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BENTON COUNTY, Ind.–Growing food for the world is the mission of Indiana’s farmers and Brent and Natasha Cox, who run Maple Island Farms in Benton County, take that responsibility seriously. Their mission is to raise their kids on the farm, and show them that way of life.

The couple were honored for their farm work at the Indiana State Fair. 

“We make sure that we are realists on our farm. We share the good, the bad and the ugly,” said Natasha, when asked on 93 WIBC’s First Day how they talk with their kids about farming. “In those discussions we talk about or responsibility for sustainability and transparency and consumer awareness.”

She said the kids are beginning to understand that agriculture can mean good financial times and bad, and that it swings with the ups and downs of the markets.

“We make it fun-technology, advancements. We do a lot of things from our discussions, the same way great-great grandpa would’ve done them. But, there’s also making sure they understand there’s a lot of cool things from drones and variable-rate technology,” said Natasha.

She and Brent met at the Purdue University School of Agriculture, where they studied farming. While Brent is a member of the sixth generation to run Maple Island Farms, Natasha grew up on a tobacco farm in southern Indiana.

“We both work off farm, as well, and the number one reason we do farm is to raise our children on the farm. So, it continues to be an instilled value,” said Brent, acknowledging that the world of farming is evolving and the land available for farming has decreased.

“We have less and less grounds to produce the same amount of food, if not more. So, our jobs are actually becoming more and more important along the way because our resources are diminishing. And, therefore, we have to use technologies and knowledge to feed the world, on basically less,” he said.

Both are in favor of renegotiation trade deals, as suggested by Pres. Trump, but are not sure that tariffs are a good piece of leverage.

“We’re willing to wear some of that as American farmers on our shoulder, but we can’t take the brunt of all of it,” said Natasha.

PHOTO: IStock/Fotokostic