This month we meet David Ebert, a fourth-generation farmer from Onarga, Illinois. David farms 590 acres of corn and soybeans, and also gives his father a hand with his farming operation.
The Ebert farm started with David’s great-grandpa after he moved to Central Illinois from Ohio. His goal was to end up on the West Coast, but he didn’t get as far as he had initially planned.
“He was actually headed to California, but this is where he ran out of money. He didn’t make it very far,” joked David. “In the old days, I’m sure this was a good distance, but in today’s world he didn’t make it very far. This is where he landed and he established a farm here.”
The farm passed down through his grandpa to his father. David’s Dad, Roger Ebert, came into the picture in the late 70s after he graduated from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) with a degree in Journalism. If his name sounds familiar, he not only shares his name with the late movie critic Roger Ebert, he was just 6 years behind him in journalism school at UIUC.
David’s dad tried being a reporter for a while, but found out it wasn’t for him and quit his job to begin working for the State of Illinois. Roger worked on the farm during the off hours and helped transition the Ebert farm from raising cattle to strictly growing grain. Now David helps out his father on his land and farms 590 acres himself.
Being a younger farmer, David has always been comfortable introducing the newest technologies to the family farm. He initially pushed his father into trying auto steer equipment when it first came out, which acted as a catalyst to incorporate further new technologies.
In the mid 2000s, the Ebert farm was one of the first users of Spatial Rainfall Consulting, which was the rainfall product that would eventually turn into Morning Farm Report. Now David uses the suite of Morning Farm Report products, especially Tractor Time, to get the information he needs to maximize his productivity.
“The products that Agrible offers are great for me, because I can wake up in the morning and see if the ground is fit or if there are some wet spots I need to look out for, all at the touch of my fingertips in 10 minutes,” said David. “It saves me time all around when we don’t have time to spare.”
Being able to look at the status of his fields from his home each morning is particularly useful since his fields are a 30-mile trip away. This saves him time and keeps him from driving all the way to his fields just to realize the soils are not fit to work.
Helping him out on the farm is his wife Kira, who works as a Program Technician at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Her knowledge of agriculture and new USDA policies helps David and their neighbors stay up to date and informed on new USDA legislature.