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Meet the Campbells of Olney, Texas

MEET THE FAMILY--Pictured left to right, Kelly, Julie and Mike. Not pictured--Ryan was unable to make it home this harvest. (Journal photo by Jada Bulgin.)

Hoffman Harvesting has harvested for Campbells since the early 1980s. Mike and Julie are Texas Tech graduates. She was a plant and soil science major, and he was a ranch management major. They met in an agriculture economics class, fell in love, and married straight out of college.

As Mike was growing up, his father's job had his family moving around a lot. Mike had grown up helping his grandpa on his farm in any way he could and always dreamed of ending up on the farm. Mike was ready to plant roots and thought the farm would be the best place to do that. Julie, a city girl hailing from Fort Worth, Texas, always liked visiting the farm and agreed it would be a nice place to live. "When you live in a city, I think you really appreciate the farm," Julie said. Upon graduation, they did exactly that. Mike's grandpa, who had farmed well into his 70s, had already rented the farm out for three or four years to a custom farmer and was ready to hand the farm over.

It did not take long to figure out this is where Mike and Julie belonged. In 1975, Mike sold wheat for the first time and the elevator bid over five dollars on his crop. Mike fondly remembers rushing to the nursing home his grandpa resided in to tell him the good news. His grandpa simply said, "Sell it!"

Today, the family farm has stocker cattle and grows wheat. Mike is an experimental farmer. He is always trying something new to better his crop. Lately, he has been experimenting with no-till farming, which is new to the Olney, Texas, area. He said, "I am trying it out because I think it's a better way to farm. It holds in the moisture better."

Mike and Julie raised their son, Ryan, 27, and daughter, Kelly, 23, on the family farm. The family is my image of the ideal Texas farming/ranching family. Mike and Ryan have that thick Texan drawl and are southern gentlemen. Julie and Kelly are southern ladies with a sense of humor.

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