The Admirable Father-Son Partnership of Randy & Tanner

A convseration with our Farmers at Pace Valley View Farm

One look at Randy and his son, Tanner, will tell you that these two form an excellent team.

Their red T-shirts, khaki shorts, and leather boots are what they call “the uniform,” a.k.a. comfy clothing (accidentally matched more often than not) well-suited for a day of farm chores.

We spent a morning getting to know Randy and Tanner on their farm, Pace Valley View, among a breathtaking view of rolling hills, while discussing the food system, Randy’s work in farmer advocacy, and how Tanner was named after the spunky Tanner Boyle from Bad News Bears.

Reflecting on the experience, we can’t help but admire Randy and Tanner’s mutually supportive relationship, a knack for finishing one another’s sentences, and a shared love for farm life.

Here’s a peek into our conversation…

Randy: I grew up on this farm and helped my dad raise cows bail hay. After college, in 1977, I took a job as a Farmer Loan Officer. I helped farmers get loans for 40 years and retired at the age of 62. Then, I got my own loan and we built a chicken house.

Tanner: Dad told me that if I wanted to be involved on the farm, I had to go to college and get a bachelor’s degree. So I got a bachelor of business from Missouri State, and ever since then, I’ve been farming.

Randy: Tanner read, watched YouTube, and did a lot of research. He told me, “We should do this. This can work.”

Randy: We own the farm 50-50. Tanner will take on more ownership over time. He’s the future of this farm.

Randy: (Laughing) I for sure do less. I sit on 6 boards locally and nationally. It’s how I stay social. In fact, I have an opportunity to go to DC to lobby and visit congressmen to talk about farm-related items and advocate for future farmers. The only drawback is you have to wear a suit and tie!

Tanner: I don’t even own a suit and tie!…I’m more of a hands-on kinda guy.

Randy: And I take care of the records and finances.

Tanner: (Without skipping a beat) That I can work with my dad. And now I get to raise my two sons here. They’re very involved on the farm. My 5-year old was up here all summer helping out.

Randy: Farming is a good way of life. My parents had a farm, my grandparents had a farm, and my great-grandparents had a farm. The fact that I can work with my son is special. Children staying on the farm isn’t common in this area. I’ve got my son and now my grandsons here all the time, and I feel lucky to have found a career that allowed for this lifestyle.

Want a 360° view of Randy and Tanner’s farm? See it here!

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