Farming is in Brad Zwilling’s blood. And, even though he helps farm on his parent’s and in-laws’ farms, the majority of his work isn’t in a combine or feeding calves. Instead, his job is helping farmers do theirs.
As a Farm Business Analyst for Illinois Farm Business Farm Management, Brad assists farmers in making farm financial management decisions.
“The biggest part of my job is keeping good records,” Brad said. “I help to combine these records to provide economic, financial and family living averages that farmers can use to compare to other farmers and see how they measure up. I also analyze the data from our cooperating farms and provide that data in reports that can be utilized by our farmers.”
Additionally, Brad publishes a few of those reports on the University of Illinois Farmdoc and Farmdoc Daily website, which is read nationwide. The published reports talk about cost of production, reviewing financial ratios and the importance of remember family living when creating crop budgets, as well as reviewing trends in farmland.
“The best part of my job is being able to analyze the data from farmers and being able to provide pertinent information that they can use to help make decisions in their operations,” Brad said. “Farmers utilize the studies and reports that I provide to make farm financial decisions and ensure they have a viable operation that provide a safe food supply to the world.”
Still, Brad and his wife, Paula, and their three boys spend as much time out on their parents’ farms as possible. Not only because they love it, but because they want to make sure their boys get to experience growing up on a farm.
“The most important thing to my wife and I is brining up our boys to understand agriculture and be able to communicate the importance of this industry,” Brad said. “We have involved them in many of our Farm Bureau events and discussed with them what they are doing and seeing on their grandparents’ farms. We have already begun to see them talking to people they meet and explaining agriculture to them, especially our four-year-old.”
And the important role agriculture plays — and just what farmers do to provide food — is something Brad wants everyone to remember.
“American farmers provide a safe and secure food supply for your family and theirs,” Brad said. “Farmers care about consumers are willing to have conversations with them to address their concerns.”
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
- Day 22: Heart and Soul
- Day 23: More than Food, Feed and Fuel
- Day 24: “Farmers are technologically advanced.”
- Day 25: Thank God for the farmer.