The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update

Annual Report: Business & Industry

March 27, 2011

Farming through the generations at Shuter

ANDERSON, Ind. — Mike Shuter of Shuter Sunset Farms in Frankton takes his career very seriously.

He is the third generation to run the beef, pork, corn and soybean farm that specializes in Red Poll cattle. His son, Patrick, is the fourth.

“When we got down the road, this profession is what feeds the world,” he said. “Maybe our income isn’t as much as doctors or lawyers, but if we don’t feed the world, we won’t need doctors or lawyers.”

Despite some weather challenges, Shuter said 2010 was “very good.” Corn prices were down a little, but soybean prices were up. It worked out, despite “the extremes we saw in the seasons. It was wet in June, dry in August.”

Fortunately, that meant they went through only half the amount of liquid propane as the year before to dry the crop at harvest. “It balanced out.”

But the worrying has started already this year. The harsh winter is being followed by flooding this spring.

“The forecast we see is a cold, wet spring. It slows it down in terms of planting,” Shuter said.

But Shuter has been through this many times. “We’ve always got a crop planted. You just have to have faith that things will turn out. Years of living through (uncertainty) wears the edges of it off.”

Some of their corn crop goes to biofuels, but Shuter said that demand hasn’t increased food prices. Farmers simply plant more corn. The raw materials in a loaf of bread is still only 15 to 20 percent of the cost. It’s the other factors -- transportation, processing, advertising -- that drive up prices in the grocery store.

“The livestock market is still our primary market. If we didn’t have biofuels, we would be in a world of hurt with prices.”

Overall, he said farming is a stable industry.

“It all evens out. We’ve always had variability in the weather. It’s just the attention it gets now through politicians.  

“Agriculture in this country has and continues to provide the cheapest, safest food supply in the world.“

He would be delighted if the fifth generation, 4-year-old grandson Jacob, joined the noble profession of farming, too. Signs are favorable. “He won’t get away from the tractors when we’re working.”

1
Text Only
Annual Report: Business & Industry
  • Meyers Auto-3.jpg Auto dealers seeing increase in sales

    Overall auto sales have been climbing in the U.S., and it’s just as true in Madison County, where many dealerships have seen consumer demand on the increase.

    March 27, 2012 1 Photo

  • 0216 Welder working Ed Martin building12a.jpg Job loss, low incomes lead to population drop

    Though the federal government reports that the nation is on an economic upswing, Madison County continues to struggle with a 10.2 percent unemployment rate.

    March 27, 2012 1 Photo

  • 8 AR exit 10 3.jpg Healthy growth

    Growth along the Interstate 69 corridor has been healthy, at least for two area hospitals.

    March 27, 2012 1 Photo

  • Flagship forms hub of Exit 22

    The Flagship Enterprise Center at Exit 22 was created in 2005. The business incubator has helped more than 100 companies get a start.

    March 27, 2012

  • 7 Jahnae_Casino_1.jpg Hoosier Park VP sees tourism driving economic turnaround

    Jahnae Erpenbach, the vice president and general manager of gaming at Hoosier Park, strongly believes that the city of Anderson and Madison County are near a turning point in the area’s economic fortunes.

    March 27, 2012 1 Photo

  • 0717 news Bank Robbery12.jpg Local banks saw a year of growth

    During 2011, banks saw modest growth, returning to the industry despite a rough year in the media spotlight.

    March 27, 2012 1 Photo

  • 0903 biz Mike Baker1a.jpg Interest in people keeps Baker banking

    Mike Baker, the regional president of North Central and Muncie regions of First Merchants Bank, entered the banking industry in 1983.

    March 27, 2012 1 Photo

  • Bright Automotive Electric Car Bright Automotive may be gone, but not the future

    There’s no question the demise of Bright Automotive represents a blow to Madison County and the hybrid-electric niche it occupies in the automotive industry. But county economic development officials aren’t willing to let the engineering expertise that existed here with Bright slip away without a fight.

    March 27, 2012 1 Photo

  • 0210 news city council 033.jpg Economic Development director on the lookout for businesses

    As the city’s economic development director, Greg Winkler’s job entails seeking companies that are looking to expand or relocate. He tries to make such companies “give Anderson a hard look.”

    March 27, 2012 1 Photo

  • 0119_The Farm Site[1].jpg City wants to bring foreign companies, jobs

    One of last year’s biggest economic development announcements in Anderson was the news that a 72-acre baseball and softball training and competition complex would be built along Interstate 69.

    March 27, 2012 1 Photo

More Resources from The Herald Bulletin
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

Do you think heroin is a significant problem in Madison County?

Yes, it has surpassed meth as the problem drug
Yes, but meth is still a bigger problem
No, this was an isolated case
Not sure
     View Results