Farm Life Still the Way to Go for SC Couple
Laura Haddon, Bishopville, South Carolina had an unusual start in farming as a child near Greenville:
“I grew up on the Bob Jones University farm. My dad was the farm manager there for twelve years. There were dairy and beef cattle, and we also grew our own silage for the cattle. The meat and the milk went straight back into the University to be fed to the students.”
But, when her father left the university farm, Haddon had to re-acquaint herself to city life:
“After my dad stopped working for the university, my education was no longer paid for. We moved into the town of Greenville and I went into the public school system there. I ended up meeting a country boy stuck in a city school. He says that once I mentioned I was from the farm, he was in love. We started dating our senior year in high school. We have now been married for 14 years and have three children.”
And that love of farming has translated into farm management for Haddon and her husband. Haddon’s husband, along with the farm’s owner manages a row crop farm outside Bishopville. Haddon has been hands’ on at the farm when needed:
“I learned how to mow, rake and bale hay. Where my husband is currently employed I have become a big part of the hay crew. One summer they were very busy and I did most of the hay by myself. They would get me hooked up, I would take our baby and we would get on the tractor. I was known as the lady around with the car seat in the tractor. It was fun to see the process from the beginning to the end.”
Minus the car seat for the newborn, Haddon has recently chipped in with the peanut harvest:
“One of my favorite things was last fall when I was taught how to dig peanuts. I used the GPS guided tractor to rip the soil in the spring and then in the fall I was out there digging the peanuts. I have really enjoyed that.”
Not only for the benefit of her own children, but also for the good of the kids of the Bishopville area, and agriculture Haddon has played an integral part in bringing the 4-H program back to the area:
“I have helped to get the 4-H clover buds going in Lee County. There wasn’t much going on and we wanted our children to be involved in 4-H, so I helped to start this program.”
Haddon and her family have also been advocates of agriculture through Farm Bureau:
“My husband and I got active in the Farm Bureau back in 2005. Before that, even though we had been involved in agriculture, we didn’t realize all that Farm Bureau does to help farmers. Soon after we became involved, we were put on the state young farmer and rancher committee. We really appreciate all of the opportunities Farm Bureau has given us; the ability to tell our story, the information they provide, and the connections with other farmers and legislators."
Continuing to speak out about agriculture is something that Haddon is passionate about:
“I want to encourage people to take advantage of opportunities to be an ag evangelist. A lot of the people that I meet on a day to day basis don’t have experience with farming. They also carry a lot of misperceptions about agriculture. So any time a farmer can share their story, I would encourage them to do that, as well as be involved with the youth in their community.”
Haddon and her husband are in the process of trading one corner of God’s country for the other…they’re moving to Texas:
“My husband has accepted a position in Texas and we are looking forward to being out there where agriculture is really big. We are excited to see how we can be involved in our new community.”
As big as Texas is, ironically the Haddon’s are moving near my home town.
For more from our Women in Agriculture series,click here.
Laura Haddon of Bishopville, South Carolina