Even though Robert Walsh went to college to earn a non-agriculture-related degree in biology, he anticipated he would return to the farm at some point. Besides, a lot of what is learned in that academic field can be extremely useful on the farm.
Walsh, a graduate of Elk Point Jefferson High School, graduated from the University of South Dakota in 2004. In 2005, he started farming full time, coming back to the family operation to work alongside his father, Patrick. He always had a passion for agriculture growing up and worked on the farm after school and during summers.
“Farming is a rewarding way of life and being able to raise a family in a rural community is wonderful,” he said.
Walsh said the biggest challenge facing today’s corn farmers is remaining profitable with commodity prices at current levels. Expanding current markets and finding new uses for corn is vital, he said.
“We need to work with automobile manufacturers and fuel scientists to develop a standardized high-octane gasoline that will increase the use of ethanol and simplify consumer choice at the pump.”
The proper education of consumers on the benefits and safety of GMO crops and ethanol is essential, Walsh said. Continuing to increase corn utilization at home and abroad will benefit all corn farmers and the nation.
Walsh and his family farm in Union and Clay counties, with the home farm located just east of Elk Point. They grow corn and soybeans, and raise seed soybeans for several seed companies. They farm both dryland and irrigated ground, mostly along or near the Big Sioux River.
Walsh is a member of the Lewison Ditch Board. He and his wife, Allison, live in Vermillion and have a daughter, Adrienne, and a son, Evan.