Father, son duo advance operation, legacy


Robert and Brandon Litch work alongside each other on their crop and cow-calf operation

The Litch farmstead has experienced many changes over the years. The current operators are Robert and Brandon Litch. In 1970, the farm nestled near Melvern Lake; Robert’s dad bought the farm from his grandfather that year but the lake took ownership and they had to move. Since then, the Litch family has continued to grow their fifth-generation operation. The Litches grow soybeans, corn and hay, and run a cattle operation with seed stalkers as well as a cow-calf operation.

Robert and Brandon adventured down a path outside the farm before returning full-time. Robert attended trade school after high school and became a mechanic for five years. He operated a seed business on top of running the farm for many years. The decision to farm full-time in 1990 was easy because it allowed him to attend more of his children’s activities, he says. Brandon attended Kansas State University to pursue an agricultural education degree but switched to agronomy when he decided to return to the farm after college.

“It’s in my blood, it’s what I grew up doing,” Robert says.

Over the years, many things have changed and advanced on the Litch farm, however the biggest was switching to no-till in the ‘90s. Robert says he first discovered no-till while he served on the Kansas Soybean Commission board as the district nine Commissioner. He made the switch because the weather had such an impact on whether they could get in the field or not.

“I’ve been on several boards, but the Kansas Soybean Commission is one of the best I’ve been on,” Robert says.

Together they work to increase yields in all crops. Robert and Brandon participate in the Kansas Soybean Yield and Value Contests each year.
“We’ve been doing test plots and trying to see how far we can push population fertility,” Brandon says. “It is rewarding to see how you’ve improved.”
Working with family can be challenging yet rewarding. Robert enjoys working with his son and being able to introduce his grandkids to the farming life.

“You know family is always going to be there and be reliable,” Brandon says. “We can have disagreements, but then brainstorm together to solve them. At the end of the day, you’re still family and you still sit down at the dinner table to have supper together.”

The Litch duo believes there is importance to a membership with the Kansas Soybean Association. Robert expresses there are a lot of items the Association speaks out on in favor of farmers that farmers don’t realize. Brandon values how the association works to protect farmers’ rights to pesticides, uses of technology and much more.

“We need a voice because at the end of the day, there is a product o be sold and it needs places to be sold,” Brandon says.