“Farming is not just an eight to five job.” Vaughan Zacharias, Future Vision Partnership, Kathryn, North Dakota
The Zacharias family farm, Future Vision Partnership in Kathryn, North Dakota, has been a family-owned farm for four generations – and the fifth and sixth generations are up-and-coming. Originally from Denmark, Germany, the Zacharias family came to the U.S. in 1883, before North Dakota reached statehood.
To say that farming is in their blood would be an understatement.
“This is not just our everyday job. It’s our passion. It’s our livelihood,” Vaughan Zacharias, family patriarch, explained.
Future Vision Partnership is one of two million U.S. farms. Their crops are corn and soybeans. They know that growers like them have an enormous calling and a challenge – to feed a population that’s expected to reach 9.3 billion by 2050.
“Part of looking ahead is taking great care to preserve what we have today,” explained Vance Zacharias, the oldest of Vaughn’s three sons. “If you knew more about my family’s story, you’d know that we’re huge champions of our planet. Sure, there’s a practicality there – without the soil, we have no livelihood, so we have a vested interest in protecting it. But there’s another side to this – a genuine passion for our work as well as the desire to leave healthy fields for the next generation.”
"Being a fourth generation, I think we're the most proud of raising not only crops but also our sons. And the next generation after that. We're proud to watch them grow." - Vaughn Zacharias
"We’re focused on economic sustainability so we’re not plundering our resources whether it’s seed or chemical, we’re working to reduce our diesel fuel, our overall travel." - Vance Zacharias
The family mission is evident in the way they run the farm – from water management to cover crops to judicious chemical usage. The family farms 100 different fields yet they treat each one individually with a protective eye out for the neighbors. This means watching wind speeds to know when it’s best to apply chemicals and choosing ones that won’t harm nearby trees.
“Sustainability to me is being a good farmer, having good practices whether it’s no-till, managing water, so you’re not getting excessive run-off. It keeps the land there for the next generation.” – Donovan Zacharias
“Sustainability to me means that we’re able to give back to the farm so the 6th generation can also farm the same land.” - Verlin Zacharias
At BASF, we’re proud to support this sustainability mission. We know that farming is the biggest job on earth – that’s why it’s an honor and a privilege to share their family’s success story and how they’ve achieved sustainability for generations.