Proud to be a Heartland Farmer: McClerren Family - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Proud to be a Heartland Farmer: McClerren Family

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McClerren says he works to honor his father who created this dream for him. McClerren says he works to honor his father who created this dream for him.
"He worked with his dad but his dad had a heart attack at age 48," McClerren's wife, Cindy, said. "So Leon was 22 years when he took over the farm." "He worked with his dad but his dad had a heart attack at age 48," McClerren's wife, Cindy, said. "So Leon was 22 years when he took over the farm."
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THOMPSONVILLE, IL (KFVS) -

This month’s “Proud to be a Heartland Farmer” takes us to Thompsonville, Illinois where a son is living out his father’s dream.

Leon McClerren says his father taught him a lot of life lessons. Be humble. Give back and what hard work is all about. McClerren says he goes to work every day trying to honor the man who started it all.

"You know I tell people I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up," McClerren said. "I lived my father’s dream in some aspects and it became my dream."

A dream that the McClerren family says ended too soon.

"He worked with his dad but his dad had a heart attack at age 48," McClerren's wife, Cindy, said. "So Leon was 22 years when he took over the farm."

"Well, I think what I would consider a glorified hired hand to running the operation and without a doubt the operation suffered because we lost a great man that was running it had to settle for an inexperienced boy," McClerren said.

This humble boy was able to do something that many farmers at that time couldn't. 

"He was 22 years old when he took over the farm," Cindy McClerren said. "Back then a lot of people lost their farms but he was able to hold onto that."

He turned it into what it is today. McClerren farms more than 6,000 acres in four counties in southern Illinois.

"We get to work with a lot of different people in a lot of different counties," McClerren said. "We get to know a lot of people. We get the best of all worlds that way."

But the best part about farming for this man is looking forward to tomorrow.

"There’s nothing better than getting up early in the morning and go to work to spend the day accomplishing something," McClerren said. "When you get done at the end of the day and look back and you say wow. Look what he did today and I do say we because you don’t do this alone."

"He’s a man that keeps going," Cindy McClerren said. "He has had a heart attack and seven stents in his heart but that hasn’t stopped him any. He just keeps working."

McClerren says he works to honor the person who created this dream for him.

"We’ve been a blessed family," McClerren said. "I like to think that I have carried on legacy of a great man. That would be my father. He comes to work with me every day."

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