"We’re a new generation trying to preserve the practices of the old generations. Trying to go back to the old ways of doing things. We are talking about dabbling in some bees come spring. It’s hard to balance a full time job (that helps keep the farm going) and
farming with how the country is going with the rising prices of things and restrictions we are now facing when it comes to medicines and things needed to doctor livestock. It’s a passion not just a job. We have to keep farming going and be able to feed ourselves and our neighbors or all these beloved family farms are going to turn into subdivisions and it’s going to be an art that’s lost forever. We can’t depend on the government for anything especially food. Times are getting tough but the farmers that love what they do are tougher." - Candid thoughts from farmer Jacob Garner.
In high school Jacob was a member of the Southwestern High School Future Farmers of America (FFA) where he served as treasurer and earned the Star Farmer Award before he graduated in 2010. For those who don’t know, the Star Farmer is awarded to the FFA member that demonstrates the top production agriculture supervised agricultural experience. The member must demonstrate outstanding achievement, active FFA participation and an exemplary scholastic record. Needless to say, Jacob knows farming.
Sadly, Jacob’s father passed away 2015 and left Jacob to pick up his dad’s share of the farm work while trying to handle his own full-time job. Although this was a big lift for Jacob, he was still involved in the farm when his father passed. Jacob had started raising bottle calves right out of high school and continued that up until 2016.
In 2016 Jacob and his wife, Torie, carved out 120 acres of the farm for themselves and established Garner Family Farm. With that they started weeding out the stockyard bottle calves and began acquiring cattle from better stock to replace them.
Along with his own farm endeavors, Jacob still helps with his family’s farm, which consists of about 100 head of angus cattle and angus bulls.
As far as Garner Family Farm goes, “We’re running 16 cows and 11 calves right now with Hereford and Angus bulls, with plans of expanding in the near future, ADGA Nigerian Dwarf goats, and chickens. We keep replacement
heifers and sell the steers straight to the consumer for beef. We process our own chickens for farm fresh meat and we sell eggs. We also sell registered goats. I am currently cutting 40 acres for hay for our own use and to sell, and I have a large garden for all the canning goodies.” That sounds like enough.
Jacob and Torie have three children who will hopefully follow in their parents’ footsteps of farming and being self-sustainable. Those kids definitely have the right teachers.