In Town: Enos Hawkins of Laclede County took a job immediately out of high school, 38 years ago, working for Palmer Motor and Implement, the Lebanon John Deere dealership at the time. Since then, he has worked in sales, in the shop and for 20 years as the service manager of that same agency. Today, Enos is once again working in the parts department, working for what is now the third owner of that same John Deere dealership, Larson Farm & Lawn. (John Donald owned and operated this store along with other Ozark locations as Donald Farm and Lawn for over a decade before selling them to the Larson chain earlier this year. Larson operates nine southwest Missouri locations.)
“I guess I kind of have a knack for parts,” Enos commented with a smile as an explanation as to how in his own words, he’s “ended up where I started.” When asked about the best part of his job, he smiled again. “That’s easy. I get to meet a lot of different people from all kinds of lifestyles. People come in who need parts for lawnmowers, tractors, balers, hay equipment, all kinds of machinery.
“I’ve seen a lot of changes over the years. When I started, we did everything with pencil and paper and now it’s all on computers. And when the computers shut down, so does everything else.”
In the Country: “I was born and raised on a dairy farm and with my folks, we ran a dairy for 30 years. Today, my brother, Bruce and I raise beef cattle, Santa Gertrudis crossbred with a Hereford bull. I usually keep 85 to 100 head on 310 acres, but right now we’re down to around 47 head. I also mow hay on about 200 acres, doing round bales. Bruce drives an over-the-road truck and he helps me when he’s home. We’re planning on doing some square bales this year on some of the Bermudagrass that he has so we’ll see how that goes.”
Family: “My wife, Denice, helps to feed, to do hay, in lots of ways. My youngest daughter, Leslie, has gotten into showing market steers in the last three years and has done really well with that. My older two daughters, Deidre and Erinn, were never very interested in farm work, but they still enjoy coming home to the farm. Our 6-year-old grandson, Jaylen, spent last summer with us on the farm and at the end of summer vacation, he was definitely NOT ready to go back to Atlanta,” he added with a laugh.
“It is difficult to keep it all balanced, there is no doubt. There’s not a lot of time, working 5 1/2 days a week in the winter and 6 days a week in the summer, but you always have to make time for family and farming.”