News OYFF Winners: Raby Wins Soybeans Division

OYFF Winners: Raby Wins Soybeans Division

OYFF Winners: Raby Wins Soybeans Division
July 31, 2007 |

Sponsored each year by the Alabama Farmers Federation, the Outstanding Young Farm Family Awards Program recognizes young farmers between the ages of 17 and 35 who do an outstanding job in farm, home and community activities.
Division winners representing 11 commodities were selected in February. Of those, six finalists will compete for the
title of overall Outstanding Young Farm Family for 2007. The winner will be named at the Federation’s
86th annual meeting in December. This month, Neighbors profiles five commodity division winners. Look for features on the six finalists in the coming months.It was only a couple months ago that Ben Raby was an 18-year-old Ardmore High School student. But as one of Alabama’s six district FFA Star Farmers, he prefers to look ahead — ahead to his own future as a farmer.He’s the sixth generation of his family to work the soil, and says it’s how he wants to spend his life.”I’ve wanted to farm all my life. That’s all I’ve ever known,” said Raby. “I just want to make a living at something I know a little bit about. It’s about all I know. It ain’t much, but I know some.”He says the desire to farm isn’t so unusual around Ardmore High. “That’s really kind of common around here,” he says. “Everybody really wants to be a farmer, but not everybody has the chance to do it.”But at the ripe age of 19, Raby has that chance. In just two years of farming, he already has bought himself a John Deere High-Cycle, a John Deere tractor and a pickup truck — all essential equipment for the 80 acres he farms with his dad, Tommy Jr. Forty of those acres are in soybeans — the rest is for grazing his small herd of cattle.Raby plans to enroll in some machine shop classes at Calhoun Community College later this fall to learn how to handle any inevitable equipment failure. After that, he’d like to attend Auburn University, the same campus where he was just recently recognized as a Star Farmer. “I may try to get down there after I get done with Calhoun,” he said. “But there’s a lot of things here that I’ve got to take care of.”

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