It’s been said for generations when farming gets in a person’s blood, that is all they will ever want to do. That sentiment proves to be true for the 208 YF&R Achievement Award winners, Tyler and Sarah Huerkamp.
“The farm family life is everything to us,” Tyler said. “You want to preserve the land and have something to hand down to your children. I mean that’s our ultimate goal, is just to be successful and have something to pass onto our kids.”
Tyler and Sarah started their operation just after college when Tyler purchased land once belonging to his grandfather.
The life they always wanted takes a team effort to continue building and growing their dream.
“I just feel it’s a really good balance, so important for us to work together in,” Sarah said.
Their fields are their livelihood so Tyler spends endless hours in them or at the gin. Sarah plays a vital role, wearing many hats on and off the farm to keep things running smoothly. In addition to working as the farm’s book keeper, getting their children to school, and feeding the workers, she also helps children who suffer from devastating illnesses or injuries through Mississippi State University’s Equine Assisted Therapy Program.
“It’s long days,” Tyler said. “It’s before daylight and way after dark. You’ll hit some lulls, but then you get busy times in the summer when you’re doing different applications. Then harvest – it seems like the window for harvest is tighter every year. It just seems like it’s always getting tighter, so harvest days can be just grueling.”
“I’ll take the kids to school and he’ll go out. I’ll work around the house, get the bills (paid), make sure everything’s taken care of. Through the high stress times, get lunches for them, run their errands, go pick up the parts,” Sarah added while pointing to Tyler.
As they raise their family and hundreds of acres of cotton, Tyler and Sarah make sure the importance of farming and agriculture in Mississippi and the country is not lost. They conduct school tours of their farm, serve on local boards, and volunteer in their church and community.
“It’s more of a hands-on, get out there and just tell them what we do to make sure that they know where their food comes from, where their clothes come from, and how we do things rather than seeing how other people do it on the internet,” Sarah said.
“We’re never going to do anything on the farm that’s going to hurt the farm or our family because that’s our livelihood and we’re trying to preserve it for the kids,” Tyler said. “Plus, everybody likes to eat three times a day.”