In 1918, Vernon Dull and his father-in-law, Ira Brenner, bought a 170 acre farm just east of Bachman. In 2018, the Dull family marks 100 years of farming that same land. Vernon's son, Ralph, bought the farm from his father in 1969. In 1976, Ralph and wife Joy incorporated the farm and became Dull Homestead, Inc. Sons Pete, Mike and Kevin and daughter Becky were all involved in the day-to-day operations at that time. Now, those three sons, one daughter-in-law, seven grandchildren, and several great grandchild work the farm. The grandchildren mark the fifth generation of the family to make their living off the farm. Over the years, the farm has grown to 1300 acres owned and an additional 1700 acres rented. 1000 acres of our land has been secured in conservation easements.
DHI produces, processes and packages about 1200 acres of seed corn. We employ around 50 teenagers each July to detassel the seed corn (please see the summer employment section for more information). DHI also has a 500 sow farrow-to-finish hog operation, producing some of the leanest pork in the area. We also grow soybeans, wheat and corn and feed out around 300 head of cattle.
Conservation is very important to the Dull family. Ralph and Vernon were among the first in the area to begin using the no-till practice. No-till farming reduces erosion and allows nutrients to remain in the soil, leading to rich, fertile farmland. More recently, the Homestead is experimenting with cover crops to improve soil health. Solar energy cells were added to the roof of our office building. The office also uses geothermal energy to heat and cool the building. We believe in good stewardship of the land, not only to sustain the family and honor what the Lord blessed us with, but also to leave a legacy and way of life for future generations of Dulls.
Four Generations of Dulls