Open-front Systems

Thompson, Dick
Williams, Steve
Vogel, Gregory
Serfling, Dave
DeWitt, Jerald
Shouse, Shawn
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Research Projects
Organizational Units
Journal Issue

Dave Serfling and his family live in Preston, Minnesota, which is just north across the border from Decorah. Dave graduated from ISU in 1981 in farm operations. Serflings have a 50 sow farrow-to-finish operation and 80 cows they feed out. They also have sheep, and they own about 350 acres. They love Iowa so much, Dave's wife even works in Iowa, so thanks for helping the economy. (laughter) Steve Williams and his wife live in Villisca, in Page County. Steve is a 1988 ISU business graduate. He has a total livestock operation with beef and a farrow-tofeeder pig operation. He feeds out a few. There are some interesting family ties and partnerships in Page County, and now his operation's up to about 300 sows in a very productive and unique arrangement, which we'll hear more about. Greg Vogel represents the ISU AG 450 Farm, which is located southwest of Ames , about a mile. This is actually a student-managed farm, and many of you are familiar with that concept that the students really manage it, for better or for worse. And they suffer all the advantages and perils of pure agriculture. Greg is the farm operator. He's also an ISU grad (ag business, 1978) and finished a master's in ag business in 1994. The farm is about 950 acres, and they have 200 sows out there. They run both outdoor and confmement operations. Last we'll hear from my good friend, Dick Thompson. Dick and Sharon, of course, farm in Boone County. Dick and Sharon recently were recognized as the 1996 Farm Agricultural Leaders of The Year by the Des Moines Register, which was a tremendous honor for them. There farm is a little under 400 acres, they have been the driving force behind and the inspiration behind Practical Farmers of Iowa. Dick and Sharon have served as mentors for many, many farm families, not only in Iowa but nationwide. I know Dick and Sharon now have a cow-calf operation, and with their son, Rex, they have some of the facilities we're talking about today, and they're trying some new things in agriculture, so we're pleased to have Dick here.