Carnahan Family Farm History.
The Carnahan farm was started by Lowell & Ruth Carnahan, in 1937 with 200 rented acres and a dairy herd near their hometown of Wheatland, Indiana. Lowell and Ruth purchased a new farm location in 1940, a few miles west in Palmyra Township, near Fritchton. They continued to grow their family there with the addition of son Ross in 1943, daughter Sheila in 1948, and son Dennis in 1953. They purchased some neighboring acres over the years and added hogs to their small herd of Jersey dairy cows. They took an opportunity to expand in 1958, when they sold the dairy location and purchased the Woodrow Boyer farm, moving the family to the new location. The headquarters of the farm remains there today. A herd of Angus cattle came with the new farm location, and they remained in the cattle business until the mid 70s. Gradually, fences were removed, and the fields grew larger as the family turned its attention fully to grain production. Ross joined the business in 1961, farming in partnership with Lowell. The initial grain system construction was completed in 1973. In 1975, Dennis joined the business. In 1977, the business was reorganized as a corporation under the name of W. Lowell Carnahan & Sons, Inc. The farm steadily grew in size, primarily through land purchases rather than rental. Their largest land purchase (so far), 772 acres in Steen Township, occurred in 1990. Grain storage and drying capacity underwent a major expansion in 1998. Because of declining health, Lowell retired from active management in 1994, and moved to a role of being an encourager. His life was centered on the involvement in making the farm business grow and prosper, and he remained vitally interested in the work until his death in 1999. His life-long partner and wife of 60-plus years Ruth also passed away in 2003. Their influence will never leave the family.
Dennis’ son John began to express an interest in farming at an early age. He remained constant in his determination to be a farmer, and upon his graduation from Purdue in 2009, he formally joined the business. Much attention and effort has now been given to planning the succession. Ross’ grandson Brandon Knight has also been around and worked on the farm here for most of his days. He joined Carnahan & Sons full time in summer 2016 when he completed his college days at Vincennes University.
Ross passed away in July 2022, after an extended illness. The 3 remaining partners, Dennis, John, and Brandon continue.
2023 marks our 86th year as a southwest Indiana farm!
The obvious pride this family has for what they do is so amazing. It reminds me of my own farm family history and it is great to see more generations becoming excited about what our Father’s worked so hard to build up and leave to us.
Thanks, Trey, for coming out and riding with me. dc