Misconceptions About Farming Big Challange for SC Producer


Wendy Jarrell farms with her husband Doug in Hampton County, South Carolina, and while she doesn’t come from a farming background, she’s embraced the lifestyle and the passion as if she did:

“When I met my husband for the first time, I could sense his passion for the farm and the future growth that he had planned for. Its been a very fun ride.”

The Jarrell’s didn’t inherit a farm, but built their operation and acreage from scratch:

“He started out farming 90 acres of rented acreage and since has grown the farm to almost 2000 acres. He wasn’t fortunate to inherit anything, but has worked very hard to build the farm to where it is today.”

Jarrell explains that there’s a lot of misconceptions about farming:

“Farming is not as easy as it sounds. Some may look at it and say its easy to just get on the tractor and ride. But there is a lot of stress with bills coming in and the fact that you only get paid once a year for your crops. It’s a challenge to balance out the bills throughout the year and be sure you are making the right decisions to better your farm and your family. Its hard at times, but in the end we just hope to have enough and make another year of it.”

As far as marketing their crops, Jarrell says that they’ve gone from hedging to contracting:

“When we first started, we did use futures marketing for selling the crops, pricing and getting contracts in place. But now for the most part, we use pre-contracted marketing. We use Staple Cotton for our cotton yield and we also use contracts for our peanuts as well. This way we know what price we are going to get ahead of time. Sometimes that is plus but others it can be a big minus. It’s a juggling act, but we feel its better for us and brings us less stress throughout the year as far as when to sell.”

Jarrell says that her three children enjoy farm life, and she wouldn’t have it any other way:

“The two older children especially enjoy the farm. My daughter has always enjoyed it and my middle child is adamant that he will be the next generation of our farming family. At six, he loves to get on the tractor. Our youngest is four, and hasn’t gotten into the farming quite yet. All of them do enjoy the different seasons of planting and harvesting, getting on the tractor, and checking fields. It’s a great atmosphere. Our house is right by the farm so they can walk back and forth when my husband is working. It’s really great for our family.”

Jarrell and her husband are active with Farm Bureau in dispelling the myths of agriculture, as well as working with politicians for the good of agriculture:

“The Farm Bureau does so much for us. It has helped us to learn the misconceptions of agriculture that people think of today. Through them we have the knowledge to educate others about those misconceptions. Through the Farm Bureau we have political support that allows us to speak to our politicians about issues that will either directly or indirectly involve us. Its been a big part of our learning experiences and growth in farming.”

Farming is a challenge on any day, but Jarrell says that educating the public is one of the biggest challenges of all:

“One of the biggest challenges facing today’s farmer is the fact that people are misguided on the safety of many farm issues, such as using chemicals and different fertilizers. A lot of the media buzz is not healthy and people are going straight to organic. Through Farm Bureau we are able to learn more about all of the areas of misconception. It’s vital that we as farmers speak up and let people know that we are providing the safest and most affordable food supply for the world. We are very dedicated that that. We don’t want anyone harmed. We want the food and clothing that we provide to be as safe as possible. We are taking all the precautions needed to do that. One of the biggest things farmers face these days is the scrutiny that we are put under as far as different guidelines and if we are actually complying. We want to educate the public that we are in fact doing what is necessary.”

And the learning process never ends:

“We are out here to help the world’s food supply. We continue to educate ourselves and others on the safety and health of your food.”


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