Leader: Generations of Success

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farm and land

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I would rather be

STORY AND PHOTOS BY SUSAN WALKER | EVEN THOUGH SHE’S ONLY THREE YEARS OLD, ALLI RHODERICK IS ALREADY MAKING A CONTRIBUTION ON THE FAMILY FARM. WITH HER FATHER, CURTIS, BY HER SIDE, ALLI LOVES TO HELP TAKE CARE OF THE CHICKENS, FEED THE HEIFERS AND GATHER STRAW. CURTIS, 29, HIS BROTHER NATHAN, 27, AND SISTER MALORIE, 31, ALSO STARTED WORKING ON THE FAMILY FARM IN MOUNT AIRY, MARYLAND AT A YOUNG AGE.

“It’s a great place for kids to grow

farm, Wayne and Cindy both have taken

When Wayne and Cindy purchased

the other side of ag

up,” says Wayne Rhoderick, Malorie,

on leadership roles in their community.

the farms with their sons, they set up

Curtis and Nathan’s father. “The kids

Cindy has been a member of 4-H

a shared bank account for expenses,

took care of the goats they raised for

leadership for 15 years and secretary

but they handed the responsibility for

4-H before school, then helped with

of the Holstein club for 12 years. Both

the finances of those farms over

milking and driving the tractor after

of them are active in the Farm Bureau

to Curtis and Nathan. “We want them

school,” he adds. “You learn a lot of

and will be joining committees and the

to be prepared to handle all aspects

valuable lessons that you carry with

board respectively this fall.

of the farm after we decide to stop

you throughout your life, like how to

Although dairying can be tough

farming,” explains Wayne. “We contribute

in today’s tight market, diversification

some money to the account, but they’re

offers additional sources of income.

the ones who pay all the bills and

of Wayne and his wife Cindy’s life.

Other farmers in the area turn to Wayne

take care of decisions like choosing

Wayne’s maternal grandparents bought

for advice and help with a wide range of

insurance. They’re accountable, so when

the family farm in 1937, then sold

projects, from equipment repair and soil

things go right, that’s because of what

the operation to Wayne’s parents in

preparation to wrapping silage. “We’ve

they’ve done, not something I’ve done

1965. In the 90s, Wayne and Cindy

been blessed with a lot of good people

for them.”

purchased the farm from his parents.

in our life,” says Wayne.

manage your responsibilities.” Farming has always been a part

Since the beginning, it’s been a dairy

Careful financial management

Looking toward the future, Wayne is considering switching his

operation. The Rhodericks currently

is also an important key to the

operation to beef next year. “Dairy is

have 60 head of full registered Holsteins

Rhodericks’ success. “Before they

so unpredictable,” he says. “And it

and milk 20 cows.

make any financial decisions, Wayne

requires you to stay close to the farm

and Cindy always put pencil to paper

at all times. There really aren’t days

management, with the Rhodericks

and run the numbers,” explains Farm

off. Switching to beef would give us

owning more than 300 of those acres,

Credit loan officer Mary Jane Roop,

the flexibility to visit Malorie and our

including farms that Curtis and Nathan

who has worked with the family for

three granddaughters, which is hard

purchased with their parents. In addition

14 years. “They assess all opportunities,

to do now.”

to dairying, they also grow hay, corn,

like purchasing the farms with Curtis

soybeans, and wheat. Curtis and Nathan

and Nathan, very carefully.”

The farm includes 500 acres under

While he’s considering switching the focus of his farm, he’d never

Mary Jane adds, “Good financial

switch jobs. “What I like most about

handles the milking. Malorie and her

stewardship is something that Wayne and

farming is that I’m not working for

husband are also dairy farmers, with a

Cindy have taught their children as well.

someone else,” says Wayne. “I have

farm in Iowa where they have a large

It’s not very common for us to lend money

the freedom to set my own schedule

scale milking operation with 4,700 cows.

to people in their 20s, but Curtis and

and priorities. There’s nowhere I’d

Nathan are responsible and very savvy.”

rather be than on our farm.”

help with the crops, while Wayne

In addition to their work on the

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