National Ag Day

Some of my earliest memories as a child started on our family farm.  As long as I can remember the Ag industry has played an integral role in my life.  From baby bottle calves to commercial beef and poultry production my family has relied on our farm to put a roof over our heads and food on our table.

Many consumers today are displaced from the Ag industry directly, most by two or more generations.  Our industry is often under scrutiny by the media supported by many activist groups that want commercial agriculture shut down.  As a part of National Ag Day I want to spotlight what our industry brings to the table and where our food comes from.

Martin and Joan Hayden

Meet my parents Martin and Joan Hayden who own and operate Hayden Farms.  We are involved in commercial livestock production in the poultry and beef industries.  The media may portray us as a “factory farm” but we’re just an ordinary family like any other.  We started about 28 years ago with about 10 acres of tobacco and 30 head of cattle.

Slowly we’ve grown into an operation with about 200 brood cows in our cow-calf operation.  Later my parents started background feeding cattle before sending them to feed yards out west to be finished on grain.  After the tobacco buyout we tapped into the poultry industry.  We raise broilers for Perdue Farms at a rate of about 100,000 birds every 7 weeks.

The products that we, as a family, produce commercially can be found on the grocery store shelves or on a plate at your favorite restaurant.

Hayden Farms is just one of MANY commercial farms around the world working together to meet the needs of our consumers and ever growing world population.  Sustainability and environmental stewardship are a priority to most all farmers and ranchers.  Caring for the land and preserving it for future generations is a priority.

Farms just like these are not only supporting their own families through their livelihoods but have a hand in supporting every family through the food, shelter, fiber and fuel that they supply.

I am proud to be involved in Agriculture as I have been my entire life.  Next time you see a farmer or rancher, stop and thank them for the goods and services they provide, because without them we would be hungry, naked and homeless.

How will you celebrate National Ag Day?

 

Hayden Farms Poultry Houses

 

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3 thoughts on “National Ag Day

  1. I would like to commend you on an awesome blog site. You are doing a great job on representing the ag community and celebrating your choice to continue a great tradition.

    I am also a graduate of OSU and currently in my last semester as a graduate student in the college of Ag at OSU. In one of my class we are studying Ethics in Ag and it has been both an eye opening experience but also a frusterating one.

    For example, we read a book that followed three families while they grocery shopped. The authors then followed the food back to the farms. One of the main issues they discussed was that many factory farms would not allow them on the farms or talk with them. I believe this is because the authors have wrote several books who have negatively portrayed the industry so they were scared (and why wouldn’t they be).

    Our industry has been hit hard by those who have a negative view and I agree that many people have been so far removed they have forgotten where America came from and started.

    My mom was a school teacher and had to teach her children that milk came from cows and not from the store. And we lived in a rural community! I am proud where I have come from and will never forget the values I was taught growing up with cattle in my backyard.

    Yes, sadly their are some farmers who mistreat their animals but there are also people who mistreat other human beings!

    Happy Ag Day today and everyday!

    • Kinya,
      First off thank you for the compliments. They’re greatly appreciated. I couldn’t agree more with your opinions on the book you read. Many commercial operations, for biosecurity (to protect the integrity of the animals raised) reasons won’t let just anyone visit their farms or ranches. My goal with this blog is to tell the story of the American Farmer. There are many misconceptions of commercial livestock production and a few bad apples that make the whole bushel look bad, however it’s up to us to tell our story so our consumers can feel comfortable about where their food comes from.

      Our consumers have every right to know the in’s and out’s of their food supply however, its up to us to make sure the truth about the agriculture industry is portrayed accurately and correctly. Thanks for the comments!

  2. I like hearing others tell their story of their agriculture experience. National Ag day is a much needed holiday to spread the word of what we do. Good luck and continue to tell the story of the American Farmer!

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