For the Poe family in Pontotoc County, farming is in their blood. It’s easy to see this family’s enthusiasm about agriculture in its youngest members, Harrison and Tindall Kay.
“If he wants to farm, we’re going to give him every opportunity and set him up for success, like my parents did for me.” Matthew Poe says. “They did the same exact thing. It’s a legacy.”
Matthew believes it is a calling that brings them back to their fields every day.
“My oldest memories are of farming – being on tractors, being on equipment, growing up on a farm,” he says. “Up until after college, I thought I might want to do something else. But, when I came home and started working more on the farm, there was no doubt about what I wanted to do.”
While Matthew may have always known he wanted to farm, his toughest sell may have been his wife, Kayla. It took Matthew and Kayla’s increased involvement in Farm Bureau for Kayla to realize how vital agriculture is to Mississippi and beyond.
“After we were selected for the Young Farmer & Ranchers State Committee and I got to know people, I really started enjoying it and realized how important farming is to the world,” she says.
As a dental hygienist and dentistry instructor, Kayla has the opportunity to advocate for farming and agriculture while also supporting her husband and those across the state just like him.
“If you didn’t grow up in farming you probably don’t know a lot about it,” she says.
“A lot of people are very intrigued about farming, but they just don’t know anything about it.”
The Poe’s encourage other to be active in Farm Bureau because it gives them a voice beyond their county and state boundaries.
“When you have Farm Bureau backing you, you have a lot of people behind you,” Matthew says. “If you think about it, we’re one phone call from President Mike McCormick who can call any of our senators or congressman. I mean, we’re three phone calls away from the President. That’s how I look at it. If it was that serious, we can be there three phone calls.”
Despite the hardships and difficulties that seem to me a way of life for farmers today, Kayla and Matthew do not show any signs of slowing down.
“It’s hard and prices keep skyrocketing,” Matthew says. “The deck is stacked against us pretty bad right now, but this is what we love to do. We will find a way to get through it. That’s what we do.”