Tuesday evening, the Boy family was honored at the Kansas Farm Management Association’s (KFMA) Risk and Profit conference at Kansas State University’s Alumni Center in Manhattan, Kansas.
A short video was played about their family and their farm. Heath proudly showed the cattle trailer Terry built in FFA class at Syracuse High School that they still have today.
After the video played, Terry and Heath Boy sat down with Eric Atkinson for “A Conversation with A Kansas Producer.”
A lively evening ensued with questions from Atkinson and the audience about KFMA, Risk and Profit, farm policy, and farming in general. Of particular interest was what it is like to work side by side with each other.
Terry discussed how farming practices were different in the 1950s and 1960s when his dad farmed and there wasn’t much rain.
He gave Heath credit saying he is slow to change but crop rotation and more diversification has helped.
Heath remembered his Risk Management class at K State with Dr. Featherstone when they studied random number generators for crop yields. The parameters he put in were 0 to 40 bushel wheat. His classmates commented you can’t do that. You have to have real numbers like 10 to 15 for a minimum. Heath replied, “Zero has been a real number on our farm. It can happen and it can happen multiple years in a row.”
They discussed escalation in crop inputs and how they handled it this year. Heath laughed and said, “My strategy was to spend money.”
When asked if working together was a challenge, Terry responded, “No. We have our opinions and we know where we stand. We respect each other’s opinions.”
Terry spoke highly of his wife and the women of Hamilton County. He said, “My wife is probably one of four ladies out in our part of the country that drove I don’t know how many hundreds of thousands of bushels of wheat to the elevator and they did that in trucks that didn’t have air conditioning or radios.”
In 2023, the Boy family will have worked with KFMA for 70 years.
Heath acknowledged how KFMA has enabled policy makers in Washington, D.C. to enact the Freedom to Farm bill “that allows us to do more row crop farming and helped us change the way that we farm.”
The conference was packed with information and updates. Dr. John Newton, Chief Economis Senate Ag Committee gave a “Washington Farm Policy Update.”
Breakout sessions discussed everything from H2A employees, Kansas Land Values and Trends, Grain Market Outlook, Lending Trends and more.
The Boy family has deep roots on the Kansas State University soil, reaching back to when Terry’s parents, Gordon and Lois met. Many locals knew long time residents Gordon and Lois Boy. But they may not know that Gordon Boy and Lois Droegemeier met at Kansas State College. Gordon took a few classes but Lois graduated in 1943. They married in 1944 and began suitcase farming in Hamilton County
They lived out of a wagon for about ten days at a time. Soon they made their permanent home in Hamilton County. They had four children - Terry, Beth, Margo and Grace.
Like his father, Terry attended Kansas State University for a few classes but his heart was on the farm. Terry met his future wife, Aggie, at a wedding dance in Syracuse. She lived in Syracuse but was a teacher at Ulysses.
Aggie came from Satanta where her dad, Greydon Bible, was a custom cutter and her mom, Nadine Bible, was an RN.
Aggie graduated from Central State University in Edmond, Oklahoma. Terry and Aggie moved to Topeka where Aggie taught school and Terry worked construction. One year later, they moved back to Hamilton county and Terry picked farming back up again and took over the farm. Terry and Aggie worked hard as a team and raised their children Nichole and Heath.
Nichole, a SHS Graduate went on to pursue a career in PT and is a Doctor of Physical Therapy, married Trent Swanson. They live in Colorado. They have one son, Mattox, who loves coming out to the farm as often as he can.
But it was Heath who took to farming at a young age, knowing it was his passion. He graduated SHS, and like his grandmother, he graduated Kansas State University, as well.
Heath returned after college to work with his dad and build a life in Hamilton County. Side by side they worked with each other, trading ideas. Terry bringing his experience and Heath bringing newer technologies.
Heath said, “I am grateful to my parents and grandparents because I wouldn’t be able to do this without them.”
Heath is married to Michele Boy, graduate of City University of New York - Queens College, and they have one daughter Mia who fist bumped her mom at the end of the evening and said, “I’m proud of my dad and my Pops.”
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