Landowner Spotlight: Louis & Sandy Danner
Updated: Jun 14, 2019
In this third segment of our Landlord Spotlight series, we get to know Louis and Sandy Danner. The Danners farming history is vast and extends from generation to generation to present day and their son, Billie Danner. Married fifty-five years, these two together built a lovely family and a remarkable farm. Louie moved to the West Liberty area in 1948 at the age on ten with his parents and two sisters. He grew up on the farm where the Danner Farms office is located today. In his youth, Louie milked cows, gathered eggs, and worked with his FFA and 4-H calves and pigs. At the age of eight, he started driving a Case VAC tractor doing field tillage ahead of his dad who was planting the crops. He attended country school through 8th grade. In fact, Louie was a tutor for the younger kids as he was the only and oldest student in the 7th and 8th grades. During these years, with a note from his parents, Louie could get out of classes and help his dad farm. FFA and 4-H became a large part of Louie’s life. He showed and won at the local, state and national levels.
Sandy, formerly a Barkalow, lived in Atalissa and Davenport before moving into the community. She and Louie graduated in 1956 from West Liberty High School. After graduation, Louie began farming with his father and served six years as a member of the Army Reserves. Sandy and Louie were united in marriage in 1962 and had five children; Peggy, Billie, Becky, Beth, and Blaine. They also have been blessed with five grandchildren.
As the years progressed, they formed a large herd of Angus and Chi Angus cattle, fed hogs farrow to finish, and row cropped several hundred acres. Louie continued clipping and fitting cattle for well-known show cattle groups, such as the Ankeny’s and the C.V. Whitney’s. He was a “hired gun” for many and traveled around the United States and Canada. (See below for Louie’s Hall of Fame Induction) Sandy took on the farm wife role, raising the children, growing and canning her bountiful harvest, all while keeping the men fed in the fields. She worked off the farm as well, a few of those were the local race track and the Artist Colony.
Louie and Sandy retired from farming in 2012. They remain busy with vegetable and flower gardens. Louie has a collection of nine tractors, including the first one he purchased, a 1958 Ford 800.
Agriculture and farming have changed over time. Louie said the biggest things to evolve are horse power to tractors and the machinery becoming so large. He believes that no matter what you do to earn your living, you need to enjoy what you do. Sandy believes that keeping busy is the most important. They seem to be doing plenty of just that.
Thank you to Louis and Sandy Danner for their many years of farming and helping the younger generation continue in agriculture!