Each year, more than 20,000 Kansas wheat farmers take dramatic risks to grow the wheat that feeds the world. We hope you enjoy learning more about these farmers through our series, the “Faces of Harvest.”
Wheat is a big part of the business at Blasi Land and Cattle, a diversified farm operation near Pratt. Dave Blasi and his wife Paula run a certified seed facility, and Dave and the couple’s son, Jesse, work together as much as they can, although each runs his own operation. Dave and Paula’s daughter, Elly Sneath, is the Meade County Extension Ag Agent.
Dave started farming in 1967 and has built the family farm operation over the years. Between he and Jesse, they grow about 2,000 acres of commodity wheat and 1,000 acres of certified seed. The Blasis use their own combines to cut the certified wheat; custom harvesters take care of the rest.
Although the pace of harvest activity has become more frenetic over the years, harvest traditions are still important.
“We always used to have fried chicken every day at noon, and homemade pies in those early days. Now, it’s a faster pace. We eat more sandwiches,” Dave says. “But we still take 30 minutes or so to eat lunch in the field with the family. We’re trying to keep those traditions alive.”
Paula says that Dave is dedicated to his profession. “He loves the land, and he loves taking care of it,” she says. “He believes he’s never worked a day in his life, because he loves his job.”
Dave says there is a tremendous satisfaction to farming. “I enjoy cutting the new wheat varieties; I enjoy seeing the stubble after its cut and taking pride in doing a good job. It’s a year’s worth of work, but I look forward to starting it all over again,” he says. “It sure makes me feel good inside.”