UNION TOWNSHIP — Members of the Mayer Family baled 20 acres of alfalfa hay last Friday and followed that up Sunday baling 15 to 17 acres of an orchard grass hay mix.
Normally the main crop is hay at the 110-acre Mayer Family Farm north of Wilmington. So they’ll do a rotation with soybeans that are in the fields now and this fall go back into hay, said Josh Mayer.
This past spring’s excessive rainfall has hurt the hay crop.
“It’s kind of one of those years where everybody’s minding their Ps and Qs,” Josh said. “Everybody’s been put in a tough spot because of the weather.”
The family farm will be the host site Friday evening of Dinner in the Fields, an annual event presented by Clinton County Leadership Institute since 2009. The farmland there includes a man-made pond built in the early 1990s, a shelter house pavilion, and the residences of father John Mayer and son Josh Mayer who live close enough to see each other’s homes.
The John Mayer Family moved here from Fayette County when Josh was a high school freshman. He graduated in spring 1994 from Wilmington High School where he was in FFA. Josh recalls that the shelter house was built a week before his WHS graduation.
In 1995, he joined his father’s business Mayer Agri Equipment, located at the Interstate 71 and U.S. 68 interchange in Clinton County, where he continues to work as co-owner and co-operator.
His grandfather started a farm equipment business in 1948, “back when he took horses in on trade on tractors,” said Josh.
They have exported agricultural equipment to some 42 countries now, and been able to travel to quite a few of them and visit with the farmers.
“That’s probably something Grandpa didn’t think of back in ’48 when he started,” said Josh.
The main thing he likes about being in the field of agriculture is the people, “dealing with the farmers.” He has learned first hand that farmers are the same all over the world — which is to say “Very good people,” he remarked.
The glistening pond is near the front of the Mayer Family Farm, with a red paver walkway bordering a portion of the basin. When the Mayers first came here, this particular spot lay wet with cattails. And springs help feed it with water.
So for practical reasons they went ahead and made a pond, to “get some function out of it, as opposed to somewhere to get the mower stuck,” he said smiling.
In addition to the hay and soybeans on the working farm, there are about eight head of cattle, “just to have some cattle,” said Josh with a chuckle.
The Dinner in the Fields event is a fundraiser that supports the Clinton County Leadership Institute’s adult and youth programs.
The highlight of the event is the locally produced food, with the meals cooked on-site. There will be live entertainment as well as games for children.
A social hour will be 5:30 to 6:15 p.m. And dinner is served at 6:30 p.m., with a pie auction afterward.
For those who haven’t purchased tickets beforehand, the cost for an adult dinner “at the door” Friday is $40.
Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.