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December 08, 2002   Email to Friend 

Jeff Helms
December 08, 2002

Alabama Farmers Federation President Jerry Newby, left, presents the keys to a 2003 Chevrolet TrailBlazer to Outstanding Young Farm Family David and Wendy Rogers of Cherokee County and their son, Wesley.
"MOBILE, Ala., -" David and Wendy Rogers of Cherokee County were named Alabama's Outstanding Young Farm Family for 2002 during the Alabama Farmers Federation's 81st annual meeting in Mobile, Dec. 8.

As this year's winner, the couple will receive the use of a 2003 Chevrolet Trail Blazer for one year along with an IBM personal computer and software package sponsored by Valcom Business Centers of Alabama.

The couple advanced to the final OYFF selection process when they were named the state's Outstanding Young Farm Family for the beef division earlier this year. The Rogers also will serve on the Federation's State Young Farmers Committee as the overall winner.

The Rogers operate a family farm with David's father, Bob, and brother, Stan. The 900-acre ranch includes 500 acres of pasture and nearly 300 acres of pine trees. They have a 250-cow beef herd in addition to operating a successful wheat straw and hay business.

David helps maintain the farm's fences and catch pens; he manages the family's timberland; and he solicits customers for their hay and wheat straw business. He attributes much of his success as a cattleman to the farm's breeding, vaccination and marketing programs. He said he would like to increase the size of his cowherd and continue to convert unproductive land to pine plantations in the future.

"This year, we have grass everywhere. The hay barns are running over with hay, and I would like to have some more cows," David said. "But two years ago when it was a drought, that might not have been so good. I'd like to see us have about another 100 cows. I believe we could handle that all the time with the land we have."

Perhaps David's biggest goal, however, is to someday leave the farm to his son, Wesley. Wendy, who teaches special education, said their son already is taking an interest in the farm.

"On weekends and summers, and whenever I have breaks, Wesley and I go and do whatever David is doing," Wendy said. "We ride in the tractor, and we go feed cows. I think Wesley was a month old when he went to feed cows for the first time. We try to do as much as we can together. He enjoys it. Tractor is one of the words he uses a lot, and Daddy is his hero."

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