Know your Wisconsin: Family farms

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(WKOW) — Farming is a family business and Crystal Romanowski is no exception.

Romanowski is a third-generation farmer who runs a large grain operation near Stanley, Wisconsin. She can’t imagine a more perfect life calling.

“Farming is definitely in my blood, it’s been in there since I was a wee tyke! You know, helping dad and mom on the farm, and yeah, I just love doing what I do!” Romanowski said.

In the years since Crystal has managed the farm, she’s increased the yield she’s been getting from her crops by embracing new technology and being a steward of the land and water resources.

“Now you got GPS, it can drive itself. It has row shut offs, it’s amazing for what it can do. Has seed placements exactly where you want it, and, big change from when I was little to now,” Romanowski said.

It’s not only the machines that have changed, plant genetics have made huge strides in helping her farming success.

“It’s drought-tolerant now.  It’s the genetics allows us to, you know, either plant earlier or select different varieties that, you know, you can choose, and play a little bit, as mother nature just…you don’t know what you’re going to get” she said.

That technology means that there is less soil disturbance, less nutrient run-off and less fertilizer needed.

“I’m here still in the same farm you want to protect what’s here, you know. I drink the water that’s right around our farm. You want to preserve and take care of what you got, and I want to leave it in better shape than it is now for the next generation,” Romanowski said.

While technology may help improve yields and sustainability, it’s not the only reason Romanowski keeps the farm growing.

“It’s you know, giving fuel – to our local economy, it’s knowing that something you put in the ground grows, and you get to watch it and see what you produce off of it. It makes me really proud to be a farmer,” she said.

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