Terry Caldwell of Hugo, Oklahoma, received the Oklahoma Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership Committee District Five Farm and Ranch Family Recognition during the organization’s annual meeting on Nov. 10 in Norman, Okalhoma.
Caldwell raises cattle on land he first purchased through a Farm Service Agency loan program in the 1980s. He prides himself on the improvements he has made to his property, including cleaning up pastures, replacing and improving fences and increasing productivity.
“When I bought it, it was a total wreck,” Caldwell said. “Nobody had used it for six to seven years, at least. It’s taken many years to get it to the point where it is today.”
Caldwell raised his three children on the farm, a way of life he is proud to continue as he now has grandchildren who come to visit the farm.
“When they come visit, guess where they want to go – they want to come to my place,” Caldwell said. “Guess what they want to do – they want to go run around in the pasture. They want to come see the baby calves.
“You’ve got to keep your agricultural roots because living in the big city – there’s some glamor there. But you know what? You just don’t have enough room.”
Caldwell also runs a real estate business in Hugo, which provides him with opportunities to connect young people who want to get a start in agriculture with properties and programs that can help them achieve their dreams in farming and ranching.
“I have worked with quite a few young people in the area,” Caldwell said. “Any time I get a young person, I try to help them as much as I can.”
Caldwell said he helps provide expertise to help young agriculturalists navigate FSA loan programs and find properties that will work for them.
“I try to steer them to something that will pay out, they’ll be happy with, and it’s something FSA can loan money on,” he said.
It all is part of his passion for agriculture and seeing the way of life he loves passed along to others.
“Agriculture’s really the backbone of this country,” Caldwell said.
Caldwell has served as Choctaw County Farm Bureau president for the past eight years. He also serves as Choctaw County Republican Party vice president, on the Hugo Pro Rodeo board and in his local church.
OKFB’s Farm and Ranch Family Recognition program honors a farm and ranch family in each of OKFB’s nine districts who uphold the best traditions of Oklahoma agriculture and rural Oklahoma as they raise food and fiber for our state and beyond.
“Our Women’s Leadership Committee is proud to honor these families who have dedicated themselves to growing food for our world,” said Kitty Beavers, OKFB WLC Chairman. “Farming and ranching is an important way of life for our state, and these families deserve recognition for contributing to rural Oklahoma as they instill in their children the values of hard work and dedication that is needed throughout our state.”
As part of their recognition, Caldwell a cash award along with a custom sign to hang at his farm gate.
The Oklahoma Farm Bureau Annual Meeting is the organization’s largest gathering of farmers and ranchers every year. At the event, members vote on grassroots policy, elect leaders and award outstanding individuals. OKFB has a presence in all 77 Oklahoma counties and serves as the voice of agriculture and the rural way of life. To learn more, visit www.okfarmbureau.org.