including automated steering, yield monitoring, and a
sprayer system that prevents overlaps.
Robinson considers timber an important
commodity, and uses a forestry consultant to
determine when to cut trees. He recently sold red
cedar logs to an Amish buyer for use in manufactured
“Marketing is important for my business,” he says.
He uses a marketing consultant and sells most of his
grain directly to processors or end users, though some
is sold at the farm feed store. Where crop share leases
are involved, he often markets grain at local elevators.
He has about 225,000 bushels of grain storage, and
stores about 190,000 bushels of corn, 30,000 bushels
of soybeans, and 5,000 bushels of wheat.
He sells about 27,000 bushels of corn and 12,000
small bales of hay at the store, and also mixes oats,
corn, alfalfa, and molasses to make feeds for cattle,
goats, and horses that he sells from the store. He even
makes a special quail feed.
The store is also a retailer for Farm King equipment, including
grain augers, grain vacuums, nitrogen applicators, tedders,
and disc mowers. Robinson sees the feed store and machinery
dealership as businesses his children can operate while staying on
A spring storm blew o; a portion of the feed store roof, which
forced him to to move the store to the other end of the old dairy
barn. That turned out to be a better location for the store, he says.
BEGAN FARMING YOUNG
Robinson was young when he started farming, and recalls that
one of his first farm jobs was stacking hay. His dad worked in a
heating and air conditioning business and had a 35-acre farm on
“I milked a Jersey cow in high school, and sold milk to our
neighbors,” he says. “That led me to selling milk to another dairy
farm and working for them.” He ended up buying the dairy.
In the 11th grade, he borrowed money from his grandfather
and bought 18 acres. “Even then, I had a dream of being a full-
time farmer,” he says. “Today, my wife, Krislyn, and I are living our
Robinson occasionally does custom work on neighboring
farms, and he has been adding irrigation, with plans to expand
irrigation on a farm he bought that has river access.
Robinson is a 30-year Farm Bureau member, served on the
Franklin County Soil Conservation District board, a Farm Credit
advisory board, and the board of CFW Waste Management, a local
group that promotes animal waste utilization while protecting the
environment. He was a member of the Franklin County Livestock
Association and a supporter of Farm-City activities.
He has been active in state Farm Bureau and Cattlemen’s
Association activities, has attended Tennessee and National
Council of Farmer Cooperatives meetings, has been an American
Farm Bureau voting delegate, and a member of the National Corn
Mike and Krislyn have been active in Lexie Church of Christ,
where they help with youth activities. Krislyn, a former teacher,
is a big help on the farm, says Mike. In high school she partnered
with an uncle in raising hogs. “I wanted to marry a farmer —
and I got one,” she says. She is active in Franklin County Farm
Bureau Women, Farm-City activities, and has been a supporter of
Winchester Christian Academy and Riverside Christian Academy.
CHILDRENS’ AC TIVI TIES
Mike and Krislyn have four children: Twin sons Tracy and Kary are
young adults, and daughters KayLee and Callie Pearl are teens.
In high school, the twins excelled in robot design competition,
a skill that now serves them well on the farm. They’ve designed
improved parts for the Bale Bandit and a feed bagging system for
use at the store.
KayLee has been active in 4-H and runs sideline businesses
selling eggs and growing sweet corn. This summer, she is working
at a veterinary clinic. Callie Pearl is also active in 4-H, has sold
rabbits she raised, helps sell eggs, and also helps run the family’s
Dachshund dog breeding business (the boys started the dog
breeding business and passed it on to their sisters).
KayLee also keeps horses for pleasure riding, and the
family raises Halflingers, a small breed of draft horse that they
occasionally use to till their garden.
Mike says he wouldn’t be surprised to see their sons and
daughters someday significantly expand the family’s on-farm feed
Robert Burns, with the Tennessee Cooperative Extension
Service, coordinates the Farmer of the Year award in the state.
Robinson was nominated for the honor by C. Dallas Manning,
Extension area farm management specialist. “Mike and his family
are excellent resource managers, and they operate with little hired
labor,” says Manning. Ed Burns, Extension agent in Franklin County,
Tenn., says he admires how Robinson’s family members are so
supportive of the farm.
Robinson was nominated for the honor by C. Dallas Manning.
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