David and Tracy Hawkins and their family of Bonne Terre were among the 110 families honored during the Missouri State Fair’s Farm Family Day on Aug. 11.
The Hawkins were selected as the St. Francois Missouri State Fair Farm Family by the St. Francois County Extension Council and local Farm Bureau. The family includes Alex, Nick and Audrey.
Each year, the fair sets aside a day to recognize farm families from across the state who are active in their community, involved in agriculture, and participate in local outreach and extension programs such as 4-H and FFA.
The Hawkins, including Alex, Nick and Audrey, operate a 50-acre farm. Hay is the main crop raised to feed their animals that currently include cows and pigs. Previously they have also raised sheep and rabbits. The Hawkins Farm is a family affair, as the kids are a big part of the day-to-day operation feeding the cows and cleaning the pig pen. The kids are very active in their 4-H club, Bear Creek Kidz, and David and Tracy are both 4-H volunteers. Tracy also holds the office of treasurer of the St. Francois County University of Missouri Extension Council.
“We are very lucky to have young farm families like the Hawkins that are passing on agriculture knowledge to their kids,” according to Kendra Graham, St. Francois County program director with the University of Missouri Extension.
The annual event was sponsored by the Missouri Department of Agriculture, the Missouri Farm Bureau, the Missouri State Fair, the University of Missouri College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, and University of Missouri Extension.
For 100 years, MU Extension has engaged Missourians in relevant programs based on University of Missouri research. The year 2014 marks the centennial of the Smith-Lever Act, which formalized the Cooperative Agricultural Extension Service, a national network whose purpose is to extend university-based knowledge beyond the campus.