Kerrick Wilson of Preble County Named Beck’s Young Farm Leader

December 1, 2013 Ohio Soybean Association

Kerrick Wilson started with 200 acres of soybeans, hay and corn when he was just a senior in high school. Since then, his story and love for farming has unfolded. Kerrick became familiar with the Beck’s Young Farm Leader Program and decided it would be a great addition to the next chapter of his life.

 “I chose to apply for the Beck’s Young Farm Leader Program to get more involved with our state and national commodity groups and organizations to promote our nation’s excellent agricultural products,” said Kerrick.

Kerrick was recently selected as the fourth quarter winner of the 2013 Beck’s Young Farm Leader Program. The Beck’s Young Farm Leader Program was designed to showcase the hard work, dedication and leadership of young Ohio farmers.

“The Ohio Soybean Association (OSA) would like to congratulate Kerrick for being named as one of the Beck’s Young Farm Leaders,” said Jerry Bambauer, OSA president and soybean farmer from Auglaize County. “Kerrick is a great example of an Ohio farmer who is eager to make a difference in the agriculture industry and has a great set of skills and experiences that benefit the industry as a whole.”

In addition to starting out with soybeans, hay and corn, Kerrick also started with 40 head of dairy cattle. After marrying his wife Carole in 1994, the two grew the herd and farm operation. They have since sold the dairy cows and decided to focus their time on row crops. Together, they now farm 1,000 acres of soybean and corn rotation in Preble County.

Kerrick and Carole operate the farm on a day-to-day basis with help from their two children, Knox and Kerriston, as well as family and friends.

“Our farm is almost all no-till and has been for at least 10 years,” said Kerrick. “We have used Harvest Land’s Yield-Pro program for 5 years now which helps maximize our production.”

When he’s not farming, Kerrick works for Kokosing Construction Co, Inc. Kerrick also serves on his local church’s Board of Directors. In addition, he is Township Trustee on the Preble County Farm Bureau Board where he has served as President and Delegate to State Annual Meetings, and has been a member of the State Young Farmer Committee. Kerrick also serves as secretary and member of the Executive Committee on the Preble County Agricultural Society.

Kerrick has attended numerous seminars and conferences related to agriculture including one on weed management, which he believes to be one of the top issues facing Ohio farmers.

“As a soybean farmer we have to address the issue of resistant weeds that are spreading throughout the South and Midwest,” said Kerrick. “We need to remain vigilant with our practices and be the best stewards of our land.”

One environmental stewardship practice farmers have recently utilized is planting cover crops.  Cover crops are not a new concept to agriculture, but over the last ten years, many farmers are giving it a try. Some have found healthier soil and higher yields.

“I believe these (cover crop) practices will help our operation by adding soil matter to the top soil, reduce compaction, help filtrate water and aid in eliminating soil loss from run off,” added Kerrick.  “One of our short term goals is instilling the practice of cover crops into our rotation.”

Kerrick stays up-to-date with recent trends and topics in agriculture thanks to numerous media outlets including social media. He also leverages social media to get farmers’ story out to consumers on a daily basis.

“As young leaders, we need to get our word out there and tell people all the good stories behind agriculture,” said Kerrick. “I use social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to say ‘American farmers produce the best food out there and it’s safe.’”

This is the first year of the Beck’s Young Farm Leader Program with one farmer each quarter chosen by a selection committee consisting of OSA and Beck’s Hybrids representatives.

“Kerrick has been very active in his local community and has a good grasp of the issues important to his farm and farmers in Ohio,” said Bruce Kettler, Director of Public Relations at Beck’s Hybrids.  “On the issue of weed resistance, he has taken a proactive approach to find out how to avoid the problem and wants to work to make sure that other new weed management technologies become available to soybean farmers.”

One of the Beck’s Young Farm Leaders will be selected as the 2013 Beck’s Young Farm Leader of the Year and receive a trip for two ($2,000 value) to the 2014 Commodity Classic in San Antonio, Texas. Beck’s Young Farm Leaders may also be chosen to attend OSA and/or Beck’s Hybrids leadership training programs, board meetings, events and other relevant activities.