Like many farmdoc users, Chris Hausman has been in the ag industry all his life. Raised on a farm south of Pesotum, Chris graduated from the U of I in 1980 with a degree in agricultural education. He taught vocational agriculture at Armstrong High School for two years, then worked as a Farm Business Farm Management (FBFM) field man for almost eight years. In 1991, he and his family moved back to the home farm, and Chris began farming full time. Currently, he serves on the farmdoc advisory panel.
"I first got involved with farmdoc through my connections with the U of I as an FBFM field man," said Hausman. Now, as a producer, Hausman says he's very happy with the farmdoc website.
"I think the crop insurance decision-making process is what led me to the website to start with," said Hausman. "Their crop insurance calculator seems to work even better than what some of the insurance companies provide. My use of farmdoc really increases about the middle of February, right before the March deadline for crop insurance decisions."
Hausman also likes the lease agreement forms found on the website. "Years ago, you had to go to the Extension office, or your FBFM field man to get the lease form," he said. "Now you can download it, type in your information and go. That works really nice."
Hausman is a past president of the Champaign County Farm Bureau, and now serves on the Illinois Farm Bureau (IFB) Board at the state level, representing farmers from Champaign , Douglas, Edgar and Vermilion counties. He also serves on the local Illini FS operating Board.
Hausman is a strong advocate of the farm income workshops. "I've made it a point to stress that the farm income workshops are probably the best money you'll ever spend,” Hausman said. “There is so much gained out of them, it's unbelievable. They do a tremendous job. And most of the FAST Tools that they promote are available on the farmdoc website.
“Our mission at IFB is to improve the economic well-being of agriculture,” Hausman continued . “What better tool than the farmdoc website to help in our mission statement? I just wish more producers would take advantage of this great asset.”
Hausman and his wife Evonne (who has a degree in Dairy Science from the U of I) have three sons, Matt, Tim, and Nick. Matt and Tim are graduates of the University of Illinois ; Matt currently works in the Los Angeles area and Tim works in Chicago . Nick “broke tradition” to attend Southern Illinois University, where he is a senior.
Hausman is cautiously optimistic about the future of his family farm.
"My dad farmed 600 acres and he raised seven kids on that. My mom didn't work outside the home. You couldn't begin to do that today. Farming as we know it is changing. I think more people will farm on a part-time basis, and work a full-time job for the health benefits.
"I foresee one of our sons taking over the farm, probably on a part-time basis," he concluded.