(EARLY, IA) - Farming is traditionally a family affair. That's the truth for Gene Weitzel.
He raises cattle and farms corn, soybeans and hay in Early, Iowa. Weitzel is a third generation farmer on that land. Weitzel Farms began back in 1876. Still to this day, he's kept a passion for the business and found a hobby on the side, even at 68–years–old.
"Always had a little group of pigs on my own. We used to milk cows and took care of the calves. And I guess I decided that's what I wanted to do the rest of my life. It was born into me, I guess," said Weitzel with a laugh.
He recalls what it was like farming years ago and enjoys telling about the ease of his job these days thanks to technology.
"You don't have to pick the ear corn anymore, which was a dirty job. Everything is made more convenient and user–friendly," said Weitzel.
For his hay crop, this year has been especially tough. It's been 24 years since Gene had to buy hay. This year's crop got too old to harvest.
"The hay died out. It was getting thin so I decided it wasn't worth keeping so I went ahead and plowed it up and put beans in," explained Weitzel.
Gene has a hobby that's become his real passion. It's fixing tractors and there are plenty of them for him repair."
"This is a power shift transmission," said Weitzel showing one of his tractors. "It's kind of unique because not too many people would like a gas engine tractor with a power transmission because in cold weather they tend to pull the engine down and pull hard."
Weitzel has a "partner in crime" along with him every day: his wife Sandra who has a craft of her own.
"I just started this called "Succulence", saw it on Pinterest and I just thought I'd try it. So then I got him involved and he made the frames for the back of the frames and we figured out how to do it. And I've got him going," said Sandra Weitzel.
At 68-years-old, you'd think Gene would start to slow down, but he's in no mood to give up the reins yet.
"I can't sit still. If I sit in the house, it's just boring. I tend to fall asleep. So I guess should be outside doing stuff. I enjoy working on these old tractors and equipment. So I guess I'll keep doing it until I can't move anymore," said Weitzel.
Main Phone: 712-277-3554