For Joe Everett and his cousin, Tyler, farming is a family affair.
Together, these third-generation farmers and partners operate their family’s 4,000-acre farm in Sidney, Ohio. They work closely with Joe’s father, Jon, and Tyler’s father, Tim, who owned and operated the farm before them.
Farming has always been part of his life, and Joe suspected from an early age that he would eventually join the family business.
“I started farming when I was little,” Joe said. “My family would call the school and I would go on a field trip to help the family on the farm when needed. I knew it was what I would always do. I just didn’t know exactly how it was going to happen.”
After graduating from high school in 2010, Joe enlisted in the Navy, where he was stationed in Virginia and served as an electronics technician on board the USS George Washington and the USS Theodore Roosevelt.
One day while Joe was stationed on the USS Roosevelt, he received a call from his father.
The Everetts had already been farming for two generations before Everett Farms, Inc. was established by Joe and Tyler’s grandfather, Ron, in 1958 on 250 acres. Jon and Tim had successfully continued to run it together in the early 1980s. But for Everett Farms, Inc. to continue to operate and grow to be a modern farming operation, the Everett brothers needed help from Joe and Tyler.
“He told me they were making some adjustments to the farm, and they needed to know if I was going to come back home,” Joe said. “That was the moment I knew I’d return home and farm full time.”
Joe prepared to immerse himself in the business and decided to learn as much as possible about modern farming, especially advancements in technology. He was able to use his GI Bill through the Navy for the financial assistance he needed to take courses through Bluffton University.
“I got my bachelor’s degree with a focus in organizational management in 2019,” Joe said. He went on to get his MBA from Bluffton and graduated in 2021 with a focus in organizational management.
Meanwhile, Tyler was gaining valuable experience and knowledge working at Cargill.
This knowledge and experiences have benefitted the Everett cousins as they follow in their fathers’ and grandfather’s footsteps growing corn and soybeans. Adopting new technology has allowed them to grow the operation to the size it is today.
“When my grandpa started the farm, it took him a long time to do anything,” Joe says. “Now we don’t need as many people, and we can cover a lot more acres over a shorter period of time. All of our equipment now runs off satellite and GPS. You don’t even need to steer, and it makes things a lot easier.”
A key element of operating a successful farming operation is access to credit when it’s needed. For that, the Everetts turn to Farm Credit Mid-America.
“Our financial officer, Brian Reithman, has worked with our family for more than a decade, and he’s become a friend and trusted advisor.”
Today, Joe and his wife, Casey, and Tyler and his wife, Stephanie, are raising their children on the farm and teaching them about the family business together.
“I love the work ethic farming teaches kids,” Joe says. “I really hate to see people getting out of farming because when I look back at the life it’s given me, that’s what I want for Addison and Brooks. I know Tyler feels the same way about his children Landon, Nolan and Lena.”
“It’s a lot of hard work and you are happy when you make money, but it’s not everything. I couldn’t do any of this without the help and the support of my family and Tyler,” Joe says. “I’m proud to say I’m a farmer.”