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Hardin County couple named 2023 KFB young farm family of the year
 
By Doug Graves
Ohio Correspondent

ELIZABETHTOWN, Ky. – According to recent USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) statistics, Kentucky producers raised and sold more than $5.7 billion worth of crops and livestock. Kentucky ranks eighth in the nation for number of beef cows and 14th in the sale of chickens and eggs. Corn and soybeans from the Bluegrass State have combined sales of more than $1.75 billion.
Unfortunately, University of Kentucky researchers reported last year that the total number of farms in the state has been decreasing.
The Kentucky Farm Bureau (KFB) is working to change this trajectory, and one effort of KFB is to highlight young farmers who are making a positive impact in the agriculture sector. It’s called the Outstanding Young Farm Family of the year award, and the 2023 award went to Matt and Molly Adams, of Hardin County.
This annual award honors an individual or couple under the age of 35 who demonstrates strong farm management skills, KFB and community involvement, and consistent financial growth through their farm.
The couple operates just over 825 acres of farmland, with 523 of those acres devoted to corn, soybean and soft red winter wheat production. They double-crop soybeans after the wheat. They also have 40 acres of hay dedicated to producing small square bales for the equine market.
The hay consists of various mixes of alfalfa, orchard grass and timothy. The remainder of Matt and Molly’s land is devoted to pasture and mixed grass hay production for their cow/calf operation, which currently includes 87 mature brood cows and replacement heifers. They also sell USDA inspected freezer beef.
“With so much work to be done day in and day out, there has to be a kind of passion inside of you,” Matt said. “I guess you’d just say you’re born with it.”
And born into farming he was. Matt’s family ran a dairy farm in Rockcastle County when Matt was a young child. By the time he was in high school, Matt began raisings cattle and paying his way through college at Western Kentucky University by venturing home on weekends to run a hay business.
“And then after college, I was able to buy the farm that we live on now,” he said.
Unlike a lot of other young farmers who might work for already-established businesses, Matt knew he would have to start from the ground up to get back to his family roots. He followed his life-long passion for agriculture by purchasing his farmland. Matt tends to the farm fulltime, while Molly works fulltime at their regional hospital as a registered respiratory practitioner, assisting with farm chores as well.
“Farming is an entirely different lifestyle,” Matt said. “You know, you don’t turn it off at the end of the day when you go home at night. It’s constantly on your mind.”
Molly added, “We’re constantly working, but we find joy in that. We lay down at night, and we’re tired.”
And they have another goal: to educate others about where their food comes from.
“Most people don’t know who feeds them, and when they hear about farmers, there’s just not a lot of education behind that,” Molly said. “So, we’re trying to fill that gap a little bit, just kind of showcasing our lives on social media.”
The Adams pair are so passionate about agriculture that they share their daily farming lives on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. In addition, Matt and two other farming friends began producing a podcast that focuses on all thing’s agriculture. Molly was inspired to produce her own YouTube channel chronicling their daily lives raising cows, crops and kids on their farm. They’ve received comments from people across the globe.
Being in their 30s, Matt and Molly feel their representation is important, as Census of Agriculture numbers show the average age of a farmer in Kentucky is 56. The couple enjoys sharing the story of their life on the farm and hope to inspire the next generation of farmers, who love life on the farm just as much as they do.
“Not to call it a dying breed, but people aren’t coming back to their family farms,” Molly said. Added Matt, “You know, if the average age is pushing 60, then it’s not going to be long before they’re all gone.”
The couple is passionate about expanding their farming operations and continuing to push the limits.
“We hope to grow the row crop enterprise to 800 acres in the next five years and to 1,000 acres in the next 10 years,” Matt said. “We would also like to grow our cow/calf operation to 100 brood cows in the next five years by better utilizing the pasture we currently have.”
As part of winning the KFB’s Outstanding Young Farm Family of 2023 award, their prize includes equipment that will help them grow and run their farm on an even larger scale.
1/15/2024