Friday, October 10, 2014

Farming & Family: The Ferry's

Welcome to day 10 of our 31 days of Farming and Family series!  The thing that struck me most about today's family is that they farm with some amazing views!  I've never visited their home state but their photos make me want to hop the next plane!  Grab a cup of coffee and enjoy learning about this farm family that has been farming for over 100 years!

1. Who are you and where are you located?

We are Joel and Becca Ferry.  We have 4 children and are located in Northern Utah.  We border the north shore of the Great Salt Lake. We farm and ranch with Joel’s dad and uncle.



2. How did your farm begin? 
Joel is the 5th generation on his family’s farm and ranch.  Joel’s great-great grandfather was a land developer from Illinois.  He came out to Utah in the late 1800s when the canal systems were being put in for irrigation.  He bought land, prepared it for farming and then sold it.  He moved onto to California and started to do the same.  However, once farmers started irrigating the new ground, the salt content came up and crops failed.  He came back when the farmers declared bankruptcy and began farming the land himself. We’ve always worked hard to improve the land.

3. What does your farm produce?


We have a herd of cattle that we raise.  Each spring our cows have babies.  Through the winter we feed cattle in our feed lots.  We grow corn, barley and alfalfa for our cows.  We grow wheat to sell to the mill. We also run duck and goose hunting clubs on our property.  Joel pays attention to crop rotation and harvest time to allow for optimum hunting. 
   
4. What is the busiest time of year for your farm?

The only really slow time is the winter, but we’re still feeding cows and working on projects like building corrals.  It’s busy in the spring getting ready for the canal water to be turned on.   It’s busy during the first irrigation of corn in the summer.  It’s busy before waterfowl hunting season opens in the fall.


5. How do younger generations help on the farm?



Our kids took care of ten “bum cows” this year.  Bum cows are the baby cows who need to be bottle fed. Our kids fed the cows every morning before school and then again in the evening.  They fed the cows in the sun, wind, rain and snow.  As they get older they’ll help out with irrigation, building fences and helping harvest.


6. With all there is to do on a farm, are you involved off the farm?

We hold positions on boards that have ties back to agriculture.  I volunteer at my kids’ school and we both serve in our church congregation.  I also recently started sewing for a local business that designs dance costumes. 


7. What's your favorite activity to do together as a family on the farm?

It was such a pleasure to see my kids feed the baby cows this spring and summer.  Joel taught us all how to take care of the babies as they grew.  Our kids had to do some problem solving and figure out how to cooperate together.  It was hard work for them but we enjoyed the time together. The kids would probably say their favorite thing to do is drive in the tractor with their dad. 



8. Why is family important to your farm?
Our family is the reason why we farm.  We make decisions (as did previous generations) based on who is following us.  Time together as we work is a great blessing to us.


9. What's one thing you want non-farm families to know?

I didn’t grow up around a farm or farmers but I have been so impressed with the good farmers do.  We take care of the land and our animals.  There are different opinions and many questions about farming practices. Farmers want to answer those questions and be engaged in the conversation about food production.  Ask a farmer! Visit a farm! 


10. Do you have a blog, a farm Facebook page, twitter, etc where people can find out more about you and your farm?  
                Twitter: @becca_ferry

Thanks to the Ferry Family for sharing about their farm!  If you have questions or comments please feel free to leave them below or you can contact the Ferry's directly on their blog or Twitter!
Until we meet again...God bless you and keep you!
Caci