The Stotts family of McLoud, Oklahoma, received the Oklahoma Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership Committee District Eight Farm and Ranch Family Recognition during the organization’s annual meeting on Nov. 10 in Norman, Oklahoma.
John and Janice Stotts, along with their two adult sons, John Carl and Jimmy, raise cattle, wheat, soybeans, alfalfa hay and corn on their Pottawatomie-County farm.
The family integrates precision agriculture practices into their farm, using satellite imagery and variable-rate seed and fertilizer application to make the most of their natural resources.
“We check the biomass and then we’re able to decide what ground needs a little extra fertilizer and what doesn’t,” John Stotts said. “That way we can put our efforts where they need to be instead of a blanket application
“We can plant heavier seed in the better ground and fewer seeds in the drier ground and get a more consistent yield.”
The couple both grew up around agriculture in Major County and took the first opportunity they had to start their own operation with the goal of raising their family in agriculture. Their sons are actively involved in the family farm, brining new knowledge and ideas to help improve the land that Janice Stotts hopes will be the family’s lasting legacy.
“The biggest thing I raised the farm is my two boys,” John Stotts said. “That was our big goal: to move out of Oklahoma City and raise them in the country.”
“It was farming that brought us together,” Janice Stotts said. “Agriculture has always been our background and our family’s legacy. We hope it will continue to be the Stotts family legacy.”
The coupe each have held off-farm jobs through the years, including Janice Stotts’ time as an English teacher in McLoud and her later time working for a state legislator at the state Capitol in Oklahoma City. While John Stotts held off-farm jobs in the construction equipment business for years, agriculture has always been his passion.
“It’s the thrill going and finding that new baby calf in the pasture, working all night in the hay field and seeing the sun rise over a bunch of square bales that you need to get hauled in,” John Stotts said. “It’s very fulfilling.”
John Stotts has served on the Pottawatomie County Farm Bureau board of directors for more than 30 years as well as serving on various state Farm Bureau committees. The family also proudly supports local education programs and community efforts.
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.