Though some young men spend their teen years thinking about getting away from the hard work of farming, Bud Baggett never once felt that way. With his grandad Ellis Baggett and his father Larry Baggett, Bud learned early the joy of working for himself. Bud is one of the most highly visible young farmers in the Marianna/Jackson County area. You might say that he showed an interest in farming early on; in fact, he practically grew up walking behind or riding the tractor with his grandfather and his dad on the same land where he still lives and farms. At age 37, Bud tells us that this year is his 18th crop year. He says that farming is and always has been the life for him. Baggett reports that he currently farms cotton, peanuts, oats and raises cattle. With over 2200 acres of cotton and 1200 acres of peanuts, he is quick to say that farming is not for everyone. The physical and mental demands of farming keep him and his employees more than busy. Six full time and 21 part time employees help to do all farm work , equipment upkeep, and stay involved in contract grazing for over 1100 head of cattle. The group also farms 600 acres of oats.
Bud gives much credit for his ability to farm to his grandfather, Ellis Baggett, and his dad, Larry Baggett. During the past years, the three men have done a lot work together; however, Bud and his dad farm under separate entities now. The young farmer has many compliments to give about his folks. “I learned so much from them; especially, I learned to love and respect nature and the joy of being able to work outside, be my own boss. Sure, it can be hard work with more work than hours in a day. Still, I know it is the career for me because there is just something about the process of planning, preparing the soil, planting, caring for the crops, and harvesting.” The managerial parts of farming can get next to you when there is so much you don’t feel you can control; finances are challenging because you want to spend wisely and always be calculating toward making a profit.
As with many other segments of life, farming is very different than it was when Bud was a youngster. Technology has a huge influence upon the operation of the equipment and upon recordkeeping as well. Regulations and restrictions give any farmer a lot to think about as he “makes his farm plan.” GPS and auto steer has helped the farmer become more efficient with the money and time he spends, the elimination of waste can increase margin of profit.
A graduate of Marianna High School, Bud was a very good student and a student athlete. Certainly, he could have chosen any career but he contends that “farming chose him.” Married to Desiree Trejo Baggett, and father to sons Connor (4), Sam (8)and daughter Grace (16), he spends time with his family and fully supports their activities. The family can often be seen all together at school or sports events or even at the salon that Desiree owns.
Despite the challenges, Bud says that “the Lord has been good to us; it’s been a good life I enjoy what I do.” He has high praise for his hard working dad saying he couldn’t do with him. “Dad has been my teacher and we work well together.” “I have read that if a person chooses to do something he really likes, he never has to work a day.” Farming is all that I ever have wanted to do. That and my family is the perfect life for me.”