HeartBeat Fall 2017 | Page 7

get to know : Danny and Hannah Kiehl educated, how are they expected to be if they can’t do their homework, and how can you expect businesses to come into rural areas if they don’t have the internet,” Hannah said. “It’s not worth our time and money to invest in technologies if we don’t have the resources to use them.” Jenny is hopeful the visit to the nation’s capital will have a positive impact on agriculture in Missouri, noting what happens there has a trickle-down effect. “All our regulations, crop insurance, guaranteed loans, it all trickles down to the state level,” she said. “Hopefully, (that will) help secure options for those Missouri producers. We’re already so far behind when it comes to technology, when it comes to road improvements, we’re kind of at the bottom of the list. And, if we don’t keep the line of communication open, we’re off the list.” young producer perspective Among a minority of young agricultural producers, the Bradleys and Kiehls both see value in helping lawmakers understand the need for financial assistance on the farm. Labor and resources are often the limiting factors for young producers, Jenny said. “The problem with labor is that if the farm only produces this pile of income, maybe it can support one family, maybe it can support two families, but it likely can’t support three families,” Ben added. As more and more college graduates take the road to industry rather than the one leading back to the farm, Jenny said they’re discovering that can help them pay for a farm later in life. Jenny works one-on- one with farmers as an adult ag education instructor at North Shelby High School in Shelbyville. In that role, she assists producers with records management and transitional plans as well as with finding sources of funding and with financial meeting preparation. “Agriculture is the number one source of local revenue for our schools,” she said of the North Shelby district. Danny is hopeful the fly-in will encourage other young producers to share their story. “If they tell their Photo by Joann Pipkin Danny and Hannah Kiehl graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia in May 2017 — Danny with a degree in agriculture systems management, minor in ag economics and animal science and Hannah with a degree in agribusiness management. The couple has been employed with Harrisonville- based Roth Farms, owned by Hannah’s uncle, Doug Roth, since graduation. Roth Farms includes 6,000 acres of row crops as well as grain merchandising and irrigation businesses. While Danny’s responsibilities include working with the operation’s row crops and hauling grain, Hannah primarily works in office management at the grain elevator. In addition to their responsibilities at Roth Farms, the Kiehls manage a small herd of cattle that Danny first established as part of his 4-H and FFA projects while in high school. He developed a relationship with FCS Financial then through a grant program which helped him grow his project. By participating in FCS Financial’s Connect program, the Kiehls were able to learn the ins and outs of farm business management in addition to crop insurance and other services the cooperative offers. “I give them a lot of credit for taking the time to provide a service to us,” Danny said. “Getting the valuable information makes it worthwhile.” Both Hannah and Danny are fourth generation ag producers. “There are a lot of young, beginning farmers that don’t have nearly the opportunities that we do, so we’re very grateful for that,” Hannah said. HEARTBEAT | FALL 2017 7