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Bringing the Past Forward — Mike Phillips of Valley View Farms

This farm has been in my family for over
125 years. So I can honestly say right now without a doubt, if my father would be standing here today the farm has not been any better. Right here’s a picture of my grandmother
when she was little. She was a great agronomist. Where she got her knowledge and wisdom from was her grandmother I found out. It trickled down to me. My
grandfather got killed when my dad wasn’t but 12 years old. I got it here
because of that man there, and my grandmother. She picked up the farm for
the monarch of the family, not a man’s world that woman took care of it — she
done it. And I was amazed when looking back I’m amazed at what she could do Daddy said, “You know I never wanted to farm but he had the ‘it’ factor. He could do it, he was good at it. But I suspected he didn’t
really like it cause down in the barn and he told me that old Bank barn when I
was 13 he said Mike he said when you get older I want you to get off this farm, go
to college, get a good job so you don’t have to work so hard. I looked at my
dad I said daddy I said you had to stay I want to stay and the look in his
eyes was like (Pheww!) He said I did not want to farm. Mama wanted me to stay. He took it
to a level teaching me and then I was able to come along and get other mentors
like the Carl Luebbens, the Bill Pattersons the Randy Maupins, and the Soil
Conservation Service people. They took me up into another level that all I did was
picked up where dad left off and take it further. I believe in the future farmers
with the faith born not of words but of deeds,
achievements won by the present and past generations of agriculture in the
promise of better days through better ways even the better things we now enjoy have
come from the struggles of former years. That’s an FFA Creed the Future Farmers
of America that’s the first verse of five in that creed. I was in the eighth
grade I’ve thought about my father behind that plow and I went home that
day got all my chores done my last job in the evening was to take grandma wood
for her cookstove. I looked at her and I said “Grandma there’s gonna come a day
when there will be people coming from all over the world to this farm to see what we are doing with the land. My grandma looked at me with a look of — I know you will. You can see family means something. This is for the honor of my
family. What they’ve done where I can get it here today — It don’t get any better than that!

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