DRASCO Chris and Lisa Davis both grew up on farms and are keeping the family tradition alive. They raise cattle and poultry on their farm — Paisley Defoor Farm — named in honor of their families.
The Davises and their children — daughter Kaleah, 18, and son Tyler, 9 — are the 2018 Cleburne County Farm Family of they Year.
“We named the farm Paisley Defoor Farm after the family names that first brought farming into our lives as children,” Lisa said.
Paisley is Lisa’s maiden name and the name of the family that owned the cattle farm in Illinois when she was a child. Defoor is the family name of Chris’ grandfather, who was a successful grower in the local poultry business.
Chris said being named Farm Family of the Year is “pretty cool.
“Grandpa is very proud,” Chris said, referring to his grandfather, Jurld Defoor who lives with his wife, Carol Defoor, across the road from the Davises. The Defoors raised broiler chickens for 40-plus years. Chris spent much of his time during the summer and after-school on his grandparents’ farm.
Lisa grew up on the cattle farm that her parents owned in Illinois.
When the opportunity arose in 2015 for the Davises to buy Chris’ grandfather’s farm, Chris said he “couldn’t see the farm being sold to anyone else” but knew he and Lisa would have to “make the farm … a working farm again.
“We didn’t want the farm to get away,” Chris said. “From a young age, we were both taught to work very hard, regardless of what the task at hand was.”
The couple purchased the 136-acre farm, built two poultry breeder houses and purchased 50 head of cattle to begin to make it productive. They have since added leased acreage to their farming operation.
The Davises have been farming for three years. They raise 100 acres of hay and 80 head of cattle and operate two breeder egg houses that produce 522,666 dozen eggs a year.
“We are currently under contract and sell our eggs to Ozark Mountain Poultry in Batesville,” Chris said. “We currently sell our beef calves to Ozark Regional Stockyard in West Plains, Missouri. We occasionally sell beef cattle to other local area farmers.
“Annually, we custom cut and bale hay for farmers in our community. Typically, we will cut the hay on halves, which adds an additional 400 bales for production on our farm.”
Chris said they hope to continue to raise high-quality beef, which increases the farm’s income and provides consistency of the herd. They hope to build two additional breeder houses as well, which will also increase the farm’s income and production. They also intend to lease additional land for more cattle.
“We have increased the overall grazing on the 136 acres we own by cross-fencing the entire farm to run at a maximum capacity,” he said. They have also installed watering reservoirs to assist with the rotational grazing program.
Chris, 37, grew up in Drasco, a son of David and Lisa Davis, and graduated from Concord High School in 1999. He has one sister, Amanda Duncan of Mount Vernon.
In addition to farming, Chris owns a construction company and builds houses in the Greers Ferry Lake area.
Lisa, 37, grew up in Marion, Illinois, a daughter of Patti Lucarz of Little Rock and the late William Paisley. Lisa has one sister, Callie Goines of Grantsburg, Illinois.
Lisa and her family moved to Arkansas, and she graduated from West Side High School at Greers Ferry and from Lyon College in Batesville, where she received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree. She is the lending compliance officer at Citizens Bank in Batesville.
Chris and Lisa have been married 18 years.
The Davises attend Drasco General Baptist Church.
They support activities at Concord schools.
Kaleah is a recent graduate of Concord High School, where she was the class salutatorian. In high school, she was a member of the Future Business Leaders of America; the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America; and Beta Club. She also played high school varsity basketball and softball.
Kaleah is a freshman at Lyon College, where she will play basketball.
“I hope to get a degree in business administration,” she said. “I just want to make a difference and help other people after I graduate.”
Both Chris and Lisa volunteer with the Concord Boosters Club and coach the 10-and-under baseball team and peewee basketball team of which Tyler is a part. Tyler will be in the fifth-grade at Concord Elementary School.
“Hauling the kids around to ballgames is what we do in our spare time,” Lisa said, laughing. “Once a year, we try to go to the lake. We also like to spend time with our family.”