Even though Funk Ranch off Culp Road in northern Stone County has been in Jennifer Brickell’s family since 1945, she never lived the farm life until she and her husband, Owen, took up residence there in 2005.
She attended high school at Highland but would visit the farm when her grandparents lived there, and later her parents lived on the farm. She fondly recalls playing in the creek and climbing trees.
She and Owen had lived in Memphis while she was in pharmacy school, but they knew they did not want to raise a family there.
“We knew we didn’t want to raise a family in the city,” said Jennifer, who is now pharmacy manager at the Mountain View Walmart.
Owen is originally from Mammoth Spring. He attained a degree in plant science at Arkansas State University, but was managing a golf course before the couple moved to the farm two years before their daughter Emma was born. She was followed three years later by a son, Mason.
The original home built by family members who moved to Stone County from Texas was lost to fire, but their current three-bedroom home had replaced it. They remodeled it when they moved, and Jennifer has dreams of building a new home and has a site chosen. Meanwhile, it houses them (and whatever animals need to come inside). On the day of the interview there were multiple incubators where chicks were hatching.
Outside, there are dogs, sheep, ducks, chickens, and rabbits. There are mules, jennys and horses with the cattle. Jennifer had always wanted a horse and now she has Peppy, who makes a habit of inserting himself into whatever is going on. Peppy sometimes startles Owen by walking up quietly and sticking his head into whatever Owen is working on.
“Our kids are living the life I wanted to live,” Jennifer said. “I feel so lucky to live here and be able to raise kids here.”
The family has been named 2022 Stone County Farm Family of the Year.
See full coverage in the June 29, 2022 issue.
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