Field Signs and Family Farms

By Julie Peterson, corn and soybean farmer and owner of Peterson Farms and Seed


With summer road trips in full force, I’m sure many of you have seen signs along the sides of the roads advertising corn and soybean seed and wondered … what do these signs mean and are these family farms?

These field signs are similar to when you drive around your neighborhood and see a roofer working on a house. Often, roofers put a sign out in front of the house while they work to help promote their business and show off their great finished product – a nice new roof. This is exactly the same situation with the field signs you see when you drive down the road in rural America. It’s simply a method of advertising for the seed dealers that sell seed to their clients – local farmers.

For example, my family owns a seed company that sells seed to farmers. The best way to show and promote the great seed that my company sells is by placing a sign, with the permission of our farmer customers, next to their growing crop for other farmers to see.

This is traditionally a flattering gesture for the farmer. Farmers are proud of the decisions that they have made on their seed choice and are typically quite enthusiastic when we ask to place a sign next to their fields.

In addition to our family seed company, we are also a family farm. And as a farmer, I make seed selections every year regarding the specific variety I will plant I’m happy to identify what is growing out in my field with field seed signs because it can also be helpful to other farmers within my area. When farmers see a certain product or seed working well in their neighbor’s fields, they take notice, especially when they have similar pest issues or soil types.

This can be related to things in everyday life. If you notice your friend using a new conditioner that makes her hair shinier, you will likely ask what product they are using and try it for yourself.

When you’re on your next road trip, I hope you better understand what these signs mean. Consider grabbing your smartphone and Googling the names on the signs as you pass by. You might have a better understanding as to why the farmer chose that seed variety. Your new knowledge might just impress the other people in the car with you and even keep you occupied for a few more miles.

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