Cel­e­brat­ing the fu­ture of Ag in 2018

♦ Out­door life ap­peals to Justin Wo­mack, the 2018 Young Farmer of the Year

The Standard Journal - - FRONT PAGE - By Kevin Myrick [email protected]­stan­dard­jour­nal.net

Justin Wo­mack loves to be out­side.

It’s prob­a­bly the one rea­son why he is a farmer who went off to school and de­cided it was too far away from the fields he grew up work­ing in with his fam­ily, and so came back home.

Wo­mack, who just a few years ago was a se­nior at Cedar­town High School walk­ing across the stage and get­ting ready to go off to col­lege, is now firmly rooted in lo­cal soil again and about to fin­ish up an As­so­ciate’s de­gree in plant sci­ence Ge­or­gia North­west­ern Tech­ni­cal Col­lege.

He is also the 2018 Young Farmer of the Year, and was cel­e­brated ear­lier in the fall by fam­ily and friends who came to the an­nual ban­quet or­ga­nized by the Polk County Ex­ten­sion Of­fice. A cou­ple months later, Wo­mack was found hard at work on a va­ri­ety of projects as the fam­ily also got ready to har­vest their cot­ton, planted mainly around their home out­side of Cedar­town, but also in spots on High­way 27 south as well.

“Its my grand­dad, my dad and me,” Wo­mack said.

He got started in agri­cul­ture at a young age, and re­mem­bers early on lend­ing a hand.

“I just grew up around it my whole life. It al­ways in­ter­est me when I was a lit­tle kid,” Wo­mack said. “I’d go with my mom and grandma out to the field and take my dad and grandad lunch when they were pick­ing cot­ton and corn or some­thing.”

His in­ter­est in keep­ing with the fam­ily tra­di­tion grew in mid­dle school, and in high school he would spend week­ends at work or as soon as school was fin­ished for the day learn­ing as much as he could.

Af­ter grad­u­at­ing from Cedar­town High, Wo­mack went to Abra­ham Bald­win Agri­cul­ture Col­lege, but came back to fin­ish his stud­ies at GNTC. He has five credit hours be­fore he fin­ishes his de­gree.

He said it was just too far away. Es­pe­cially for some­one who has been work­ing on the farm full time since he was 15.

Wo­mack stays busy at home. Whether it be main­tain­ing equip­ment for work in the field, or plant­ing, spray­ing the crop or pick­ing and load­ing grain trucks, there’s al­ways some­thing dif­fer­ent for him to do.

“We have over 1,000 acres this year,” he said.

Now that he’s al­most done with his stud­ies, he’s al­ready look­ing to­ward the fu­ture when he’ll be bring­ing up next gen­er­a­tions, and what that might mean.

He said the farm might one day be home to cat­tle again, but for now is fo­cused solely on cot­ton corn and soy­beans.

Wo­mack said that farm­ing is some­thing he’s al­ways loved, and that those who want to pur­sue agri­cul­ture and don’t want a nor­mal job should con­sider life on the farm.

“It def­i­nitely has its ups and downs, no doubt about it. But it is some­thing dif­fer­ent ev­ery day,” Wo­mack said. “I don’t have to go to an of­fice and sit down and do the same thing ev­ery day. I can come in and one day be pick­ing corn and the next day might be pick­ing cot­ton or fix­ing equip­ment. You al­ways have some­thing go­ing on to keep you busy.”

He looks for­ward to a bright fu­ture in farm­ing and con­tin­u­ing a fam­ily tra­di­tion, cen­tered around daily life in Polk County.

/ Kevin Myrick

Justin Wo­mack, the Young Farmer of the Year for 2018, stands with one of two har­vesters his fam­ily uses on their farm in the Cedar­town area. He con­tin­ues on a tra­di­tion of row crop­ping corn, cot­ton and soy­beans.

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