What is in this article?:
- Stan, Kayla Usery named Alabama‚Äôs Outstanding Young Farm Family
- Experience has paid off
• The Userys live in Elkmont with 7-year-old daughter, Jessa, and farm around 700 acres of winter wheat, soybeans, cotton and corn and manage nine broiler houses.‚Ä®‚Ä®
• As this year’s winner, the Userys will promote Alabama agriculture across the state.
FROM LEFT, Doug Thiessen of Alabama Ag Credit and Ben Gore of Alabama Farm Credit presented Outstanding Young Farm Family Stan and Kayla Usery and their daughter, Jessa, a John Deere Gator as the 2013 winner. Alabama Farmers Federation and Alfa Insurance President Jimmy Parnell, right, presented the family a new Chevy truck from the Federation and Alfa Insurance.
Experience has paid off
Federation Young Farmers Division Director Jennifer Himburg said the added experience has paid off, noting the Userys’ dedication to agriculture and the state’s largest farm organization helped secure their place as this year’s winner.‚Ä®‚Ä®
“Stan and Kayla represent the very best of the young farmers in this state,” Himburg said.
“Their compassion and commitment to being stewards of the land and raising a family with roots in agriculture represents the very heart of the Alabama Farmers Federation. They are both well respected among their peers for their achievements in production agriculture and their dedication to giving back as leaders in the industry.”‚Ä®‚Ä®
While the Userys’ interest in agriculture stems from a lifelong love of the rural lifestyle, Stan says conservation and stewardship are two elements he’s most passionate about practicing on his land.‚Ä®‚Ä®
“Our farm is strictly no-till, and we plan to keep it that way,” he added. “For us, it isn’t just about being no-till; it’s a long term commitment to the land. Utilizing a lot of high-residue rotations is a sustainable system that allows me to build soil health. To be honest, I’m as proud of my residue as I am the pretty crop on top of the soil.
“Being able to pull up a set of roots and see a couple earthworms and a long, straight taproot… maybe it’s part of my agronomy background, but that image is one of my favorite things about working the land.”‚Ä®‚Ä®
Part of the Userys’ long-term commitment relates to the family’s future on the farm.‚Ä®‚Ä® “Being a young farmer and trying to grow is a challenge even under the best of circumstances,” Stan said.
“I could go out and purchase land here and there, but I want to expand in a responsible way. To remain successful, we have to love what we do, but we also have to invest time and resources in a smart way.”‚Ä®‚Ä®
Kayla said one of the most rewarding aspects of being married to a full-time farmer is sharing the experience with their daughter.‚Ä®‚Ä® “Farming instills a certain work ethic and sense of independence,” Kayla said.
“We’re proud we can bring up Jessa on the farm, where she can see the rewards of hard work each day.” ‚Ä®