The Edward and Debbie Crall family of Thomas received the Oklahoma Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership Committee’s District Two Farm and Ranch Family Recognition during the organization’s 78th annual meeting on Saturday, Nov. 9 in Oklahoma City.
The Cralls’ traditional wheat, rye, grass and cattle farm in Custer County has been diversified over the years with goats, laying hens, vegetables and herbs and honey bees.
“We moved here Memorial Day of 1979 and started raising wheat, cattle and children and have been here ever since,” Edward said.
With a deep-rooted passion for conservation instilled in him by his grandfather, Edward uses a no-till management system on his cropland along with incorporating cover crops. His love for caring for the soil led him to accept a job with the Oklahoma Conservation Commission in 2002, where he is able to demonstrate the benefits of conservation to other farmers in the area.
“Working for the conservation commission gave me a chance to preach what I’d been practicing for years,” Edward said.
Though Edward initially purchased goats to serve as a natural weed control in his pastures, Debbie soon learned to use the goat’s milk to make soap to sell at craft fairs across the state. The soap also led the couple to sell eggs, honey, vegetables and herbs at the Weatherford Farmers Market, providing an opportunity to share their farm with their customers.
“You get a real relationship and people know where their food comes from and people want that,” Debbie said. “They want to know where their food comes from.”
The western Oklahoma couple loves to share the farm with others. Edward serves as the market coordinator for the Weatherford Farmers Market and Debbie spent more than 30 years incorporating agriculture into her lessons as an educator at Thomas-Fay-Custer Public Schools. Both are active members of the First United Methodist Church in Thomas.
OKFB’s Farm & Ranch Family Recognition program honors a farm and ranch family in each of OKFB’s nine districts who upholds the best traditions of Oklahoma agriculture and rural Oklahoma as they raise food and fiber for our state and beyond.
“Our farm and ranch families do a tremendous job caring for the land and their animals as they work to feed and clothe us all,” said Mignon Bolay, OKFB WLC chair. “Our Women’s Committee is proud to honor these great families who help make rural Oklahoma a wonderful place to live.”
As part of their recognition, the family received a cash award along with a custom sign to hang at their farm gate.
The Oklahoma Farm Bureau Annual Meeting is the organization’s largest yearly gathering of farmers and ranchers. 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.