Agriculture is a big part of Box Elder County. We rank first in Utah in the number of beef cattle, and have an inventory of 10,000 dairy cows and 35,600 sheep. We are number one in the state in grain production and near the top in barley, silage and alfalfa. Such production has been going on for over a century, with farms and ranches being passed down from generation to generation. In this series, the Leader will be spotlighting some of those 100-year-old family farms – their struggles and their successes.
I’m just a farmer, plain and simple,
Not of royal birth,
But rather a worker of the earth.
I know not of riches,
But rather of patches on my britches.
I know of drought and rain,
Of pleasure and pain.
I am a man who loves his job,
I am I man who works with God.
For you see, I’m just a farmer,
Plain and simple.
Those words, written on plaque hanging in Kent Yates’ kitchen, sum up his life – and pretty much the lives of those past generations who worked the family farm just south of Honeyville and left a legacy for this present-day farmer to follow.
The Y Farm, as it is now called, began as 600 acres of railroad property purchased by a young 20-year-old in 1865, fresh off an LDS mission and eager to begin life as a farmer. His name was Joseph Yates, an Englishman by birth, who, with his brother Thomas, settled in what was then known as Call’s Fort.
For more on this story, pick up a copy of this week’s Leader.