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Cultivating the Family Farm With Growing Forward

Brandon Henning, a young farmer from Kentucky, continues the family tradition while preparing for the farm’s future.

// Cooperative Stories, Customer Stories

Farming is in Brandon Henning’s blood. Growing up, both sides of his family farmed, and he learned the ropes from watching his dad and granddad. Today, Brandon farms nearly 2,000 acres of corn, soybeans and wheat with his dad and brother-in-law.

Just as farming has always been a part of the Henning family’s daily life, so has their relationship with the Farm Credit System.

“My granddad started his relationship with Farm Credit 50 years ago. When I was pretty young, we switched our crop insurance to Farm Credit, too,” said Brandon. “When I began farming, I got involved in the Growing Forward program.”

Farm Credit Mid-America’s Growing Forward® program offers young and beginning farmers the lending options, financial education and other support they need to build a thriving operation. Eligible farmers must be 35 years old or younger or have less than 10 years of farming experience.

“Growing Forward offers a lot of great seminars and classes. I've learned a lot through the financial and marketing seminars that I might not have learned otherwise. This helped better my operation,” said Brandon.

As Brandon plans for the future with the help of the Growing Forward program, he’s already thinking about the next generation of the family farm. Brandon and his wife have two young sons, and one of his greatest joys is showing the boys the lifestyle he grew up with.

“My oldest is 5 years old, and there's no place in the world he'd rather be than on the farm. In the fall, we told him if he's good at school, he can ride in the combine any day he wants,” Brandon shared. “It makes my heart happy knowing that I was that little kid once, and now I get to give him that opportunity to be involved, too.”

Brandon aspires to continue his family’s farming legacy with the help of his loan officer and Farm Credit Mid-America.

“I hope to build on our relationship in the coming years. When I'm my dad's age, I hope Farm Credit's still my main partner in growing what my grandparents started, what my dad kept going and what I've pushed forward.”


Farm Credit Mid-America territory includes Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Ohio and Tennessee. Arkansas includes Clay, Craighead, Crittenden, Cross, Desha (northeast of the White River), Greene, Lee, Mississippi, Phillips, Poinsett, and St. Francis counties. Missouri includes Carter, Ripley and Wayne counties. Kentucky excludes Ballard, Calloway, Carlisle, Fulton, Graves, Hickman, Marshall and McCracken counties. Ohio excludes Crawford, Hancock, Lucas, Marion, Ottawa, Sandusky, Seneca, Wood and Wyandot counties. We serve all counties in Indiana and Tennessee. 

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