This fall we had the opportunity to visit the McCranies’ farm near Claremont, South Dakota, while they were in the midst of harvesting soybeans on their many acres of land. Mike McCranie is the lead of the farm operations but is excited that it has once again become a multigenerational farm. While visiting, we were able to talk about the importance of multigenerational farms, harvest, sustainable practices they use in their operations, and the advancement of technology in the agriculture industry. Despite a hiccup with one of his combines, he obliged that he was having a successful harvest season this year.
The McCranie farm has been in their family for over 140 years beginning with Mike’s great-grandfather. Mike farms with his wife, Monica, and their sons, Matthew and Mitchell. Learn more about the McCrainies’ farm life by watching our very first episode of South Dakota Soybean Stories featuring Mike McCrainie.
“Farming is not just a way of life, it’s a business
Generational farming is typically a multi-year transition between father and son, but that was not the case with the McCranie family. In the ‘70s, Mike had just returned from farming in Montana to help with the transitioning of the homestead in Claremont, SD.
“If we weren’t sustainable then we wouldn’t be able to get the crops that we get off this farmland right now. We also have changed a lot of our farming practices to be even more sustainable. Some of the practices we’ve incorporated to be more sustainable are no-till, conservation till and we utilize a lot of new technologies in the seeds and a whole host of other things to make us more sustainable.”
Since taking over the homestead, the McCranies have seen many changes, but primarily on the technology front. Mike ventures a guess that in years to come, his sons will be harvesting from their phones.
“South Dakota farmers are more willing to adapt to new technologies, try new things quicker than other areas of the country and I think that’s what sets us apart from any other factor.”
For more blogs on generational farming, check out The Importance of Family and Farming with Jordan Scott and how Matt Bainbridge keeps sustainability at the forefront of his family farm.