TR Spirit of Jacksonville June 2016READ ONLINE
Generations of farming earn Grant County awardPublished July 6, 2014 at 12:00 a.m.
CORINTH — Living in what he calls “God’s country,” Scott Wells runs a diversified farming operation. He raises hay, cattle, honeybees, sheep, chickens, pecan trees, sorghum for molasses and a personal garden. He also operates Wells Liquid Feed and a backhoe service.
Scott and his family — wife, Sharron, and sons, Dusty, 15, and Jesse, 8 — are the 2014 Grant County Farm Family of the Year. They farm 93 acres in the Corinth community, several miles outside Sheridan.
“I am the fourth generation of Wellses to farm right here,” Scott said. “I am honored to be the Farm Family of the Year.”
Scott is the son of Bobby and Bonnie Wells, who live just across the road from him.
“I watched my parents as a child,” he said. “My family has passed down information from their parents and grandparents and other elders in the community. I knew from an early age that I wanted to continue in their footsteps.”
Scott said he and his sister, Pam Birmingham of Traskwood, worked on the farm to earn money for their school supplies. Scott and Sharron’s sons do the same.
“We may be financially poor, but we have rich minds and rich hearts,” he said, noting that his motto is “No farm, no food.”
Scott graduated from Sheridan High School in 1986. By then, he was already farming.
“I worked in a feed store when I was in school,” he said. “People were always hiring me to cut their hay. I also sawed logs. You name it; I did it. If it had a paycheck, I’d take it.
“Of course, I preferred cash,” he said with a laugh. “I like the folding money.
“My mom and dad were good to me. They provided the necessities, but I was on my own for other things.”
Scott raises 45 to 50 head of crossbred cattle — Angus/Brangus with some Hereford influence. He sells his calves yearly at the local livestock auction. He raises 68 acres of hay, keeping most of it in case of emergencies such as droughts. He has seven beehives and sells honey to local residents and saves the wax from the hives to make lotion bars and lip balm for 4-H groups.
He has shown his cattle in the past at the district and state fair.
This year, Scott hopes to show his Katahdin sheep, which are “hair sheep.”
“They have no wool,” Scott said, adding that at one time he had 25 to 30 head but now has just six head.
The family is “very conscious about conserving energy, recycling and protecting our environment,” Scott said.
“We subsoil yearly by plowing in less-than-fertile areas. We also use fertilizer when possible from our cattle and chicken manure for our hay fields and garden areas. We try to keep as much trash out of land fills as possible,” he said.
“We recycle aluminum cans and steel cans. By recycling just one can, it can be converted into enough energy for you to run a television for three hours or run your bedroom lights for two weeks. It also saves on pollutants that are created from making new cans,” Scott said.
“Having honeybees helps the environment in that they pollinate our food supply. Without honeybees, the world could not survive. Facts state that the world will come to an end four years after the honeybee dies.
“We use wood heat to save energy, keep our water heater turned down and use energy-saving appliances. All of these things save energy or help our environment in one way or another. It also helps in saving us dollars every year.”
Scott and Sharron also work off the farm. He has been employed for 28 years at Shippers Paper Products Co. in Sheridan, which makes air bags for shipping. She has been employed for 15 years at Centria in Sheridan, which makes commercial siding.
Scott is active in the community. He has been a justice of the peace for 20 years, and on Jan. 1, 2015, he will be sworn in as constable of Franklin Township.
Scott and Sharron’s sons show sheep and chickens at the county fair as part of their 4-H projects. Scott is the leader of the Grant County Green Club, which has 13 members. He received the 2014 Grant County 4-H Leader of the Year award.
Dusty and Jesse also show in the home economics divisions of the fairs. They show handmade crafts, pecans, vegetables from the garden, canned goods and eggs — which their grandparents, Bobby and Bonnie, help them produce and make.
The young men also participate in the Grant County Sew With Cotton Contest, the Big “B” Day for the county 4-H and other activities that Grant County 4-H offers. Both have received the Highest Point Award the past several years for their participation in 4-H.
Scott’s father is a past president of the Grant County Fair Board, and Scott is the 2014 vice president of the fair board.
He is a past president of the Grant County Cattlemen’s Association and the 2014 vice president of the Saline County Cattlemen’s Association, as well as a board member of the BelFast Palestine Volunteer Fire Department.
Sharron volunteers with the 4-H club and helps with the youth at Corinth Missionary Baptist Church, where the family worships.