Philip and Karen DuWell

A gene is a segment of DNA that is passed down from parents to children and gives a trait to the offspring. We are not sure if it’s been identified yet, but the way Philip DuWell sees it, there must be a farming gene. “I have always said it’s got to be in your DNA,” he stated. “If you don’t have that passion for farming inside of you, the ups and downs may be too much of a challenge.”

Vil-Edge Farms LLP is located in Johnsburg, WI. Philip DuWell owns the Dairy and Grain Farm along with his brothers, Mark and Dan. When it comes to the daily operations on the farm, Mark is more of the genetics guy and Philip really likes the field work. They take pride in developing their herd and are gratified when they have a really good one. Dan is a partner in the operation, but also works off the farm and helps out after work and weekends. Philip has a pretty good understanding about working with his brothers. “There are very few families that have kids and families that work exactly the same,” he said. “There will always be a need for compromise.”

The home farm was purchased in 1955 by their father, so that makes the DuWell brothers the second generation on the farm, but the family has been in this rural Fond du Lac County community for three generations. The farm is located right on the village’s edge. “We have to be conscious of our neighbors next door,” Philip said. “We hope that our work is appreciated and that people understand how hard it is to keep an operation running especially during these times.” The Agriculture community is undeniably facing many challenges, but Philip still gets a sense of pride knowing that what he is producing is feeding people. He can dig in, be hands-on and work for himself. “We survived the 80’s,” he said. “We bought a farm in 1980 when I graduated and we struggled, but we are able to survive now because we didn’t over extend ourselves.”

Philip has been involved in his community as a Volunteer Firefighter for the Calumet Fire Department, was highly involved at St. John the Baptist and with the FFA Alumni. He does a little hunting, mostly squirrel.

Thank you to Philip for taking the time to share his farming story. We do appreciate the work our farmers do to provide food for all of us. I think a lot of our other Farmer Friday members will agree with that farming gene assessment. They often express that farming was a passion they were born with. We wish a successful future for you, your family and Vil-Edge Farms!

#FarmerFriday #97. To show our appreciation to our producer members Country Visions Cooperative will be giving a snapshot look of our customers and their operations in this feature each Friday