It’s not uncommon for farmers to have a desire to pass their operations down to their children, but with the opportunities available for children to make a living off of the farm, sometimes that dream is not always fulfilled.
Thankfully for Sean and Morgan McDonald’s family, that vision is being lived out through the young couple and their family.
“I guess you could consider us third generation poultry farmers,” Sean says. “My grandparents had a poultry farm the purchased in the ‘80s and ‘90s. Morgan’s grandparents had a farm and then her parents had a farm. We recently bought her parents’ farm and her grandparents’ farm. It’s kind of how we got together and got started.”
Sean and Morgan run an eight house broiler farm in Jones County. They also run a cow-calf operation, a custom hay baling operation and a custom fertilizer business.
“We’re pretty diverse across the board,” Sean says. “Our biggest farm income, by far, comes from the poultry side, though. We contract for Wayne Farms. They supply us with baby chickens and we supply the housing, utilities and labor to raise those chickens. Wayne Farms has contracts with Chick-fil-A and Sam’s, so when you eat or buy from those businesses, you could be eating the chicken we grew.”
The McDonalds hope to continue growing all parts of their operation in order for each entity to be self-sustaining.
“On the cattle side, I am working to build my herd,” Sean says. “I’d like to be expand in some stocker cattle in the future. I currently custom hay bale for myself and a few customers. I would like to increase the number of customers I have down the road. We stay busy, that’s for sure.”
In addition to helping Sean on the farm, Morgan works as a fifth grade English Language Arts teacher at West Jones Elementary School.
“I absolutely love my job,” Morgan says. “It gives me the opportunity to share our farming story in a unique way.”