Hugh and Brandy Reynolds originally owned and operated a dairy but, after adding three turkey houses they still couldn’t make ends meet. “There just never was enough money in the dairy to support the business and make a living,” Hugh said. Hugh decided to go to school to become an electrician while working the turkey houses.
Eventually after Hugh got his license, he and Brandy bought a new farm hoping they could build more turkey houses and raise beef cattle. Hugh and Brandy just purchased another farm adjacent to their new property and are building a home where he can see most of his cattle and their eight turkey houses on the adjacent property. “We are hiring people to do the framing and we will do most of the finish work ourselves,” Hugh said.   

The Family Farm
Hugh and Brandy have been married for 14 years and have three kids; Chastity (14-years old), Makayla (10) and Justin (six). Hugh and Brandy love raising their kids on the farm. “It means a lot to me,” Brandy said. “I feel they learn a lot and it makes them appreciate things because they know how hard it is,” she added. “It helps them learn how to work,” Hugh said. “My oldest daughter can rake hay and drive a tractor. She probably doesn’t like it but, it teaches them how to work," Hugh said. Brandy said, “Oh, she loves it.” “They help with the chicks, help set up, help clean and they help feed,” Brandy said.

The Poultry Side
Brandy and Hugh raise tom turkeys for Cargill starting with 58,000 chicks and keeping them for six weeks in three brood houses and transferring to eight range houses where they finish their 20-week growing period gaining anywhere from 39 to 42 pounds. “The kids don’t complain. They just do it. It’s part of our lives. It’s what we chose,” Brandy said.
Hugh does "95 percent" of the work on the farm by himself, Brandy said, with the help of his family and friends.  “His Dad helps when we are moving turkeys, but Hugh does all the turkey houses and everything else himself."  They've worked up a nice litter exchange, for helping to clean out the turkey houses. “When we are moving the birds and cleaning out, we need some help from friends and family,” Hugh said. “Everyone just pitches in,” Brandy said.  Their reward is some litter for fertilizer.
Brandy has developed her own style of farming, running from one job to another in her 1972 slug bug. “It’s what I use to run back and forth between turkey houses,” she said.
Hugh and Brandy said they just want to make a living on the farm. “We just want to survive, raise our family and hopefully make our kids' lives a little easier if they want to follow the same path,” Hugh said.  
“Turkey houses pretty well do everything,” Hugh said. “The beef cattle won’t really work by themselves, but the poultry fertilizes the land and makes us able to afford the beef farm.  They supplement each other really well,” he continued. “Beef cattle don’t take up a lot of time on a daily basis, so you are able to spend most of your time working with the turkeys.” Hugh still does some electrical work but says it is mostly work around the farm. “There is a lot of stuff that goes out or tears up we repair ourselves,” Hugh said.

The Cattle Herd
“We have 160 cows and eight bulls," Hugh said. “We calve usually from February to May and then from September to the middle or end of November. We run mostly Angus with a few other breeds mixed in but, mostly black cattle,” he added.  
“One of our goals for the future is to try to get 100 acres of Bermuda on one farm and 40 acres on another for hay,” he said. “We run the bulls and cut most of our hay on the 240-acre farm we lease. The main thing we want to do now is to get our pastures improved.  We want to try to get 40 percent of our pastures in Bermuda grass, get our pastures cross fenced where we can utilize them better and try to keep doing a good job with our turkeys,” Hugh said. “We would like to be able to hire some full-time help in the future so we will be able to do a little better job at taking care of things and have more free time.”


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