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Fresh off the networkApril 2009

Shane Nolan started out with just a 40-hp. tractor and 10 acres of land to farm. This earned him the nickname Micro Farmer from his peers who have much larger operations.

With the help of his father and his neighbor, Danny, Nolan expanded his operation to renting 35 acres. He also custom bales around 10,000 bales per year, using his favorite equipment: a Parrish Agriturf eight-bale accumulator and eight-bale grapple.

"Dad helped me get the equipment to start baling," says Nolan. "Danny has answered countless questions. And I have learned all the things textbooks at school can't teach about farming from him. He didn't have to, and I appreciate that."

  • Age: 38
  • Farm location: Near Valier, Illinois.
  • Farming practice: Alfalfa, timothy hay, and a corn/soybean/wheat rotation.
  • Education: Currently majoring in plant and soil science and minoring in ag systems at Southern Illinois University.
  • Favorite quotes to live by: "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger" and "Nothing lasts forever."
  • Goals for the future: "My goal for 2009 is to pay off the tractor and then to expand my hay-storage capacity," Nolan says. "Future goals are to trade up to an inline baler and to expand acreage if possible."

Shane Nolan started out with just a 40-hp. tractor and 10 acres of land to farm. This earned him the nickname Micro Farmer from his peers who have much larger operations.

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