Farmers talk about farming, politics

GILFILLAN ESTATE — Two men who have been farming all their life talked about farming and politics at the IDEAg Farmfest Forum Aug. 7.

Marlon Rudolph of Pemberton has been growing corn and beans for decades put it succinctly.

“Politicians in both parties are a bunch of crooks,” he said.

Dennis Sellner, 80, has been farming in Prairieville Township near Sleepy Eye since he was young. He said he has no plans to retire.

“I’ve got to keep working, keep busy doing something,” Sellner said. “I work with a good bunch of guys.”

For the past 20 years, he’s been driving a truck for Leavenworth Silage Co., usually from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. He began that job about the time he sold his dairy cows.

Sellner said there are too many politicians.

“Why not have two senators and two congressmen from each state and just one party?” Sellner said.

His advice for farmers this year is to sell corn and store beans.

Sellner said he doesn’t buy federal crop insurance.

Last year he said he had his best corn crop ever, 220 bushels an acre but still lost about $50 an acre due to high input costs and $2.72 corn.

Sellner said he rents out some of his farm land.

“If you don’t own the farm land, I don’t think you can make much money,” Sellner said. “Some guys don’t care what they pay for rent.”

Sellner said he got married in 1960 and farmed 120 acres in a much simpler time.

“We had no running water for the first 18 months,” Sellner said. “We had an outhouse and still have it.”

Since then, Sellner said he’s seen several dozen farms shut down within a few miles of his farm place.

Fritz Busch can be emailed at