My Generation

30 Days of Farms & Families: The Purvis Family

Day 19: Troy and Kim Purvis are 21st century pioneers, helping feed the world from their Prophetstown family farm.

Troy Purvis and my husband go way back, all the way to college where they lived together at Nabor House, an ag fraternity at the University of Illinois. Back then, they were "Purv" and "Spang" (and wow, they were creative with the nicknames, right?) Actually, they still call each other that. I've even been casually known as Mrs. Spang, but that's another story. And isn't the world of college nicknames a strange little place? After our college pal, "Woodsy," came back to our small town and joined the veterinary practice, it took me years to quit calling him by his nickname. Hey, can Dr. Woodsy come pull a calf?

But I digress. Purv - I mean Troy – has an interesting farm story in that when he graduated and married his wife, Kim, he farmed for awhile with both his family and Kim's family. Ultimately, he joined Koehler Farms partnership, working with his father-in-law Arlyn and brother-in-law, Doug. Located near Prophetstown, they raise 2,500 acres of commercial corn, seed corn, seed beans and wheat, and they finish approximately 10,500 hogs a year. Troy manages the crops and Doug handles the hogs.

Today, Troy and Kim are parents to Madison,12, Ross, 9, and Olivia, 5. Kim began her career in education, earned a few more degrees and is now the director of a local vocational school.

Illinois farm family

Troy believes in diversification, and in fact, he launched – and learned - the seed corn business when he joined the operation. The idea, he says, is to manage what they have to maximize revenue, instead of just trying to get bigger.

Over time, he worries that consolidation will hurt their business. Fewer fertilizer, chemical and seed dealers reduce competition and raise costs. "Another concern is that the green movement has caused a short-term increase in commodity prices, but a long-term increase in land and operational costs."

And what would he like a consumer to know about agriculture? "We live in a world in which people have “media-fed intelligence.” I understand that people believe everything they hear and see on TV and You-Tube, but I would like them to educate themselves beyond a 10 minute news clip." 

"Farmers are 21st Century pioneers, who use technology, education, business skills and a stellar work ethic to feed the world," Troy adds. "We do this while trying to uphold the family values that have been passed down to us by previous generations of farm families."

Well said, Purv.

30 Days of Farm & Families
Day 1: The Webels
Day 2: The Mies Family
Day 3: The Thomases
Day 4: The Stewarts
Day 5: The Weavers
Day 6: The Hawkinsons
Day 7: The Kortes
Day 8: The Walters
Day 9: The Schillings
Day 10: The Martins
Day 11: The Pratts
Day 12: The Bowmans
Day 13: The Pollards
Day 14: The Wachtels
Day 15: The Strodes
Day 16: The Buntings
Day 17: The Andras Family
Day 18: The Liefers

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