Like country music singer Hank Williams, Jr., Scott Travis of Cox’s Creek, Ky., is carrying on a “family tradition.”

“My family started as dairymen and tobacco farmers,” says Travis, “and I deposited my first tobacco check at six years of age. When I was 17 years old, I rented a 320-acre farm on a 50/50 basis with a family friend. That same year, I began purchasing my own equipment.”

Over the years, Travis has built his farm into a highly successful 1,740-acre operation and as a result has been selected as the 2007 Swisher Sweets/Sunbelt Expo Southeastern Farmer of the Year for Kentucky. He was chosen for the honor in judging conducted by the Kentucky Farm Bureau and was nominated by John Crenshaw.

“Though the years, we have raised cattle, hogs, rabbits, peppers, chickens, gourds, popcorn and various other crops,” says Travis. “Plus we have continued the crops we are currently growing.”

The diversified operation today still includes tobacco — 20 acres that produces 2,200 pounds per acre. Corn covers 1,050 acres with a yield of 145 bushels per acre while there are 580 acres of soybeans producing 50 bushels per acre.

Also included are 70 acres of wheat with a yield of 50 bushels per acre, and double-crop soybeans are grown on 70 acres with a yield of 40 bushels per acre. Five tons per acre of alfalfa are produced on 15 acres.

Other enterprises include pumpkins, 30 acres of commercial property, and 70 acres of residential property.

“I make decisions based on careful research when marketing my crops,” says Travis. “I check the futures markets daily with my DTN satellite, watch export reports, study the weather and look for market patterns. I market my grain crops to Consolidated Grain and also directly to local farmers. My tobacco is sold under contract with Philip Morris and is delivered to their receiving station in Lebanon, Ky.”

Travis and his wife Robbie have three young children — 12-year-old son Collin, 9-year-old daughter Cameron and 6-year-old son Conner.

Previous state winners from Kentucky include only Sam Moore of Morgantown as Kentucky joined the judging process in 2006.