Published on Wednesday, July 12, 2017
At Oklahoma State University, Aaron Base had professors that told him he’d never be able to farm. His diversified farm outside Geary, Oklahoma is proving them wrong. Today, Aaron and his wife raise a variety of niche products, like grassfed beef and wine grapes, along with their two daughters just down the road from the family’s main farm.
Contrary to popular believe, sprawling ranches aren’t common in Aaron’s area. Instead, many farmers in the area have fields of wheat and cattle. “They kinda go well together. You see a lot of cattle on the wheat, but they start pulling the calves off to make a wheat crop. And then there will be fields that still have cattle on them in the spring. They're not going to make a wheat crop, they're going to graze that out.” Aaron explains.
For several years, the family lived on the main farm where Aaron’s grandparents used to live. But with heavy traffic from big equipment, and a lack of privacy, the couple knew they had to make a change. With two small children, they wanted them to have space to run, play and explore without constantly worrying about safety.
Although they farm isn’t out their back door anymore, it is just up the road. Aaron is proud that his daughters are still learning the values that farm life taught him as a child. “Problem solving, initiative, work ethic, those things are important. I try to pass that on to the kids.” He smiles at his youngest daughter riding in the passenger seat.
Now, the family has moved an old school house on their property, and the girls aren’t the only ones that get to enjoy the wide-open spaces and starry nights. Travelers from across the country have rented the historic building as a retreat from their busy, urban lifestyles. Others rent the space for reunions, weddings, or birthday parties with a taste of country.
Opening up their corner of the world to people outside of agriculture has given Aaron a new perspective. The lack of rain, and powerful winds, make farming challenging sometimes, but there are lots of people who’ve never experienced the pride of harvest or watched a new calf come into the world.
“There's a lot of people out there in 9 to 5 jobs that they hate and dream of doing what we do, so I think we should celebrate it and appreciate it. Live it up. Do what everybody else wishes they could do when they retire.” Aaron says with enthusiasm.
It’s clear that Aaron has a passion for what he does, even if that means straying from the traditional perspectives that surround him. “Doing it when those professors said it couldn't be done, that probably sticks in the back of your mind a little bit every now and then. There's definitely rough years. But I’m keeping things going when those guys said it couldn't be done.” Aaron smiles.
That’s why Aaron Base farms.
Author: Natalina Sents
Categories: Why I Farm, Why I Farm Roadtrip
Tags: Beck's Blog, Why I Farm, Beck's Hybrids, Natalina Sents, Why I Farm Roadtrip, Oklahoma, Aaron Base