The Strobel family of Paris was recently named as the 2020 Logan County Farm Family of the Year. 2020 marks the 73rd year for the Arkansas Farm Family of the Year Program.

Gerald and Rachel Strobel said they both grew up on dairy and poultry farms and decided to start their own farming tradition after they were married.

"We started by purchasing some cattle and renting land. Our herd grew and we bought some land of our own."

Gerald said that seven years ago, his family bought a three house poultry broiler operation along with land and a house and his family has been farming for themselves for 18 years.

Since 1947, the Arkansas Farm Family of the Year Program has served as a vehicle to recognize outstanding farm families throughout the state, according to a Farm Bureau Spokesperson.

"The objectives of the Farm Family of the year program are to give recognition and encouragement to farm families who are doing an outstanding job on their farm and in their community, to gain recognition of the importance of agriculture in the community and state and to disseminate information on improved farm practices and management."

The Strobel's are full-time farmers who said they would not change anything about their farming experience.

"We love what we do and take great pride in our farm."

Passing their farm down to their children, Aden 16 and Elly 11, is something that Gerald and Rachel would love to do if farming is a path their children decide to take. Even though being a full-time farmer keeps the Strobel's busy, they still try to find time to spend with their family and friends.

"We enjoy hiking, traveling, and are very active in our church and community."

Rich Hillman, president of Arkansas Farm Bureau, said the Arkansas Farm Family of the Year program recognizes the outstanding farmers and ranchers across the state.

"These families are involved in essential work, not only providing food for our state but the country and the world. Congratulations to these farm families. We are proud to highlight their work and dedication to Arkansas agriculture."

The Strobel's said that farming is a lot of work and expensive, so you need to be prepared to make sacrifices for the sake of your farm, but If you're willing to put in the hard work, farming is very rewarding.

"We enjoy farming and definitely plan to continue for many years to come. It is a huge honor and we are very appreciative of the recognition of Farm Family for Logan County."

The Farm Family of the Year program begins each year with the selection of top farm families in each county and culminates in December with the selection of the state Farm Family of the Year, who then go on to represent Arkansas at the Swisher Sweets/Sunbelt Expo Southeastern Farmer of the Year.

The county winners will be visited by a set of judges to determine eight district winners, who will be announced June 16. The state winner will be announced Dec. 6 at the Farm Family of the Year luncheon in North Little Rock.