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Farmer spotlight – Henry Terry

 

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Thank the farmers of Terry Farms, Henry and Tanya Terry, who work continuously day and night to put food on everyone's table. Henry and Tanya are pictured with their son, William Terry, who is in the Army Reserve.

Rick Patrick

Greene Publishing, Inc.

For local farmer, Henry Terry, farming is not just a job, it is a way of life that was passed down from his grandfather, Ernest Terry; to his father, Richard Terry; to Henry and his son, William.  Terry currently farms on 500 acres in the community of Lee.  In years past, the farm has covered as much as a thousand acres.  He has farmed the same parcel of land that has been in the Terry family for at least five generations.

During these years, quite a lot has changed in the business of farming.  Terry can recall when tobacco was the big crop, which they would alternate with corn, for the sake of soil management and crop rotation.  In other years, the Terry family has grown peanuts.  Currently, the Terry family grows watermelons, soybeans, and iron clay peas.  For the Terry’s, as it is for many farmers, it is like looking into a crystal ball to try and determine what will happen with the markets.

Terry's grandfather would probably be amazed at the technological advances that have taken place in farming.  Technological advances that have made farming much more efficient and cost effective.  One advance that Terry talks about may not make farming that much more efficient, but it has certainly made it more comfortable, and that is the advent of air conditioned cabs for the tractors.  When speaking of it, Terry laughs and says, [air conditioned cabs] sure are nice to have around here.”  Other advances, such as automatic boom controls can monitor the crops and the land in order to control the amount of material that gets sprayed onto the crops.  This not only makes the spraying much more efficient, but is much better for the environment.  Even with these technological advances, farming is still very much a full time endeavor.  Terry laughs about people looking forward to Fridays. “What's a Friday?” Terry laughs.

The Terry farm is certainly a family affair.  Terry operates the farm along with the help of his wife, Tanya, who is also a nurse in the cardiac intensive care unit at South Georgia Medical Center.  Terry's son, William works along-side his father on the family farm, as well as serving in the military reserve. Terry's oldest daughter, Elaine can “put a lot of men to shame on a tractor,” says Terry.  The youngest member of the Terry family, Emmolyn is in the ninth grade and according to Terry is the most important part of the operation.  According to her father, Emmolyn is an excellent cook, as good as or better than most adults.

From listening to Terry talk about his farm and the heritage it represents, it is easy to hear the pride he has in his family and the land he has worked over the years.  People like the Terry family and many others carry on a noble tradition that has been an integral part of our area for generations.  Hopefully, that tradition can be carried on for many generations to come.

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