The Brian and Michelle Hicks family farm is a consistent bevy of activity, as the operation not only includes a crop rotation of corn, soybeans and hay, but, most importantly, it has become a place where family has been emphasized....
The Brian and Michelle Hicks family farm is a consistent bevy of activity, as the operation not only includes a crop rotation of corn, soybeans and hay, but, most importantly, it has become a place where family has been emphasized.
“I came back to the farm after college,” said Brian, adding in the meantime he and Michelle had gotten married. “I’ve spent my whole life on the farm.”
Brian is the fourth generation on the rural Redwood County farm which is located in Gales Township – making the 10 Hicks children the fifth generation to grow up there.
There are 10 children in that fifth Hicks generation, including Meredith, who is 21, Brad, 20, Jake, 16, Mariah, 14, Madelynne, 13, Mer-cedies, 10, Adam, eight, Mallorie, six, David, three and Stephen, eight months.
“We have been blessed to live this lifestyle where Mom and Dad are home raising kids,” said Michelle. “We believe what we are doing is a good investment, and we are thankful we can do it.”
One might think with that size of a family there is not much time for the family to be involved, but that is definitely not the case for the Hicks clan.
In addition to being very active in the Lyon County 4-H program, where Michelle coaches the Lyon/Redwood counties senior rabbit quiz bowl team and Brian coaches the Lyon County livestock judging teams, the family is also active in the Minnesota and Redwood County corn and soybean growers associations.
“It beats sitting at home in front of a TV,” said Brian when asked why the family has gotten so involved with activities off the farm.
The family’s involvement also includes participation at Calvary Chapel in Marshall, the Tracy Area FFA alumni, the Ag Drainage Management Coalition, the Marshall Area Home School Educators Association, Pony of the Americas Club, the Anita Runck School of Dance and Wabasso Just For Kix dance program.
Brian is also active as a member of the U of M Ex-tension Southwest Research and Outreach Center advisory committee, as a board member for Meadowland Farmers Cooperative and as a nominating committee member for United Farm Credit Services.
The family is also involved in the American Rabbit Breeders Association.
While Brian operates the farm, with plenty of assistance from the entire family, Michelle home schools their children.
The kids get involved on the farm with everything from rock picking, harvesting, haying, sibling management and meal preparation.
Their daughter Meredith is currently serving as a summer intern for the Lyon County 4-H program, and their son Brad is currently at basic training in for the National Guard.
The operation has also been part of an ongoing re-search study involving drainage since 2006, with the focus of finding the best way to keep water on the land for economic and environmental reasons. Brian was part of a Farmfest panel discussion on water management Tuesday.
Keeping water back, explained Brian, means having that water available for the crops, and holding the water back also means utilizing the nutrients in that water rather than having them just run off.
“We are honored to be selected as the Redwood County Farm Family of the Year,” said Michelle, adding they were shocked when they heard the family had been selected. “We just don’t think of ourselves in that way. The kids are excited, because they get to go to Farmfest.”