Feature: Meeting American farm and ranch families
March 8, 2012
Furniture Row Racing will be featuring farm and ranch families during the course of the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup season as part of the race team’s Farm American program, which is an initiative to keep America’s food supply produced in the United States.
This week’s tribute is about a Nevada couple with deep agriculture roots and aspiring to own and operate their own farm.
The Furniture Row Racing/Farm American team and driver Regan Smith will be competing this weekend in the Kobalt Tools 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Grant & Jamie Perkins grew up rich in Nevada agriculture
Jamie Perkins came from several generations of cattle and hay farming on both sides of her family.
She was one of those lucky kids who had a rope swing from the hayloft of a barn. Then came horses, showing sheep at the livestock show and plenty of farm chores that didn’t seem so much fun at the time. 4-H and the Future Farmers of America (FFA) were also a big part of life while growing up in Nevada.
Grant Perkins family ran a feed store in Las Vegas, along with raising horses, chickens, and even buffalo.
He spent the first half of his growing up years in the Las Vegas area. When his dad and brother got into custom hay loading (small bales onto a semi with a boom) he worked as a part-timer in the new family business as a teenager. Grant also worked on neighboring farms near his parents settlement in Dry Valley, Nev.
Grant & Jamie live in Panaca, Nev. on Jamie’s maternal Grandfather’s black angus and alfalfa hay ranch.
In the last two years Grant’s hay-loading business has started to pick up again and he loads for several local farmers, most of who ship hay to dairies in California.
The Perkins have three boys and a girl, with another boy on the way. The children keep busy with their horses, feeding chickens, bottle raising Grandpa’s orphan calves, and dogs and cats. The oldest also has two lambs he has been working with for his first livestock show.
The family helps out on the ranch with branding and vaccinating whenever they can, and the 5-year-old is in the tractor with a uncle or cousin whenever he can be.
Grant and Jamie’s hope is that someday they might be able to do more in agriculture, leasing or buying some hay fields and taking on a few more cows.
“If there were a way at this time to farm full-time and provide for our family, that would be our choice.” says Jamie.
Grant and Jamie want their children to learn to work the way they did while growing up, and to have the lifestyle that so few get nowadays.
Grant and Jamie are active in their community. Jamie has helped coach 4-H and FFA and starting her fifth year as the Young Farmer and Rancher Chair for the Nevada Farm Bureau. Grant has coached little league wrestling and 4-H Shooting Sports.
“We do what we can to hold onto the roots we were instilled with because we know what a treasure it is,” explained Jamie. “Farm American is an awesome program, going hand in hand with what we work so hard to do through our role in the Farm Bureau—educating the public about the importance of agriculture and fighting to keep the rights that allow us such an abundant and healthy food source, but also a lifestyle that is rich in heritage and traditions of strong work ethics and values.”