Farming is what Dayton McCarty has wanted to do since he was a little boy.
“I never played sports,” he said. “I went with Dad everywhere.”
Now, he and his family are operating a poultry farm purchased from his dad, David McCarty, and fulfilling a higher purpose. When asked about the appeal of tending six broiler houses and a small herd of cattle, he can’t specify a particular activity that drives him, but says he feels it’s “what God put us here to do.”
Lauren McCarty, too, enjoys the farm life, though currently she is also working in a hair salon.
The McCarty family – with children Hollister, Slaten and Bailey Jo – has been named 2023 Stone County Farm Family of the Year. Their farm is in the Arbanna community off Highway 5 South.
Lauren grew up in the Salado and Rosie areas of Independence County and still enjoys working in hay fields. Her father manages the Tommy Williams ranch and she often had duties cleaning horse stalls. Later, she assembled hay rakes and other implements for Williams Equipment in Batesville.
She served a stint in the U.S. Army Reserves from 2008 to 2013 and was deployed to Iraq in 2009-10, where she suffered heat exhaustion. She is now susceptible to heat and has chronic migraines, but loves being outside when she is able.
“He has spoiled me and I’m not self-sufficient anymore,” she says of Dayton, who grins in response.
Both are fourth generation farmers, and neither has regretted the decision to adopt the lifestyle in which to raise their family.
“We both enjoy raising our children up with the grassroots of farming,” Dayton said. “There is nothing I’d rather be doing in this life than taking care of what God has blessed us with.”
Read the full story in the June 14 issue. Scroll through the photo gallery:
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