Congratulations to WKW Partnership has been named Jackson County Farm Family of the Year for 2018! For 71 years, the Arkansas Farm Family of the Year Program has honored farm families across the state.
WKW Partnership includes Rob and Andrea Walker, Greg and Laura King, John and Mandy Walker.
WKW Farms represents a tradition of commitment to family values and agriculture. Their first two years of farming together, Rob, Greg and John were on the payroll of Walker Planting (consisting of Richard and Beth Walker who are Rob’s parents and John and Linda Walker who are John’s parents/Greg’s in-laws). The first year, 2013, they farmed 578 acres. WKW was able to secure funding via a guaranteed loan at AgHeritage. In 2015 they picked up 200 more acres. They were able to go off of Walker Planting’s payroll in 2017 when they picked up 3,000 more acres. The 3,000 acres that they picked up included land that had been farmed by not only Walker Planting, but also by John, Linda, Richard, and Beth’s parents (Lowery ground near Newport, Walker ground near Tuckerman, and Hunter ground at Swifton). Greg, who is originally from Independence County, learned how to drive tractor and bail hay at the age of 10 while helping on his family’s cattle farm. After high school, Greg went to work for Gene Melton and Sons at Cord and learned row-crop farming skills. As young kids, Rob and John spent summers working with their dads. As teenagers, they made a meaningful contribution to Walker Planting as they helped with the wheat harvest and soybean planting and rice watering. Rob’s favorite job on the farm is one he learned at the age of 10—combining wheat. John has fond memories of keeping seed for $20 per day (he thought he had hit it big) and getting a tractor stuck so badly that his daddy threatened to fire him the next time it happened. He repeated his mistake two weeks later but somehow managed to keep his job
When asked to describe how they market their crops their answer was, “We utilize multiple marketing options as we go throughout the year to get the best price for our
crop. First, we consult people who are “in the know” including people at different grainaries
where we sell grain and Rob’s dad who follows markets closely and works with a marketing
consultant. Depending on prices and price projections, we typically book 35-40% of our crop in
advance. We store some grain in grain bins and book on the uptrends.”
Rob’s wife, Andrea, is in her 8th year of teaching and currently teaches kindergarten at Newport Elementary School.
Rob and Andrea’s son, Cagen, enjoys hunting and riding his dirt bike. Cagen plays pee-wee football for the Newport Greyhounds. Cagen works with his dad on the farm during the summertime.
Greg’s wife, Laura, who is also John’s sister, is the District Treasurer for Jackson County School District. Greg and Laura’s oldest son Jesse, enjoys hunting and playing little league baseball for the Tuckerman Bulldogs and pee-wee basketball for the Swifton Pirates. Jesse is in his school’s gifted and talented program. Jesse works with his dad on the farm during the summertime. Greg and Laura’s youngest son, Jake, plays little league baseball for the Tuckerman Bulldogs and intermural basketball.
John’s wife, Mandy, owns an auditing and accounting business based out of Tuckerman. She performs bookkeeping for the farm. Prior to that Mandy worked for the Auditor of State for 12 years during which time she earned a Masters in Accounting and C.P.A certification. John and Mandy’s oldest daughter, Madison, is involved in many school clubs including Key Club, History Club, Beta Club, Art Club, and Student Council and is in Gifted and Talented. Madison plays basketball and softball for the Tuckerman Bulldogs. John and Mandy’s youngest daughter, Elizabeth, plays softball for the Tuckerman Bulldogs. Elizabeth is also in Gifted and Talented, Library Club, Student Council, Drama Club, and Builders.