Charlie: Small stature, big farming heart

  • Roegge takes time to bottle feed one of the calves.
  • Enjoying it all, Roegge hangs out with some of the six cows he purchased himself.
  • Roegge grins beside a bin of sweet corn.
  • Even at a younger age, Charlie Roegge was out helping on the farm.

By Francesca Boston
Photos/Jill Roegge

Farming runs in Charlie Roegge’s blood. His great-grandfather, grandfather and father were all local farmers, and Charlie Roegge has been farming since he was two years old.

In more recent years, Roegge has taken on a more active role in his family’s sweet corn roadside stand; he’s picking it in the field and working with his cousins to sell the produce during the summer. He has some impressive accomplishments for a 10-year-old. He even purchased his own lawnmower recently and has saved up enough money to buy six of his own cows. Like many farm kids, he is more than happy to help out with all different types of farm work, but when it comes to fence work, he would rather be driving a tractor.

At the start of the pandemic, young Charlie Roegge was trying to find something to fill his time. He decided to start a YouTube channel, talking about his life and the farm. He talked about everything on his farm and always signs his videos off with the phrase “Stay Safe!” reminding people to be careful.

In one of his videos, he talked about “FarmWeek,” a local agriculture publication. Representatives from FarmWeek reached out to him and asked him to make a video for the Illinois Ag in the Classroom program. He made a short video about his farm and another one for the teachers. He will continue to work with Ag in the Classroom and has plans to make a video for the program this summer. He was also asked to join FarmWeek’s Crop Watchers 2.0 team, where he will provide important updates about the farming conditions in Cass County.

Charlie Roegge’s mom, Jill Roegge, calls him an “old soul” and she says, “There’s never been a doubt that agriculture will be part of his future.” She also says, “His farm knowledge is deep, and farming seems to come to him naturally.” Outside of working on the farm, he can be found mowing yards to make some extra money and playing video games that are mainly farming simulators. He has a bright future ahead of him both in the classroom and on the farm.

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