Kevin Cox is a Master Farmer. He received a plaque a few days ago in ceremonies on Hal and Ty Brown's farm to prove it. But many people knew that Cox, Brazil, was a special kind of farmer and businessman long before he received the honor. The title was bestowed by Indiana Prairie Farmer and the Purdue University School of Agriculture.
Yet Cox is humble, and most humble when asked about how to balance farming and family. "To be honest I've struggled with it over the years," he says. He and his wife Brenda have three children. Their son Trent now works on the farm.
"I missed a lot of activities when the kids were younger because I thought I had to be there working," he says. "The truth is that I did have to be here. Hard work kept us going when times were tough. But it still bothers me that I missed part of the time while the kids were growing up."
Cox has served on the Board of Directors of Farm Credit Mid-America for four years. He's currently the president of the Board.
"One reason I decided to do that was so that my son could have the opportunity to learn what running the farm was about," he says. "I didn't want this to be an operation where I'm the 60 year old dad making every decision and telling him everything to do. I wanted him to be able to make decisions on his own, and to know how to handle things when I'm not around."
Working with his mom, Trent keeps things going when dad is off on business as board president. It amounts to about a week per month on average, Cox says.
"At least he will have experience if something should happen to me. I hope to be here a long time, but you never know what the future holds. I rest easy knowing the farm will continue."