Danita Rodibaugh didn't set out to make a profound statement while answering questions at the 2014 Master Farmer banquet. She and her husband, David, were recognized as Master Farmers along with other farmers in a program held in Spencer County recently.
The Rodibaughs produce breeding stock for swine and raise crops near Rensselaer.
Even though she didn't intend to make a classic statement, her words said a lot. Discussing working with other family members on the farm, she says, "Get family relationships right and the farming relationships will be right."
Chew on that for a while. If the converse is true and you have family issues, it's hard not to keep them from spilling over into the daily farming activities and eventually perhaps impacting the success of the farm.
The Rodibaughs have eight co-owners in their farm business. That includes David, Danita and three of Dave's brothers and their spouses.
"Communication is the key," Danita says. "You need to feel each other out to know what everyone is thinking."
Each person in the operation has their area to take care of, based on their area of expertise, Dave says. His main role today is being heavily involved in the cropping operation. They utilize no-till and are trying cover crops to improve soil health on their farm. He is largely responsible for seeing that those technologies work.
However, when the farm has a major project, more than just one or two people get involved, he notes. The Rodibaugh's have a 4-H pig sale on the farm every spring, selling pigs they raise.
"When it comes to that or something like that, to tell the truth, everyone pitches in and helps," he says. "We even get help from the next generation on things like getting ready for the pig sale, even though they are not formally part of the farm operation."