What’s your dream job? One obvious answer would be doing work you really enjoy, with the people you love. That’s the situation that the Drinkall family is in with their business, Drinkall Family Forage Enterprises. Recently, Delvin Drinkall and his sons, Tyson and Cody shared some insights into their business.
When asked how long they’ve been in this business, Delvin replied, “I guess we don’t have an official start date.” He went on to explain that as he was farming, his family started helping neighbors with chopping and baling, and it gradually grew into the business they now run. Delvin says that nowadays, “The main crew is myself, two sons, a daughter, son-in-law, and then my parents and other daughter help a bit, and we have a couple of part-time men.” A friendly dog/mascot named Callie rounds out the team, and eagerly comes along on outings whenever she’s invited.
According to their website, http://drinkallfamforageent.wixsite.com/dffe/services the services Drinkall provides include custom chopping, silage bagging, large round baling, corn stalk bales, large square baling, net wrap sales, and more. They do the bulk of their work within a 50-mile radius of the office (407 Valley Avenue, Spring Valley), but have worked as far away as South Dakota and Menomonie, Wis., with the net wrap sales extending even farther, including Oklahoma, Illinois, and Colorado.
Similar to a farming schedule, Delvin said the business is busiest during the growing and harvesting seasons. Tyson stated, “From the second week of May until the end of August, we’re pretty busy. And then from the first of September to the end of November, we’re really busy!” But despite their busy schedule, the family said their work ethic has always been to do the work as though they were doing it for themselves.
Delvin adds that they do very little advertising other than attending trade shows for the net wrap portion of the business, but that word-of-mouth has always been their best advertising. But the business has continued to grow. Tyson stated, “It’s almost doubled every year,” and he says the reason is, “We find lots of stuff to do. We’ve got several different trailers, we can truck or haul just about anything…Not too much scares us. We’ll take on just about anything and find a way to get it done!”
When asked what’s been a challenge, Tyson replied, “Probably the steepest learning curve we’ve had was last fall when we bought the (manure) drag line. We’d never even been on one of them before.” Delvin adds that when he looks to the future, “We’ll probably see more room for growth in the manure part of it, because of the pig buildings going up in the area. There’s more of that created every year.”
Drinkall Family Forage has both a website and a Facebook page, which show a variety of pictures of their services and equipment. Currently, according to Delvin, the major equipment includes “a chopper and the trucks, and then we have four baggers (two truck baggers and two side-dump baggers)…we have an inline bale wrapper, two round balers, a big square baler, and a blade tractor for packing silage.”
Delvin shared that it’s very important to him that this is a family business, and the family shared stories showing that that even Delvin’s young grandson Kayden is already showing great interest in anything related to farming. Delvin summarizes that, “Nobody’s making us do it, we do it because we like it. Most of what we do is stuff we’ve done our whole life. When we had cattle, we always liked making feed, and I grew up on a dairy, so we know the importance of making good feed. So we understand the feed we make has to make the farmer money all year. We really take pride in that.”