Ag 450 Farm operator retires after 27 years


Photo Courtesy of Greg Vogel

Greg Vogel will be retiring on June 1, 2019.

Katie Brinkman

Since 1992, Greg Vogel has been a farm operator at the student-run Ag 450 Farm. He will be retiring on June 1, 2019.

Vogel coordinates and helps provide direction in the decision-making process process for all livestock and crop production. He serves as the direct link between students taking the Ag 450 course and the Ag 450 Farm.

“The Ag 450 Farm is a unique opportunity for students,” Vogel said. “There’s no place like it.”

Working with students is one thing that Vogel has enjoyed while being a farm manager. The students are respectful and really listen to what you have say, Vogel said.

He said he has enjoyed watching the students come up with their own ideas and seeing those ideas implemented to become a reality on the farm. Watching the students embracing the challenge to change is a rewarding experience for Vogel.

“I’ve learned from students as much, if not more, as they have learned from me,” Vogel said.

Vogel has decided to retire so he has more time to spend with his family. His body is telling him that after 63 years of working, it’s time to retire. He said his wife deserves it also because she has put up with a lot.

“Many people attribute the farm to me,” Vogel said. “But none of this could’ve happened without my wife.”

Other retirement plans for Vogel include traveling and trying new things. Even though he has spent some time traveling outside the U.S., he would like to travel and see other states. One place Vogel really wants to go is Washington, D.C. He also wants to go visit people that he has worked with over the past years.

The Ag 450 Farm is never boring for Vogel. He said he likes to develop relationships with people and that he’ll miss those daily interactions with them. Vogel believes that an important part of 450 farm, and life too, is understanding the people.

“I’ll miss working with the people here,” Vogel said. “From the professors all the way down to the students.”

One of Vogel’s many favorite memories is when he and his wife had just moved into their house on the 450 farm and his wife said, “It feels like home.”

Vogel and his wife enjoy spending time with the students on the farm, and the farm brings them joy by just living there. He said he also loves teaching students about the farm and real life stuff to help them better prepare for their future.

“Everyday is an experience here because of the students,” Vogel said. “They make this farm a great place to be.”

The Ag 450 course has had an impact on students that they don’t realize until later life, Vogel said. Students need to determine what is good information based on the farm’s needs and operations, as poor information is costly to the farm. Vogel said that he recommends that students spend time outside the class to really understand the impact they have on farm and others around them.

“Students have to immerse themselves in the culture here to really understand the operation,” Vogel said.