Roger Stewart is a 4th generation farmer. His family owned a farm in Butler County, Ohio where Roger grew up.
Lila Lynch Stewart was the daughter of Dr Leland and Aubrey Lynch. Her father was a WWII veteran. “Doc Lynch” had a successful veterinary office in Middletown, Ohio, which her mother, Aubrey, ran while he was overseas during the war. Lila remembers many times that their family was paid in chickens and other livestock for her fathers veterinary services. The Lynch animal hospital was later ran by Lila’s brother, Dr Leland Lynch, Jr. Although under a different name and ownership the Lynch animal hospital is still in operation today.
In the latter part of the 1960's, Russell and Stella Stewart, Rogers’ Parents, received word that Interstate 75 would be routed through the middle of their farm in Butler County, Ohio.
Their two sons, Roger and Kenneth, knowing that farming ran too deep in their blood to hang up their flannel shirts for good, set out to find a new place to drop their plow and call home. In 1960, they pooled all of their resources, packed up their wives, young children, and the family pets, and made the move to Pike Township in Madison County, Ohio where they laid the corner-stone of what became Stewart Farms, Inc. As Roger and Kenneths’ sons grew up and started to farm, the partnership amicably dissolved so that each brother had his own farm.
Roger and his wife, Lila, named their farm after the adjacent creek, Spring Fork, and in 1979 Spring Fork Farms was incorporated.
Currently, Spring Fork Farms Inc. owns about 1450 and leases about 500 acres. The average year consists of about a couple hundred acres of wheat and the rest is about 1/2 corn and 1/2 soybeans. In order to preserve the farmland for future generations, Roger employs no-till and minimum tillage techniques when planting to help keep the topsoil in place.
Farming has come a long way since Roger began helping his father as a young boy. He remembers when his parents finally had electric lines installed at their familys‘ farm, pulling the 2 row plow with a horse, and during harvest they hand picked and husked the corn. Today, harvest is done with a combine that has a 40 ft grain head, and 20 ft corn head. Utilizing the John Deere Green Star System even makes steering optional. Roger's great grandchildren, who have already started helping on the farm, will be 6th generation farmers. Will the changes they see in their lifetimes be as significant as the changes their great grandpa has seen?