Friday Spotlight: B&B Farms
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Today’s Friday Spotlight comes to us from B&B Farms in the Westfield area of Stokes County. The Bovender family, made up of Jason, Melissa, and Tanner, have horses and Black Angus cows. Jason got into farming as he had been around horses most of his life, and the farm recently grew when Tanner decided to begin a small cow/calf herd. Their favorite part of having animals is when they know the animals have been well-cared for at the end of the day, and the excitement with getting to continue to take care of the animals. The family’s biggest challenge was about 8 years ago, when Jason’s father-in-law, Richard Bolen, began to have health problems. Richard had began farming in 1987 and was no longer able to do the work he loved. Jason recalls Richard’s commitment to the land and his son, Tanner, stepping up during this time: “In the beginning when he started working this land it was very grown-up and fields were full of rocks and had not been worked for years so he cleared it and worked to seed and fertilize the fields. So for over 25 years we were always working together and doing something on this farm together, building horse stalls, running fence for pasture, bush hogging, weed eating, mowing, maintaining the pond -whatever was needed -we worked together. So when he could not continue to do it that’s when my son, Tanner, at the age of 10 stepped up and took over chores like feeding the farm animals, weed eating, bush hogging, plowing, discing fields whatever was needed he was eager and always wanted to do it. This was very fulfilling to me to have a son who loved this farm as much as we did and wanted to keep everything going so his grandpa would see and know the farm would continue to be kept up and moving forward. When we decided to get cows my father-in-law was right in the middle of everything, he couldn’t physically work but he was there on his side by side helping us with his support and wisdom. My father-in-law is a great man and has taught me a lot through the years. Knowing that we can rely on my son one day when I can’t do this anymore means everything.”
In the future, the family hopes to continue to raise high-quality horses that other people aren’t willing to take a risk on, and produce quality, well-cared-for cattle. The Bovenders are committed to giving horses that some people may not be interested in a home and training them to work with cattle. “We love to carry on the cowboy traditions by running our cattle with horses but good trained cattle horses truly are a big help on a cow farm! We are blessed just to be able to live this lifestyle.”