Younts Named Farm Family of the Year
A large crowd of family, friends and other supporters were present at the home of Nick and Deanne Yount, located two miles west of Pollard, Tuesday, June 11, to celebrate the Younts' recognition as the 2013 Clay County Farm Family of the Year.
Established in 1947, the Arkansas Farm Family of the Year program is an effort to recognize those in the state who show excellence not only in agriculture, but in their communities as well. The program is sponsored by Arkansas Farm Bureau, the Arkansas Press Association, Farm Credit Services, Farm Credit Midsouth Associations and Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas. The award is made possible through the cooperation of the Arkansas Department of Workforce Education, University of Arkansas' Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service and the United States Department of Agriculture's Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Services and Rural Development programs.
The Younts are a wonderful, logical addition to the list of Clay County Farm Families, with a history of farming in the area encompassing three generations.
Nick and his brother, John, co-manager of the farm, were children when they began working alongside their grandfather, Oran Nicholas, on the farm. At the ages of eight and 12, the boys helped their grandpa with his crops in addition to tending to livestock. As they grew, so did their responsibilities. As teens, they drove tractors and worked in areas of production.
"My grandpa was the most influential person in my farming career," Nick said. "I watched as my grandpa put down wells and leveled ground before it was heard of."
With experience guiding them, the two brothers soon became capable young workers.
"He would come out often and check on the farm activities, and eventually he quit coming when he realized it was all going fine," Nick said.
Nick continued to farm part-time while attending Arkansas State University and earning a BS in Agriculture Business and Finance. He returned to farming full-time in 1979, working with John. The brothers farmed together for several years.
In the early 1990s, Nick began doing more independent farming, with John becoming his co-manager. Nick and Deanne began purchasing land, beginning with the family farm, which they bought from his grandfather, Oran. The couple added more land through the years, as it became available. Today, the operation consists of 1,500 acres farmed, with 420 owned by the family and 1,080 acres rented.
While Nick and John oversaw production duties, Deanne took over the bookkeeping. She has also been known to lend a hand in the field when needed.
The Younts raised four children on their farm, with each growing up learning about the business and working on the farm. While sons Matt and Marc and daughter Sarah have found success in other areas, youngest son Luke is a farmer, through-and-through. Luke, 20, currently farms with his father and uncle, and oversees production on his own fields, as well.
Hard work has allowed the Younts to succeed, and this tireless ethic is also represented in the family's dedication to the community.
Nick has been a member of New Hope Baptist Church since 1975. During the years, he has been very active in the church, serving as Youth Sunday School teacher from 1980 to 2012. He has been a Deacon at the church since 1992. He was part of the Farm Bureau County Board throughout the 1980s. He was a member of the Piggott State Bank Advisory Board from 1995 through 2005. Nick was on the Feed Council from 1995 through 2005, as well.
Deanne has also been active at New Hope Baptist Church since joining in 1990. She has served as the Children's and Youth Bible Teacher for the past 22 years. She has been the music and worship leader since 2000, and has also directed Vacation Bible School since 2000. She has previously served the church as president of the Women's Mission and as secretary for the congregation. Deanne remains active in the Pollard Picnic Committee for Pageants and the Pollard Auxiliary. She has been a member of the Traditional Ladies since 2007.
A special section with more stories and photos may be found in the June 19 print edition of the Clay County Times-Democrat.