COOPERSVILLE, MICH. - Farmers here in Michigan are expected to harvest more than 300 million bushels of corn this year. Most of that crop will be grown by professional farmers.
But in Ottawa County, some future farmers are getting their crop to market, too.
Only a few fields around Coopersville still have standing corn. Most of the area crop was harvested weeks ago.
"Well we are winding down," said Lester Langeland, an Ottawa County Farmer.
The 89 year old has already combined 1000 acres of his own ground.
The 18 acres he was in on Thursday, Nov. 17, was his last to combine for the year.
Langeland is helping the Coopersville Future Farmers of America program. Chapter members prepared the ground, planted the seeds and are harvesting the 54-acre classroom, only the section with corn was left to harvest.
"It is a big pay off," said Darren Kulicamp, Coopersville F.F.A. chapter president.
The Coopersville F.F.A. land lab is right behind their school.
"Not every chapter is fortunate to have a land lab like we do," said Kulicamp.
Langeland was asked to bring in the crop because he a connections to the chapter.
Tyler Davis, a Coopersville High School freshman is a member of the F.F.A. chapter. Langeland is his great-grandfather.
He was also president of the same chapter back in 1946. Langeland and both F.F.A. students were pleased to see controls on the combine showing a bumper crop pushing 200-bushel per acre.
"That is a great number," said Davis.
"Yep, that is pretty darn good," Kulicamp added.
Profits from the crop fund scholarships and send F.F.A. members to agriculture conferences.
"It is important to have good people with their feet on the ground but also with a great education in agriculture and sciences," said Langeland.
He hopes both students lean the responsibilities and challenges of farming. And grow to love the hard work like he did.
"There is just endless opportunities," Kulicamp said.
"Yes I want to be a farmer," said Davis. He hopes someday to take over his great-grandfather's farm.
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