with, he doesn’t even raise chickens. In fact, poultry is among the few things he and his sons don’t produce on their 3,500 acres in Cass and Mason counties, where they grow wheat, corn, soybeans, rye, popcorn, green beans, pumpkins, and alfalfa, and raise calves for sale to feedlots.
USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack rejects the “get big or get out” approach to farming. Instead, he touts multiple revenue streams as the means for farmers to both increase their income and help spark the diversified agricultural economies needed to rejuvenate small towns.