Bob Lindeman has been farming in Minnesota for 42 years. On his family operation in Brownton, Lindeman raises soybeans, corn, sweet corn and wheat as a fourth-generation farmer.
For as long as he can remember, Lindeman has always enjoyed farming. From learning to drive tractors to picking rocks on his family’s century farm, he always knew a career in agriculture alongside his father, Jim, was his destiny.
“I enjoy farming in Minnesota,” Lindeman said. “The part that I enjoy most is working with family and friends. My dad just turned 80 and he’s been helping every year. He runs the combine and does a lot of the spring tillage. I’ve also got a brother-in-law that helps out.”
Lindeman jumped into his farming career in 1981 when an elderly neighbor gave him a chance to farm on his land. For most farmers, 1981 is an unforgettable year – interest rates in America spiked to over 16%. Lindeman recalls the help he received during the American farm crisis.
“When I started farming in the mid-80s, we were down on the Capitol steps because interest rates were closing in on 20%,” said Lindeman. “Farming was in a rough time, and luckily, I had some help from my grandpa to get me through that.”
A few years later, in 1986, he married his wife, Lori. The couple raised two kids, Mariele and Bryce. Now, the fifth generation is starting to come back to the farm, and in 2016, the Lindemans were recognized as McLeod County’s Farm Family of the Year.
“Our son’s been involved in the farming operation a little bit probably for the past at least five or six years,” said Lindeman. “He graduated from SDSU with an agronomy degree. Anytime I have a question on what’s going on with our soybeans, he’s willing to give me his input.”
As Lindeman looks back at his farming career, one thing sticks out on the list of things he wishes he had started earlier.
“I joined the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association (MSGA) probably about 20 years ago,” said Lindeman, a current MSGA director who also sits on the organization’s governing board. “I probably should have joined it a lot sooner than that.”
Better late than never. A few years after joining MSGA, Lindeman became involved in the McLeod County Corn & Soybean Growers Association and served on the county board for three terms. From there, Lindeman gained a larger appreciation for the policy work that MSGA does on behalf of Minnesota’s nearly 28,000 soybean farmers.
“Our local county organization has been very active for the past 20 years or more,” Lindeman said. “I was on that board and really enjoyed it and got to learn and know what MSGA was really all about.”
Membership drives MSGA, which helps the lobbying team give voice to Minnesota farmers in front of policymakers throughout the year. As a director, Lindeman wants to encourage everyone to invest in MSGA’s mission by becoming a member.
“It costs $250 for a membership for three years,” said Lindeman. “If you break that down, for a 500-acre farm, it’s about 16 cents an acre. And I feel there’s return that’s well over that. They are working avenues every day to protect the Minnesota farmer.”
Lindeman feels that his return on investment is reason enough to support an organization that stands up for farmers. That’s why he joined MSGA.