"I think farming is the purest way to get into nature. You have a lot of time to introspect yourself and analyze what you want to do to better your life."
HOMETOWN: Sterlington, LA
FARM TYPE / CROPS: Primarily rice and corn, soybeans
FARM LOCATION: Jones, LA
- Music: I like Middle Class Rutt, A Perfect Circle, Eminem, Marilyn Manson and similar types of alternative rock.
- Food: Fried catfish, Mexican food, and anything that my Mom or stepdad Larry cooks!
- Drinks: Coffee, Rolling Rock beer, sweet tea.
- Blue Jeans: Polo, Levi's, and Puma Sweats — love 'em!
- Thing to do AFTER work: To relax, I call my friends and whatever they’re doing, I’m in. I get home so late we usually go play pool, or watch a game somewhere — I’m a LSU/Saints fan. But I also like to ride motorcycles, watch movies – a lot.
- Movie Stars: Christian Bale, Robert DeNiro.
- Tractor: I like to drive a John Deere — we use that to harvest and cut on. I like the old-fashioned kind. They're easier to work on, more simplistic.
- Mantra: You can’t control what can happen to you, but you can control how you react to it.
How did you get into farming?
I was drifting around working a bunch of odd jobs, waiting tables, and I then saw one of my younger brothers working with my step-dad and I started helping. Then, before I knew it, I was working full time. So I kind of fell into it. I really enjoyed it ‘cause I like spending time with my family, doesn’t feel like work half the time.
What do you think a big MISCONCEPTION is about farming?
I just think that people aren’t aware of how hard we work. Before I was there I thought people sat around, scratched their ass, but people are literally working all day long, and with no breaks. And it’s all the different aspects that goes into it. Things you’d never even think of – it’s literally a step by step process to get to the finished product by the end of the year.
What's your relationship status?
Single. My ideal woman would be happy-go-lucky, easy-going, someone who laughs a lot, is grounded and from a good family. Also with good morals, nice to people, doesn't talk about herself a lot, appreciative of the stuff I do.
Do you have children?
What is your attitude about money?
It never enters my mind. I’ll have four checks sitting at my house, and I won’t even deposit them for awhile. It is not that important to me — it’s not my drive. I don’t go to work to make money, I just go because that’s what you got to do, you know. (Laughs) I say that now, but when I have a kid and family I’m sure I will have a different mindset than I do now. I’m very careful with my money though. I save it more than I spend it.
Where is the farthest you have traveled to? Where would you like to go?
Parris Island, South Carolina to see my brothers graduate from the USMC. But I want to go to Europe back-packing.
If you could meet a few famous people, dead or alive, who would they be?
Chris Farley, I would like to hang out with him. Jim Morrison, Johnny Cash, Marilyn Manson.
What do you farm? Are you happy with it?
I’m content with what we’re farming, which is corn and soybeans. These are the crops bringing in the most money at the moment. I would like to grow a side crop of jalapenos because I like them so much. I’d like to venture into that.
What was the HARDEST part getting started?
Getting used to the hours. Getting out there at 6 a.m. and going home at 11 p.m. The labor part is something I’m used to, ‘cause I used to work at paper mills and construction sites. But the decaying of your social life can be difficult. But when you’re off you appreciate the free time a lot more and can get things accomplished! We still make up for it, definitely.
What SURPRISED you about farming?
How much I ended up liking it. I really grew to like it.
What do you LOVE about it?
One thing that I have loved about farming is that it’s pure —
you do get what you put into it.
TELL US ABOUT A DAY ON THE FARM: When does your day start and end?
I wake up at 5:30 a.m., probably home at 9 p.m., average. Work 7 days a week, if there's no rain. The only thing that stops us from working is the rain!
What makes you HAPPY in a day on the farm?
Probably just getting a job laid out so that I’m busy every second of a day. I like to be busy every moment, where at the end of the day I’m tired and it feels like I accomplished something. I like a lot of manual labor.
What makes you FRUSTRATED?
Not being able to find tools, when they misplace tools and I can’t find it — my number one pet peeve!
What's the BEST part of a day?
What's the WORST part of a day?
Greasing all the equipment, especially so early in the morning — you’re literally 90% filthy the first 30 minutes you’re there. You’re just thrown into it. Sometimes you’re really tired, and you just don’t want to get dirty that fast, but you have no choice. I also hate filling up breaks in the levees on the rice fields. You have to unroot a giant clod from the rice plant to start packing them up to make a wall out of them, basically, to fill up the breaks. The worst.
Any lessons learned on the farm?
Patience — a big thing for me. You’re kind of thrown into forces you can’t control — weather, equipment breaking, you have to learn to take everything in stride that’s thrown at you everyday. We’re around all types of people, from all walks of life, and we just learn other people’s character really fast. We can size people up, and you can become a good judge of character really fast. You can relate to people a lot better, right off the bat.
Do you have any advice for fellow farmers?
Just because you have a new piece of equipment don’t go balls to the walls with it, and baby it a little bit. Show the equipment the respect and care it needs, and it will be good to you. Your equipment will be good to you if you’re good to it.
Anything to say to those who aren’t farmers?
We are a little rough around the edges sometimes, I guess, but I know I’d give the shirt off my back for someone, anybody.
What would you like people who’ve NEVER farmed to know about farming?
Farming is probably the purest way to get into nature. That’s all you’re around. You have a lot of time to introspect yourself and analyze what you want to do to better your life. It’s that kind of thing... And it’s like you’re on a deserted island half the time, without a phone signal. I’m cut off from the world the whole day — I feel like I’ve been thrown back into the ‘50s sometimes.
Where do you think you'll be in 5 or 10 years?
I have loved farming — and always will — but I’ve also had a dream to become a probations officer, state trooper, or maybe work at a federal prison, anything in the federal branch, but I will still be working on the farm as well. Farming will be my fallback, as I am used to it and know my way around it. But I have always been passionate about pursuing criminal justice. My stepdad, in fact, has been adamant about me finishing school, otherwise I probably would have focused on farming. But I plan to farm as long as I can, I really do love it.