Tennessee Farmer Kim Ballard Reflects on Farm Life From 4-H to County Farm Bureau President

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farmer Kim Ballard

Photo credit: Jeff Adkins

Meet fourth-generation Franklin County farmer Kim Ballard and read about her experiences as a woman in an agricultural leadership role with Tennessee Farm Bureau:

What was it like growing up on a farm?

I loved it. I’ve always really enjoyed being outside, and even when it was hot and the farm work was hard, I still loved it. I always dreamed of being like my family and owning my own farm one day.

What do you hope your children are learning from being raised on the farm?

I appreciate the morals and the values they are gaining from living and working on our farm. There are so many life lessons to learn here – no, it’s not always easy, but farming is enjoyable and definitely rewarding. There’s also lots of uncertainty, and resilience is gained through that. I also hope they are learning to be good stewards of the land and realize God created all of this for us to take care of.

See more: Meet Middle Tennessee Farmer Faye Coble

What do you hope for the future of your farm?

I would love to grow our farm by expanding the land we have and our cattle operation. My greatest desire for the farm, though, is for us to be more sustainable and profitable so our boys can farm alongside us someday.

About the Farmer

Farm Family: Husband, Jay, and sons, Jaycob and Calvin

Crops & Livestock: Cattle and hay

Farm Legacy: 4th generation

Farm Location: Decherd in Franklin County

Farm Bureau Membership: More than 20 years

How did you get involved with Farm Bureau?

I’ve always been involved in some sort of agriculture organization. I started in 4-H and then FFA. Funnily enough, my husband and I actually met in the 4-H Honor Club. After we got married, a couple asked us to come to a county Farm Bureau meeting, so we went and the group was small, but we liked the people so much we kept going back. We’ve been involved ever since.

What does it mean to you to be a woman in an agricultural leadership role?

I was always told girls can do anything boys can do, and I think I still firmly believe that. My strong-willed, independent personality has probably led me to that motto, but I was still floored when my county approached me to be the Franklin County Farm Bureau president. I was young and I was a female, so I was shocked. But, you know, I’ve always been treated with respect. I’m humbled and honored to be in this position, and I think the future for women in agriculture is only going to get brighter from here.

See more: Meet West Tennessee Farmer Brenda Baker

Are you Farm Bureau proud?

Of course I’m Farm Bureau proud. Since we started, I have never met anyone I didn’t like. People in this organization are so kind and genuine. There’s not another organization that has the morals and values of faith, farming, and family like I do. I’m also proud of the strong voice Farm Bureau has. Our elected officials come to our people when they have questions, and I’m very proud of that. But, really, we’re all like family and that’s my favorite part.

– Amy Beckham

1 Comment

  1. Jack E. Smith

    October 23, 2020 at 1:53 pm

    Congratulations on your agricultural activities, your youth activities sound sound familiar to mine in the 1940’s — !!! I was in 4-H work, Honor Club, 4-H All Star, Vol State Award, National & state 4-H Congress, etc., etc. and I grew up in Lincoln county.

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