Thomas Titus’ heart has always been in production agriculture. He grew up in Douglas County on a family farm where his father worked, and still does, with 4-H kids to provide them with pigs for their livestock projects and his mom went to high schools and different civic organizations teaching them about how farmers raise pigs.
Thomas himself worked on the family farm, then for Cargill in pork procurement, before moving back to his wife’s family farm. Thomas’ heart has always been in production agriculture.
“Three years ago, we transferred back to my wife’s farm,” Thomas said. “They have a 750 head farrow to finish operation, and we also raise some cows, goats and chickens. And we raise corn and soybeans — and of course, kids. There’s no better way to raise kids. We wanted to raise our kids in a similar setting that we were both brought up in. Being able to provide our own kids the opportunity to learn those core character values you can’t get anywhere else than on the farm is extremely rewarding.”
Now that he’s back on a family farm, Thomas is working with his brother-in-law and father-in-law and five employees. Oh, and he just got a lot busier because his wife, Breann, added another daughter to the family just eight weeks ago and, shortly after, Thomas was named as one of four Faces of Farming Ranching for the United States Farmer and Rancher Alliance.
Thomas said he decided to apply for the position because of his involvement in various pork producers organizations and early involvement in agricultural advocacy.
“I understand the importance of helping consumers understand what we do on the farm,” Thomas said. “It’s important to me to talk about what we do on our farm and build that trust with consumers again, because there are a lot of questions and misconceptions and we get so consumed with our day-to-day and don’t step out of our comfort zones to tell people what we’re doing. Google any type of farming practice and a number of pages will pop up, whether they’re wrong or right. Consumers have questions and it’s great being able to reassure them we’re doing the right things because we’re consumers just like they are. We’re purchasing the same ham steaks and milk that they are.”
Don’t forget to check out all the awesome blogs happening this month over at Prairie Farmer.
For the full Faces Behind Your Food Series, check out the links below:
- Intro: 30 Days
- Day 1: Managing…everything
- Day 2: Building Relationships
- Day 3: 50/50
- Day 4: Irons in the Fire
- Day 5: Loaded Up and Trucking
- Day 6: Variety is the Spice of Life
- Day 7: Beef. It’s what’s for dinner.
- Day 8: You have got to start somewhere.
- Day 9: The earth that calls me.
- Day 10: Teaching changes the way I look at things at home.
- Day 11: A Family Affair
- Day 12: Diversification.
- Day 13: Bigger is Better
- Day 14: Working for the Weekend
- Day 15: Three Generations of Pauling Brothers
- Day 16: “Quality and consistency is what makes us great.”
- Day 17: Community Supported Agriculture
- Day 18: “We wouldn’t sell something to our customers that we wouldn’t eat ourselves.”
- Day 19: The kitchen table is still the board room.
- Day 20: It all starts with a seed.
- Day 21: 24/7