Editor’s note: Andrew Hartman, son of farmers Mary and Bryan Hartman, wrote about his family’s farm recently and highlighted the modern way his family farms. Andrew just completed his sophomore year at Brophy Prep in Phoenix and hopes to one day fly for the military. And when done serving his country, perhaps come home and work on the family farm. He originally wrote the following article for a school project with a collage of photos. Andrew gave Julie Murphree of the Arizona Farm Bureau, permission to run the story on Julie’s Fresh Air and here. He is currently helping his dad on the farm this summer.
By Andrew Hartman, young farmer and aspiring pilot
Santa Cruz Ranch is a 1,200-acre farm based in Stanfield, Arizona. From cattle and horses to cotton and corn, there’s a little bit of everything here.
The two most important crops grown here are alfalfa and cotton with several hundred acres of each being grown each year.
Now days, most of the work is done by machines with the exception of irrigation which is still done by hand using siphon hoses to pull the water out of the ditch and into the field. The Central Arizona Project (CAP) canals are the main source of water but during the summer this is supplemented by the city of Casa Grande’s runoff water which is completely free.
There is never a dull day on the farm and there is always a lot to do from planting to landplaning to irrigating to tilling and mulching.
Most of the crops grown on the farm are from genetically modified seed. The Santa Cruz Ranch uses hundreds of bags of seed each year. One of our crops planted with genetically modified seed, for example, is Roundup Ready Corn.
- Mortimer Family Farms Establishes Roots on the Site Formerly Known as Young’s Farms (fillyourplate.org)
- Modern-Day Farms: “A Billion Acts of Green” (fillyourplate.org)
- Spring Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing (fillyourplate.org)