The Hafner family of Orlando, Oklahoma, received the Oklahoma Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership Committee District Seven Farm and Ranch Family Recognition during the organization’s annual meeting on Nov. 10 in Norman, Oklahoma.
Wayne and Carla Hafner grow wheat, corn, sobybeans and cotton and raise cattle on their farm near Orlando in Noble County. Wayne Hafner grew up on the family farm, but his personal agricultural enterprise got a jumpstart early on when he took over a neighbor’s rent land.
“When I was in high school, I started working for a neighbor,” he said. “When he decided to retire, he worked it out that I could take over all the land he was renting. In one year, I went from about 50 acres of ground to about 1,600.”
Through the years, the Hafners have looked for opportunities to grow and expand their farm while taking care of the land they love. The family moved to no-till farming in the late 90s, providing improved production and soil health.
“We’ve been doing it now since about 1998,” Wayne Hafner said of adopting no-till. “It’s been good – you learn something every year. The change in the soil has been tremendous.”
The opportunity to raise two children on the family farm – and now to have their grandchildren work alongside them from time-to-time – is the fulfillment of a goal Carla Hafner had in her childhood. Coming from a military family, she had a dream of a slower-paced lifestyle in the country.
“At a young age, I said, ‘When I grow up, I’m going to be in the country,’” she said. “I did it, and I can’t think of a better place to be, a better place to raise kids, grandkids, and work the ground and be dirt-rich.”
The Hafners are active members of Orland United Methodist Church. Wayne Hafner serves on the Noble County Farm Bureau board, a rural water district board member and a volunteer fire fighter. Carla Hafner is a member of the Noble County Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership Committee, and she works off the farm as a dental assistant.
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, 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 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.