Farming for Francis Krumm is 50-50 Partnership
"Farming for Francis Krumm is 50-50 Partnership With God." Dakota Catholic Action, 31 August 2003, 11.
HAGUE – Francis Krumm of Hague is a husband, father, businessman,
farmer, and a humble, God-fearing man. In fact, when I visited with
him about the crop situation in Emmons County on a recent Saturday
morning, I couldn’t even get him to pose for a picture.
The Hague Elevator is a good place
for a visit. Farmers John Eberle and Terry Buechler (left and
second from left) visit with elevator employee Derek Wald (seated)
and Barry Baumgartner, elevator manager.
Francis and his wife, Kelly, have owned the Hague Elevator Company
since 1996. "The elevator had gone bankrupt and closed,"
said Francis. "The community got behind me and it has been
open ever since." He proudly stated that Kelly handles as
the bookkeeping for the elevator and the farm.
Francis is also a grain farmer, something he has been doing since
1989. Most young men get into farming by taking over the operation
from their parents. Not Francis. He started by renting some land
and eventually bought it. One can tell by visiting with him, it
is an occupation and lifestyle that he truly enjoys and one in which
he takes great pride.
Francis and Kelly have five children – four girls and one
boy – ages 5-11. "I’m encouraging all of them
– the girls too – to go into farming," said Francis
with a smile.
Prior to last year farming has been very good to the Krumms. According
to Francis, very little was harvested last year. Most of the wheat
zeroed out, sunflowers were pretty good, corn was on the lower scale
and beans were about average. From 1992 to 2001, however, the crops
were very good.
The Hague area and most of Emmons County, raises wheat, sunflowers,
corn and soybeans. Overall this year the wheat looks to be average,
while the others crops are
yet to be determined. The county saw a lot of hail damage to crops
earlier in the season. "One swath of hail west of Strasburg
was about 15 miles long and 2 miles wide," according to Krumm.
Francis is quick to admit that the church plays a huge role in
his farming operation. "I can’t imagine what it would
be like without the church," he added. "It doesn’t
matter what faith you belong to, we are all in this together. Farmers
are very faith-oriented people."
He believes that the toughest thing farmer’s face is trusting
in their faith enough that God has a plan to see them through. The
second toughest issue facing farmers is finances.
He says he hasn’t seen too much stress among farmers in the
area. "I guess everyone mellows out when it rains, and the
stress goes up some when it’s dry," he said. But he
also sees farmers as very private and independent people. "They
don’t like to talk about their problems."
Krumm admits that farming is hard, but God is a partner to everyone
who farms. "He wants this to work because we feed the world,"
he said. "He wants to work because we feed the world,"
he said. "He wants to work with positive people, not the gloom
and doom type."
Francis knows we have a loving God who doesn’t want people
to starve. "God farms with us. It is a 50-50 partnership with
God," he added. "If it doesn’t rain, however,
we think God isn’t carrying his part of the load."
Krumm believes that God will grind our faith and make it strong.
"Faith is our rock. If we only had money and power, we would
He admits that the best part about farming is seeing God’s
nature unfold into a bumper crop. The flip side, however, is sometimes
you have to dig down deep to keep the faith when your farming year
doesn’t go so well.
Francis knows some young people who want to be farmers, but realizes
that it’s a hard industry to get into. The farm population
is getting older by the day.
Krumm also serves as the parish council president for the Church
of St. Mary at Hague. With the priest shortage, he sees the people
binding together more and being part of the church. Emmons County
is made up primarily of German-Russian Catholics, who find it important
to socialize around the church and church events.
As we were visiting in the elevator that Saturday morning, a hot,
dry wind was blowing outside and the forecast was for temperatures
around 100 degrees later in the day. Francis sat there with a smile
on his face and talked about looking at the blessings God has given
each of us. "We can’t have a bumper crop every year.
People would not appreciate that," he said. "Look at
what God did to the Israelites. They disobeyed him and didn’t
appreciate what he did for them, so he made them wander in the desert
for 40 years." He realizes we all need to go through some
valleys to appreciate the mountaintops.
To sum up our visit, Krumm had these words for all farmers: "You’re
doing a good job. Put your faith in God and go forward."
Reprinted with permission of the Dakota Catholic Action.