Crane Farms began six generations ago by Ezekiel Crane, his wife Ruth Ann, and their four boys. They moved from Ohio to Kansas in 1874 with the hopes of acquiring one quarter of land from the government via the Homestead Act and one quarter via the Timber Culture Act (see below). They eventually Homesteaded in 1876 in Pawnee county.
Through constant innovation, adaptation, and hard work, Crane Farms is still here over a century later providing food for the world. Crane Farms currently specializes in the production of soybeans, corn, and winter wheat. Our soybeans and corn go mainly to support cattle productions, and our wheat is used by Stafford County Flour Mills to produce some of the best flour in the world.
Alan Crane, fifth generation farmer, is the sole owner and manager of Crane Farms, from day-to-day operations to yearly plans. Alan is passionately devoted to staying abreast of grain marketing strategies, water conservation issues, and efficient crop production practices. He has been farming for over 40 years and uses historically proven methods coupled with new and improved technologies to produce the best crop for Crane Farms and its landlords.
Alan is helped remotely by his daughter, Rachel Crane, who manages the finances, web site, and all other paper work. Rachel also pops down to the farm during wheat harvest to run the combine.
Additionally, the farm could not run smoothly without the hard work and dedication of Robert Neeland, our full-time On-Farm Agronomist, Shawn DeHaan, our Machinist, and our many seasonal farm hands and truck drivers. Roz Crane, Alan’s wife, and Gloria Crane, Alan’s mother, also lend a hand and give much needed support in busy times.
Crane Farms is always interested in expanding. If you have interest in cash renting or share cropping your farm land please do not hesitate to contact Alan or Rachel.
“To encourage people to settle the West (which also, at that time, encompassed what we call today the Midwest), Congress passed the Homestead Act in 1862. Before the Homestead Act, the federal government had been busy acquiring land from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean, all part of the attitude called Manifest Destiny (as in, it’s manifest that the destiny of the United States is to stretch from ocean to ocean), but after the Homestead Act, the federal government began dispensing this land to the general public.
The basic concept of the Homestead Act was simple. Any person age 21 or older, male or female, could file a patent for 160 acres (a quarter-section, or a quarter-mile on each side) of the unclaimed public domain. If the settler built a house and a well on that land, plowed it, and lived there for the next five years, he or she “proved up” the claim and the title passed to him or her.
In 1873, the Timber Culture Act was passed that gave settlers an additional 160 acres of land if they planted trees on the land (under the mistaken belief that trees produce rainfall, when it’s the other way around), and some pioneers acquired 320 acres by filing for a Homestead claim and a Tree claim.
The Homestead Act funneled millions of acres of land into the hands of hard-working pioneers. Many historians argue, and rightfully so, that the Homestead Act was the single most important legislation of 19th century America.”
– Del Leu