South Dakota Farmers Union Celebrates the Sumption Farm Family

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South Dakota Farmers Union Celebrates the Sumption Farm Family

 By Lura Roti, for South Dakota Farmers Union photos by Kaylee Speck Photography

  Celebrating a century of service to South Dakota's farm and ranch families, throughout 2015, each month South Dakota Farmers Union highlights members who farm or ranch with their families. This December, South Dakota Farmers Union features the Sumption family who farm together near Frederick.

  Mark Sumption’s 9-year-old daughter, Morgan, often asks him to tell her stories about his life as a child. Recently she asked him how he spent his time after school each day.

 “I tell her that when I got home from school I went to work on the farm,” answers the fourth generation farmer.

 His dad, John, says he and Margaret relied heavily on help from Mark and their other four sons, Chris, Eric, Taylor and Warren, to get work done on the family’s Frederick farm. “Our sons were always active workers on the farm. Actively involved from a young age because Margaret and I couldn’t get all the work done ourselves,” John, 67, explains. “I grew up working on my family’s farm and so did Margaret.” By the time their sons were old enough to consider farming full-time, John and Margaret encouraged each of them to get an education and work off the farm.

 “Dad said to go to college and see the rest of the world, experience things, work for someone else,” explained Chris, 44. “It was good experience to work for other people and see what it was like to be on the other side of the counter.” After high school, Chris became a diesel mechanic and worked for John Deere for a short time. In 1992 he returned to farm full-time with his dad and mom.

 Like him, each of his four brothers left the farm and received degrees.

 Eventually each of them made their way back home to the family farm.

 Today the five men farm together raising crops and cattle. “I never dreamed they would all come back to farm. It’s a dream come true,” says John, who gave control over to his sons in 2000 and spends most days helping his sons on the farm.

 To learn more about the Sumption farm family and view a photo gallery, click here 

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