Beau-View Farms and owner Bill Beaumont, a retired vegetable and wheat farmer, were recognized with the “Good Neighbor Award” during the Wyoming County Pride of Wyoming County Agriculture Dinner on Saturday at the North Java Fire Hall.
The award is given by the Wyoming County Farm Bureau and Cornell Cooperative Extension of Wyoming County as part of the county’s annual Pride of Wyoming County Agriculture Dinner.
“Being acknowledged for not only being part of the agriculture industry but also my character is a very proud moment. I feel honored and humbled by receiving such a prestigious award,” said Bill.
Bill said that he felt there were many other farmers who were also deserving of the award.
Beaumont has been a name in the farming industry since the early 1950s. Beaumont’s father and uncle started farming and went by Beaumont Bros LLC. The farm name was launched when Bill’s father, Seymour Beaumont, and his uncle, Herman Beaumont, rented farmland in the 1950s. The Beaumonts went on to purchase their first 93 acres in April 1969. By 1973, they purchased another 235 acres.
When Bill Beaumont was around 13 years old, he began helping out on the family farm. He participated in 4-H and FFA throughout high school before graduating high school in 1972.
Bill went on to work for Kelly & Beaumont Inc. as a mechanic and helped by spreading lime. Bill’s grandfather, Fay Kelly, and his father and uncle, Seymour and Herman Beaumont owned Kelly & Beaumont Inc.
Kelly & Beaumont Inc. is currently owned by a different Beaumont relative and is still an active trucking business and are applicators and handlers of bulk fertilizers, limestone, and liquid nitrogen.
Bill went on to drive semi-truck in the off season and would farm in spring and summer.
“I knew in my heart I was a farmer,” said Bill.
He went on to farm and drive semi through the mid-1980s.
By 1987, the farm owned about 400 acres and rented another 200 acres. At this time, the Beaumonts grew sweet corn, peas and wheat.
Beau-View Farms was established in 1991 by Bill [the farm was Beau-View Farms, the land was Beaumont Bros LLC. Seymour passed away in August 1995 and Herman’s poor health left Bill the sole operator.
Bill continued to grow vegetable crops and wheat until 2000. The following season he switched to growing corn silage (for local dairy farms), hay, wheat and soybeans. Bill began phasing out during the harvesting months of 2016 and by 2017 he had the land leased to a co-op of local dairy farmers that he said he feels share the same practices of ground and soil conservation as him.
Bill worked the farm consistently for over 40 years.
“I enjoyed watching the seeds go in and watching it grow — the whole process,” said Bill. “Knowing that the work I do has a positive impact in society, every crop I grew was either for food or feed.”
Farming often included meetings and seminars with like-minded people, according to Bill, to discuss and learn different products, machinery, and farming practices as the years went by and technology changed
Bill said that he misses being out in the field and watching the soil churn.
Though retired, Bill remains involved in the agricultural community by keeping up on the new technologies of farming. This allows Bill the knowledge to discuss with his tenants and ensure they’re following proper techniques of ground conservation.
Cover crops have been a very important practice on his farm since the beginning. Along with proper drainage, Bill has the soil tested to see what nutrients are needed.
Bill also gets what he calls “tractor seat time” by helping other farmers in their spring and fall work. One of his close farmer friends are Eric and Steve Schreiber of Schreiberdale Farms where he spends quite a bit of his spring and fall helping with field work. He fills in to drive truck at Pankow Farm when they need him. Also, in the springtime he helps his best friend, Jeff Pattridge, prepping the ground for planting soybeans and in the fall, he helps with the harvest.
“Retiring as a farmer is really difficult. Farming is a way of life, and it’s hard to walk away from it completely. I watched my father put in many, many hours – he would drive a truck at night and farm during the day. He worked those hours to make sure the farm kept running smoothly and that we had a great quality of life growing up. My work ethic came from him. I knew going into farming wasn’t going to be easy, but I also knew the kind of life I had made from it. I worked on the farm starting in my early years, totaling about 40 years in farming,” said Bill.
“My advice is listening to your mind and body – I started running into health problems, which led to my retirement. I truly enjoy being able to help my farmer friends and being able to make dinner at 6 p.m.,” laughed Bill.
During the winter months, Bill typically has a project tractor. He co-created a 1970s Allis-Chalmers tractor prototype. He took this tractor to Hutchinson, MN at the Orange Spectacular and he finished restoring his father’s 1951 Farmall MD. He’s currently working on a 1967 Farmall 1206.
He continued, “Have hobbies, keep moving and if your farmer friends need help, help them. A saying my father always said was, ‘don’t keep all your eggs in one basket.’”