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.
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?