Why First-Generation Farmer Cody Otten Started His Own Farming Operation

by | May 21, 2022 | Ag News, Indiana Agriculture News, News Feed

Farming can be a very tough business. Especially, if you are new to it.

“Anybody that thinks that there’s no possible way they could farm, there is a way,” says Cody Otten from Clark’s Hill in Tippecanoe County.  He’s 26, recently married and farming on his own full-time for the first time.

“So, this year I’m actually cash renting 80 acres.  [It’s] some ground off my dad and [I’m] planting that in soybeans and I actually had just planted that on May 13th,” he says.

Cody’s decision to become a full-time farmer came while on his honeymoon in Florida.

“[My wife and I] went to the beach, looked over the water, thought about life a lot and made the decision that when I go back to Indiana I was going to have a talk with Jeff Haan, which is the guy I farm with, and see his thoughts on me farming my dad’s ground and becoming a first-generation farmer.”

First-generation farmer Cody Otten checks soil conditions and his seed-planting progress. Photo courtesy of Cody and Samantha Otten.

Cody says he’s gained a lot of knowledge with his first spring planting.

“I’ve learned a lot now on inputs, especially fuel prices. I’ve learned a lot more on seeds and what genetics I wanted to do and how to plant the seeds and run the planter,” he says.

Cody also says his wife Samantha has been completely supportive of his decision and has been an outstanding partner in their farming operation.

“She’s great with advice and got me on the roll with the book work. I’ve definitely come a long way with filing all my farm stuff, keeping track of all my chemical records and fertilizer records, [as well as] all my receipts and bills for tax time. She helped out a lot and she’s been a big support on all of it.”

Cody says he has big plans for the future.

“I’d like to actually own some farm ground myself [and farm] roughly around 500 to 800 acres. That would be a good set goal. Definitely just keep growing and being successful,” he says.

Cody says the best advice he has received about farming is the same advice he would give to the next generation of farmers.

“Keep your head up and keep moving forward and everything at the end of the day, rather it works or not, [is] going to be fine.”

Click BELOW to hear C.J. Miller’s news report on Cody Otten’s decision to become a first-generation farmer.

Click BELOW to listen to the FULL interview with Tippecanoe County farmer Cody Otten.

Cody and Samantha Otten riding in their John Deere tractor. Photo courtesy of Cody and Samantha Otten.

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