From the Farm
Meet the Phillips Family
Blog written by Kaitlin Donovan
During planting and harvest, the Phillips’ family dinner table looks a little different than tradition but it’s a tradition that’s perfect for their family.
Caleb and Janet Phillips own and operate their family farm in Montgomery County alongside Caleb’s parents and grandparents. Also helping out, the couple’s four children; Chester (5), Iscel (3), Adaline (2) and Wynn (6 months.) With 3,000 acres of cropland, it takes everyone’s help to raise high-quality corn, wheat and soybeans while also caring for a cow/calf herd.
Their busy season starts with spring calving season and then once March 20th rolls around it’s corn planting time and as Janet would say, it gets crazy on the farm. But she’s a farm wife, so it doesn’t even phase her. Even in the chaos, the Phillips family always tries to find time to eat together as a family.
“This year was tricky with my youngest having the due date of March 20,” Janet says. “There was no planning on that but it’s just how it works in life. As a family we always do a noon meal in the field, it’s like a full on picnic and the kids and I will go and eat with Kaleb. During planting he’s up before the kids are and usually won’t be home until they are already in bed so we try to get as much family time in as we can when he’s in the field. It will be eat lunch with them and then ride in the tractor and help him plant. So far we’ve squeezed all 6 of us in the cab of the tractor. So we’ll see how much longer we’ll be able to do that.”
Corn is this couple’s favorite crop to plant and harvest. Not only because of the high yields produced from the good climate of southeast Kansas, but also because of the fun brought on by harvest.
“It’s dependent on the year,” she says, “but the amount of bushels you pull in there’s a lot of product coming in so you stay moving all the time. As a farm as a whole, it’s more fun in the fact that I get everyone to slow down in corn harvest and I can get everyone stopped to eat a meal together. When we’re in wheat harvest half the crew is cutting wheat and then others are planting soybeans right on top of it as quickly as we can. But it makes it fun when we can all stop and eat together, even if it’s just 30 minutes, and then we all go back to work and it’s crazy again.”
Janet says that you could describe her and Caleb as “ag-nerds” and you wouldn’t be far off. Even though there are specific jobs they hate doing or times when it gets stressful, she says they both just really enjoy everything about farming and agriculture.
“We just enjoy doing it,” Janet says, “We’re thankful and blessed that we get the chance to do it.”
To learn more about the farm and Janet’s blog check out her Facebook page, A Farm Wife’s Life.