The latest census of agriculture results show notable changes on the family farm, from more operators and more female operators to increased reliance on technology. The Lehenbauer family represents so many of those changes as they innovate and embrace technology to grow their family farm in northeastern Missouri.

Chopping rye silage on Lehenbauer Farms, Inc. in Hannibal, Missouri exemplifies the meaning of a family affair. From hauling wagons to driving tractors, it is all hands on deck when silage is chopped on the farm, Mark and Amy Lehenbauer explained. Even the kids want in on the action as soon as they are unbuckled and hop out of the pickup after coming home from school.

“We love to have our kids out working with us on the farm,” Amy said. “If they’re not in school, they can come work right alongside us. It is truly rewarding to see them kind of find their niche and their interests and where they fit on the farm.”

Lehenbauer Farms, Inc. fits into the 96 percent of farms and ranches that are family-owned in the U.S., as reported by the 2017 Census of Agriculture. In addition to involving their children in the operation, Mark and Amy farm with Mark’s parents, Ronald and Shelly, and his brother and sister-in-law, Andrew and Jessica. They are the third and fourth generations on their family farm.