AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - The youth of our area represent the future of our society and our way of life. At least one of our major industries appears to have a promising outlook as we see in this week’s edition of Good News With Doppler Dave.
Today, I took a few steps from Texas into Oklahoma. In fact, I went just a few miles north of Texhoma to check on a farmer and his crop. But, this may surprise you--this farmer is a freshman in high school.
You can find Wyatt Merry on a farm that was once in ‘No Man’s Land’ but has now been in his family for generations.
Like many teenagers, Wyatt has a lot of energy and an enthusiasm for life in general.
I asked Wyatt, “You’re not 16, you don’t even have a driver’s licence, but you can run a farm?”
“Yeah! Absolutey!” he declared in response. “With my experience, my dad pretty much relies on me. If there is something that needs to be done, you know, I try to do it to the best of my ability.”
But, unlike many of our youth, Wyatt knows without a doubt what he wants to do in life. In fact, he is already doing it.
Wyatt told me, “The joy I get out of it is waking up early in the morning knowing something productive is going to happen. For instance, if it is servicing a tractor or having to go pull a baby calf, check irrigation motors; all that stuff has to be done. The joy for me is getting hands-on experience.”
Wyatt’s father Wylie Merry shared this about his son: “He already knows quite a bit about it and has tried to do some research on a lot of different things. There are things he knows more about than I do.”
For anyone who knows Wyatt, the fact that he is already farming while a student in high school is no surprise.
“He has been interested in it since he was very small,” Wylie added. “One time in particular, we were baling wheat hay and he went with me. The conditions were right and we were able to bale. When we started the first night and we baled and just kept moving and ran for 17 hours straight, he was about five, I think, and he never got tired of it. Most kids, a couple of hours on a tractor, and they would have been done.”
Wyatt proudly showed me the field of wheat that he plowed and planted himself for this season.
He explained, "I am entered in the Oklahoma 4H and FFA wheat growing program and that's a contest where I grow a certain variety of wheat and I will harvest it. It will be judged on milling and baking practices and protein levels."
While realizing his own dream, Wyatt encourages other young people to do just the same.
“Any dreams you have, be sure to follow them,” Wyatt advises. “Don’t try and do something and just drop it. Just follow your dreams because right now, that’s what I’m doing. I’m following my dreams and hard work is one of them. Hard work is always something that has to be encountered with a dream. That’s really what I have learned: Hard work equals better opportunities.”
His dad says, "Yeah, it helps to see that there is going to be a younger generation of farmers because that is something not a lot of people are interested in."
It does my heart good to see young people with drive, ambition, and a work ethic and I know in this part of our area, the future of farming is in good hands. That’s some good news.