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Pat-Murphree-last crop-BT_Edits.jpg Julie Murphree
Pat Murphree checks his last crop of cotton at sundown.

My career built around remarkable farmers

National Farmers' Day celebrates farmers like Pat Murphree

Oct. 12 was National Farmers’ Day. The editors of Farm Press put together a slideshow of our favorite farmers on that day.

I chose my dad, Pat Murphree, as my favorite farmer. I respect how he farmed. He loved to watch the crops grow. He was known in the ag community for his ability to produce a good crop. For years he worked with researchers and major seed companies to produce cotton varieties that were high producers for seed companies and cotton growers across the Cotton Belt.

His farm was the cleanest. One of the first things he taught me as I began to do chores as a child was to sweep the farm shop in a pattern. That kind of perfection was evident on our farm — fields were laser leveled, irrigation ditches were clean and straight, crops were uniform.

And, he’s really a good guy. He has an easy way with people and can talk to anyone. He is firm in his beliefs but considers most things fairly.

The favorite farmer assignment got me thinking about all the other farmers I have encountered throughout my career in ag. My career is built around farmers, so I know a few.

The ones I grew up with are remarkable people, farmers like Oliver Anderson who could fix anything and keep anything on his farm running decades past their fair-use date or John Smith who has an air of confidence and can impart that upon those he encounters.

Eddy Pratt is a farmer who worked hard, but always greets you with open arms and a great smile, like you were one of the family.

Sonny Dunn farmed a lot of ground and was an amazingly generous person, never too busy to sit and laugh in his kitchen with family and friends.

Of course, these guys worked hand-in-hand with great women who stood by their side in the farm operation. These women, if not directly involved in the operation, laid a foundation for the guys to help them work toward success.

Hermina Anderson, Mary Lou Smith, Jan Pratt and Dode Dunn hauled kids, led 4-H, taught Sunday school, hooked up horse trailers, fed livestock, picked up parts, and on and on.

My mom, Pennee, could feed 20 kids on a pound of spaghetti and a head of lettuce, teach junior high schoolers how to sew, round up the horses and lead the choir.

These teams raised good successful kids — I can’t think of a bad one in the bunch, mostly. We made connections in our community that have lasted lifetimes.

Is it any wonder that my favorite people are farmers? I know that my list of farmers is inadequate and would contain a least 100 people if I had the time and the space.

I’m glad that I was planted and raised by a farmer — Pat Murphree.

TAGS: Cotton
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