Some folks see farming as hard work, and it certainly is that. But John and Cindy Mages make it look like fun. We met the Mages at their place near Belgrade, Minnesota, for a custom farm photography shoot with the Minnesota Corn Growers Association (visit www.mncorn.org or follow the Minnesota Corn Growers on Facebook). Cindy greeted us with donuts. John was all smiles, offering to show us whatever we wanted to see. They began farming together as newlyweds, buying their first farming ground and a few hogs, all on their own, while Cindy was pregnant with the first of their four kids. John says farming is in his blood. “I grew up farming. I thought I’d try something else,” said John, “But when the chance came to get our own place I asked Cindy, ‘so whatcha think?’ She said ‘let’s do it!” They’ve been partners ever since. Cindy said, laughing, “My job is to come pull him out when he gets the tractor stuck.” Cindy was busy with four kids through the early years, but has since discovered she loves to run the combine during harvest. “John always told me how tough it was to combine, but it’s a pretty fun job. He was keeping that little secret to himself!” John just grins. In his book, farming is a way to share plans and dreams, and then work together to see those plans fulfilled. “Every year we start with open ground, we decide what to plant and how to manage it, and each day as the crop grows we see what we’ve accomplished,” said John, “At the end of the season, we hopefully see the results of that work. It’s very rewarding.” The Mages, like most all farmers, are committed to caring for the land and water under their management. They plant wide native grass buffer zones to help naturally filter water coming off the fields, and they use precision farming best-practices, which allows them to efficiently manage nutrients applied to the crops. This year, the Mages were honored by the state of Minnesota as a Water Quality Certified Farm. The love John and Cindy have for the farm shows in everything they do.
Farm photography from AgriLife Studios
AgriLife Studios, operated by Shawn Nielsen and Scott Whitman, provides professional agriculture photography and video services, including assignment photography, location photography, video production, video editing and stock agriculture photography featuring farms, farm families, rural lifestyle, commercial agriculture, livestock production, crop production, farm machinery, and whatever else might communicate the story of agriculture. For more information, see our agriculture photography portfolio site ( www.agrilifestudios.com ) or visit our agriculture stock photography and agriculture stock video store: www.agrilifestudiosstock.com