Brady Hanes lived in a rural community near his grandfather’s farm north of Decatur until 2011 when his family moved to Canton. The second oldest of eight children—all homeschooled—Hanes is currently enrolled at Spoon River College working towards an Associate in Applied Science/Agricultural Business Management degree.

“Farming has been in my family for seven generations, and even though it skipped a generation, I guess you could say it’s in my blood,” said Hanes. “When I was a little guy, I used to ride for hours in the cab with my grandfather. I had to be peeled from the seat each time I was out there. In all sincerity, nothing has changed.”

Working full-time for local grain and cattle farmer Eugene Stufflebeam while attending classes has solidified his love for farming, and he would like nothing more than to own and operate his own farm someday. “My parents have taught me the value of work, integrity, and that the Lord has given me talents and passions which are to be used to serve him. My goal is to serve Jesus in whatever job I am in, but I am praying that it will be on the farm.”

Hanes said Spoon River was his college of choice for three reasons; SRC Ag teacher Allyson Smith shares a strong passion for agriculture, and it allowed him to live with his family and to continue working on the farm.

“It does not feel like work to me, and my heart has always yearned for this opportunity.”