I always enjoy getting the opportunity to dive deeper into farmers’ stories, like when I had the pleasure to sit down with father and son, Troy and Matt Milford, to learn more about their lives as poultry growers in Georgia. From talking about the challenging ABF environment to family and faith, we just about cover it all.
Troy and Matt aren’t the first in their family to grow poultry for a living—Matt is actually a fourth generation poultry grower! But, as you know, the ever-changing poultry industry looks drastically different than it did when Troy’s grandfather started farming on their land years ago.
Troy grew up farming, but once he got married, he went to school for an engineering degree and co-owned an engineering company to support his family. But, he just wanted to be home on the farm. So, eventually, that’s what he did—and he’s been farming ever since.
Just like his dad, Matt grew up loving the farm life. The only reason he went to college, he told us laughing, was “because of mama.” But, after two years, the farm was calling.
Each time another Milford man followed his heart and returned to the family poultry business, there was one thing that had to be done: build more chicken houses.
From flock to flock, uncontrollable challenges arise. Poultry farmers must be ready to react to unforeseen circumstances. Especially in the ABF environment, it’s helpful for growers to talk to one another. Despite the camaraderie, it’s still a competition, so Troy explained that each farm never divulges a few best-kept secrets.
Having a son want to work with his dad and join the family business says a lot about the father. When I asked how he successfully balanced work and family to the point that Matt chose to work with him, Troy responded, “God.”
They believe that placing their faith in Him is the key to their family’s closeness, despite all of the obstacles that could lead to familial tension. “To lay your head down on your pillow at night and be at peace, and know that we still love each other and can still talk to each other…,” Troy said. That’s what it’s all about.
If you need anything relating to poultry biosecurity, need help troubleshooting problems on your farm or simply want to learn more about what we do, connect with me, Allen Reynolds, at 800-608-3755 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t forget to subscribe because we are constantly adding content to help you keep your farm healthy!