When people think of Small Town USA, they don’t realize how the community works together to provide an infrastructure to support multiple businesses in the area. In addition to retail stores and restaurants, this applies to the local farms that surround us.
Pickaway County is a strong agricultural county. According to P3, Pickaway County is the 5th largest producer of corn, and the 7th largest producer of soybeans in Ohio.
One family farm in Pickaway County surpasses all expectations, planting both corn and soybeans and raising beef that is of superior quality since the cows themselves were raised, fed, and born on the farm.
Mike Videkovich, his wife Kim, and his father-in-law Ray create a working farm environment at Noecker Farms that provides a good living for all those on the farm and in the community, as well as opportunities for their three sons to flourish.
Things on the farm kick off in spring, around the middle of April, and they don’t let up until the first part of June.
“We have, like the normal crops everybody has around here. Corn, soybeans, wheat,” Mike shared, further explaining: “Then we have 200, head of cows. We have a bunch of forage crops that we grow. We don’t buy anything for our cows, we grow it all.”
Mike explains that those few months are like someone who has to complete everything in such a short time frame and that the spring was especially interesting due to the weather being soggy.
What might surprise you, however, is the fact that Mike Videkovich did not grow up living the farm life. He had a job in computer programming before he joined on at Noecker Farms, but fourteen years later he and his family are a big part of the farm.
“I didn’t grow up farming, I grew up in the suburbs of Dayton, and married into it. I didn’t even go to school for farming, I went through Ohio State for a computer programming degree. I did that for a while,” Mike explained. “I personally needed to change of pace. I found that while I was good at my job I had at the time, and did very well, sitting behind the desk was not something that I enjoyed.”
Having been immersed in the farm for the last fourteen years, Mike has learned the ropes of maintaining one, while Kim shares about their daily operations on the farms. Kim also promotes and sells individual cuts of their meat on social media through County Line Meats, which was launched shortly after the pandemic hit.
“I have many goals with this farm. One is to give our kids the option to farm when they get older. That may mean they don’t choose to farm, but I want them to have the option to farm,” Mike confesses.
Mike admits that there are a lot of positives to working on the farm. These can be found through experiences and skills developed, or even simply learning how to deal with unforeseeable situations such as the weather. Mike finds the opportunity to have his sons out there working the farm and learning from him to be one of the more encouraging things.
“One of the positives [is] I could have my kids out on the farm, and they’re old enough to be very helpful on the farm, as opposed to just tagging along there. So, that’s a positive. Just enjoying that experience with them, working cattle with them, and watching them learn has been nice,” Mike said.
Something that struck me during our conversation is the way that Mike stressed the importance of supporting local, which includes the support of our local farms.
“I don’t know if people realize agriculture is Ohio’s number one economic business. So, it’s a big deal, and important to keep that part of our economy strong,” Mike explained. “I was talking to [my wife] about the number of businesses in Pickaway County, and Fairfield County, that we support. It’s a long list. So, you know, when you support us you’re supporting this long list of businesses and a lot of them are individuals or small businesses.”
Mike has discussed putting together a list of businesses they support, a way to show those who purchase through their farm or County Line Meats how their support can go a long way in helping other small businesses in their community.
In closing, Mike had one important last thing he wanted to share. In addition to advocating for supporting small businesses, he wanted our readers to understand the importance of being patient. This message stuck out to him when I ask if he had anything to share, and it applies to the nervous situation of when they’re driving down the roads with their tractors towards their fields.
“Just be patient, when you’re behind me, and I’m on a tractor. For me, it could be my 15-year-old or 16-year-old son driving that, or my father-in-law,” Mike closes.
You can show your support to Noecker Farms and County Line Meats and stay up-to-date with their farm life by liking their Facebook page, County Line Meats.
- Helping uncover the magic of Pickaway County – Jenny Rhoads - March 22, 2021
- Creating a place for fond memories – Katherine Blades - February 24, 2021
- Impact farms can have on local community - February 23, 2021