Greene County, Arkansas

Nutt Valley Farms

Oct 2 & 4 , 2002 Edition

A 2002 Century Farm Award goes to Nutt Valley Farm, operated by Richard and Ginny Nutt, along with their son Raney and his wife Jayne Nutt. The farm has been in operation for more than 100 years near Lorado. Originally starting out at 80 acres, the farm's operations today have expanded into 31,000 total acres , both rented and owned by the Nutt family.

It's taken a lot of hard work, dedication, sacrifice, good management, and cooperation to make the farm what it is today. The Nutt family farms raise rice soybeans, corn and wheat, and their farms are an success. The roots of this farm family sink deep in Greene County history, beginning with the arrival of Richard Nutt's great great grandfather, William Nutt in 1830.

This year Richard Nutt is working his 51st crop. He worked alongside his father, Gordon Nutt, until his death in 1966, and managed the farm for his mother, Sophronia (Scott) Nutt, along with his crops for three following years. When she retired, Richard Nutt purchased her machinery and rented the farm.

Throughout his life, Richard Nutt has been active in several farm organizations, serving on Riceland Foods board of directors and on the Jonesboro Grain Dryer Board. He was a director of the former Security Bank of Paragould board. Both Richard Nutt and his father, Gordon served on the Greene County Tech School Board.

Richard Nutt married Ginny Patterson in 1963, and that year they built the house where they still live today. They have lived on the farm for 40 years. They have two sons, Raney and Morris, both graduates of Greene County Tech and Arkansas State University.

Morris Nutt has chosen the life of a stock broker and he lives in Cordova, TN., with his wife Kelly, and their children Kevin and Kathleen. Raney Nutt, has decided to remain and work on the farm with his dad. He said, "It's quite an honor to win this year's Century Farm Award. We're fortunate to have held onto this land for so long' His father, Richard agrees. "It's taken a lot of fortitude," he said.

Ginny Nutt said," I feel privileged raising my to boys, Raney and Morris, on the farm. It's a privileged life. But it's taken some getting used to living on the farm. When I was first married Richard and I moved here, I honestly couldn't tell the difference between cotton and soybeans. It's been a lifetime of learning experience. "

"I have always loved our farm and I loved Richard's mother. We had one in a million mother-daughter relationships. She helped me raise my children. We canned, preserved, and we shopped together."

Richard and Ginny Nutt are now semi-retired. Raney Nutt not only tills the farm his ancestors tilled, but has added land of his own. Raney and Jayne Nutt have purchased additional land and they also rented land from the Sloan family of Jonesboro.

Raney is the fifth generation to farm his family's land. He started following his dad, Richard, across the fields of the family farm when he was two years old. He rode with his grandfather, James Gordon Nutt, to Riceland Foods with seven loads of rice a day that same year. Raney started driving a tractor at 10 years and a combine at 12 years. Raney Nutt started buying land of his own when he was a college student.

Raney Nutt married Jayne Finch in 1986. Their children are: Tyler age 11, and Mackenzie age 7.

Raney serves on the Greene County Farm Bureau Board , the Greene County Soil and Conservation District Board. He has a degree in agri business and economics.

Jayne has an accounting degree and CPA license, They attend Central Baptist Church in Jonesboro and they teach two and three years old in Sunday School.

" I grew up loving the farm and the business and the land. I've always had a desire to stay here." said Raney Nutt.

When asked about the family's farm operations, he replies, "Rice is our main crop. Overall we have 1250 acre of rice. This year we have a pretty good crop. We still farm the original 80 acres. We broke it up with different crop rotations. This year it's soybean and corn. We've just finished corn harvest. We decided not to plant wheat this year, even though it's a decent price. It's been wet this year and because our farm is fairly low, we need drier, more drained-out land to grow a good crop of wheat. Maybe we'll grow wheat next year."

Assisting Raney with the farm is his wife, Jayne, who keeps computerized records crop by crop, field by field. Jayne Nutt also does all the banking and helps her husband with government agricultural programs.


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