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Why I Farm

BECK'S WHY I FARM ROADTRIP: Utah FARMER, Kyle Wilson

Published on Friday, July 14, 2017

Kyle Wilson is proud to honor his family’s traditions and help write the next chapter of their history in agriculture on his southern Utah farm. Along with his wife, Shelley, and their three children, Kyle raises vegetable crops, including heirloom tomatoes, and small livestock.

After Kyle’s parents moved from a generational farm in California to Utah, he went to college and traveled. “Then I came back to southern Utah and started working for a real estate investment trust that went bankrupt shortly after I began.” Kyle recalls. “We already had a small vegetable garden so we planted a full acre of vegetables and started doing environmental mitigation for contractors. So, half nursery, half farm.”

Since then, the farm has continued to evolve. Although farming isn’t what brought him back to the region, Kyle has realized it’s undeniably part of who he is. “If I was being honest with myself, it's something that I've always enjoyed.” He says sincerely.

 

 

“I wasn't working in agriculture at that point, but when Shelley and I were dating, she thought it was funny that I would comment on furrows or the color of dirt as we drove by fields.” He smiles looking across the room at his wife. “It's something for which I have always longed, I guess.”

Although it’s not always financial, the rewards of farming can be hard to describe. “To take the colors and textures and things that my great-grandfather would have produced and make them better is really, really cool.” Kyle continues. “The fact that with any craftsmanship you can do better for the sake of doing better is rewarding in and of itself. So, the fact that I can try to make the best product possible is by itself very, very rewarding.”

 

 

Making improvements for the next generation is also part of the motivation to farm. “The realities of agriculture are such that we obviously don't make a bunch of money, but it's so hard to quantify the value of the experiences that the kids can have. They get to do things unsupervised like they wouldn't otherwise in a suburban or urban area. And they get to spend a bunch of time with me, for better or for worse.” Kyle laughs.

“Yeats for example, from day one has just always been in the seat. He's always been in the truck next to me. Just the fact that he's six now and still likes to hold my hand is pretty cool.”

 

 

Shelley adds, “I love that agriculture is a family affair. When the baby lambs were born, we were all hands on deck. The kids were helping blow dry the babies and holding them by the fire. Yeats skipped school that day, but they realized it's not just someone else's job or somebody else's responsibility.”

 

 

They’re still young, but Kyle’s children know there are living things that depend on them. On the farm, they can see the consequences of their choices, good or bad, every day. “I think a lot of our cultural norm is just to be a recipient of whatever the world hands you. Whereas if you're involved in making something, whether you're growing vegetables or raising animals, you realize that you influence the world. You're not just a passive recipient. To be able to feel like I am not just a cog in the machine, but I am part of the energy that is making the machine go around is fulfilling.”

“Farming is me being honest with myself about my aptitudes. I love it and hopefully my kids will be better people for it.”

That’s why Kyle Wilson farms.

 

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