Stoel, Local Farmer Featured in R.E.A.L. StoryPublished by on
To Gene Stoel—a third-generation farmer in Murray County (Lake Wilson, MN)—there is nothing more rewarding than producing and harvesting the best crop he can. When his father retired in the mid-90s and Gene had a chance to return to the farm after working for years at a grain elevator, he took it. Today he and his wife, Kathy, farm 500 acres of corn and soybeans and run a crop insurance and marketing consulting business.
Farming is both a way of life and a business for Gene: “We treat our farms as businesses, [because] if we don’t make a profit, we won’t be around very long.” But at the same time, he points out that farmers are not trying to abuse any of the resources they have. For example, they don’t over apply chemicals or fertilizers to their fields, and they implement conservation practices to make sure topsoil doesn’t move and so they don’t affect water quality.
The needs and concerns of consumers also play a large role in how farmers run their businesses, Gene said. “As farmers, we try to work together as a group and talk amongst ourselves to try to figure out what consumers are looking for.” He encourages people who have questions or concerns about where the food they’re buying at the grocery store comes from to ask their grocers and contact farmers who grow it: “We’d be more than happy to have consumers talk to us. Find a farmer and talk to them,” he urged.
Check out Gene's full story online, titled "Farmers Consider Water Quality a Personal Responsibility" available via the Real Story Minnesota website.