Del and Tammi Unger are respected for doing several things particularly well. They excel at raising kids, corn and cows, and supporting their community. All four accomplishments help qualify them as Master Farmers. The couple was nominated together since both are such an integral part of the farming operation.
The Ungers, Carlisle, farm land that many people would find extremely challenging. They farm everything from sandy soils to heavy soils, sometimes in the same field. About half of their crop acreage is irrigated.
"Our goal is to produce as much corn per acre as possible," Del says. "Irrigation is a bit part of that on many fields."
The electric bills to power their irrigation rigs were staggering last year during the drought, and they didn't achieve the yields they wanted, but they still successfully produced good crops on irrigated fields.
Techniques that work every year, including spoon-feeding the crop and monitoring nutrient levels carefully both through soil and tissue testing, also worked last year. Mother Nature simply set the yield cap lower than normal.
Both Del and Tammi are pleased that both of their children are an integral part of the farming operation. Lance helps make many of the day-to-day decisions on crop production. Adair handles spraying and fertilizer application for the farm, doing those chores herself.
Adair and her husband, Adam Everhart, also maintain side enterprises that helps raise extra income to support more families on the farm, and which also keep the Ungers at the forefront of understanding genetic changes and precision farming methods. They operate a DuPont Pioneer seed dealership, and are also dealers for Precision Planting equipment.
Today, Del, Tammi and family maintain a 70-cow beef herd that utilizes rougher ground. The goal is to raise quality animals for sale as 4-H club projects.
Besides working on the farm, both are active off the farm. Del is currently chairman of the Ceres Solutions board of directors.