Pictured above: Wesley Clark, left, with his dad Jack.
Meet JACK & WESLEY CLARK a 3rd and 4th generation father-son farming team from Courtland, Kansas, who are big K-State fans and long-term customers of the Hardy, Nebraska location.
“Our farm began back in the 1920s with corn, soybeans, cattle, and hogs, and we have continued to grow from there,” Jack said.
Some of his first memories of farming were when he was a young boy growing up, he had responsibilities of feeding the livestock.
“On the weekends, I’d have to wake up early to feed the livestock, but I didn’t have to do that when I had school,” he said. “I learned from an early age that livestock was a lot of work, and we continued to have cattle until the mid-1980s and hogs until the early 2000s.”
For Wes, he remembers loading the hog trucks early at 4 a.m. while it was still the cool of the day and doing a lot of pipe irrigation and playing in the mud.
“As a kid, I thought that was a lot of fun, but thankfully things have changed over the years,” Wes said.
For this father-son team, farming was never really a question, it is just something that was in their blood. They both started farming as kids and never left. Jack and Wes enjoy all aspects of farming.
“From start to finish, I enjoy the new year, getting seed in the ground, watching it grow and seeing if you did any good or not,” Wes said. “Mother Nature plays a huge role in the outcome of things, but you handle that the best you can.”
Wes loves the fast pace of it all with the reward of downtime. There is a lot of hurry up to get things done, then you wait.
“We both have a lot of pride in being able to own our operation,” Wes added. “It means the world to us that we get to be our own boss. We can take a day off when we are not real busy, we don’t have to answer to anyone else but ourselves. It’s difficult to put into words what it means to get to work with your dad every day.”
Wes said he is very fortunate that him and his dad have a strong relationship.
“We can get after each other at times, but we work well together and each of us knows what needs to get done. We make a great team,” Wes said.
Jack said he loves seeing all his grandchildren come out and enjoy the farm and run in the wide-open spaces. He has 10 grandchildren between the ages of 7 years old and 7 months old. It can be a madhouse at times but he said he loves every bit of it.
“As farmers here in Courtland, Kansas, we are extremely fortunate to get to work with our local cooperative, and we have ever since the beginning of our family farm,” Jack said. “Aurora Cooperative is a great fit for our operation for numerous reasons. The location is great; they are only 3 miles away, but location isn’t everything. Aurora Cooperative is always really competitive, their grain markets are really good, and they are easy to work with. Marc Caldwell and the whole Hardy location take great care of us.”
“From grain to agronomy to tires, all the employees and products are great,” Wes said. “We have continued our relationship with Aurora Cooperative year after year because it is easy to do business with and the people are second to none. They are fair and you get patronage, and we take pride in being part owners. I am so glad that the Hardy location can continue to operate in such a small town of only 250 people. Aurora Cooperative is a big part of the community, and they do a lot of business for a small town, meaning a lot to the areas and people around them.”