Salute to Farmers: Garner Farms embarks on smaller farm operation

Back to the basics
Published: Aug. 5, 2020 at 7:13 PM MDT|Updated: Aug. 5, 2020 at 5:42 PM MDT
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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) - Garner Farms sits out in the Raft River Valley surrounded by vast plains and the Heglar Canyon. Father Mike and son Nate run Garner Farms.

“This is what I have worked for. This is what I lived for,” said Garner Farms partner Mike Garner said. “This is what I hoped for, was for an opportunity to be in a position with my health, financial, to be able to bring my son in and to work side by side with him.”

For decades, the Garners were partners in another, larger farming operation. As of Jan. 1 this year, it’s been back to the basics of farming.

“We went from a business that had close to 150 employees and really wanted to downsize because managing people is hard,” said other farm partner of Nate Garner. “And we really just want to manage crops and manage our lifestyle.”

The six-employee team of Garner Farms manages about 800 acres of sugar beets and malt barley each, and around 200 acres of potatoes.

“It’s definitely a way of life, it’s also a way to be self employed,” Nate Garner said. “You do your own thing, you fix your own schedule, your kids come work with you when you want.”

“There is just something about walking out here in the dirt rather than sitting in the office that makes it really appeal.”

For the Garners, the future of farming is key.

“It’s really hard for people on the outside that aren’t involved in a farming operation, no discredit to them, but it’s hard for them to understand the work, the planning and the financial capital that it takes to produce food,” Mike Garner said. “We try to help people in society understand that.”

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