Summer “Vacation” for a Young Farmer
Paul Yardley is in high school, but he is also a farmer, a football player, a hunting guide, skilled at raising animals, and a teacher. About going back to school, he says, “It has been nice that school has started…I needed a break.” Here’s a little insight into Paul’s summer and what he is looking forward to in the coming months…
“During the summer I was up by 5:30AM every morning to go to football workouts and then went straight to work. Most of the time my job in the mornings has been swathing (see picture), which I would do until lunch, then it was hauling hay in the afternoon, then I would go to football practice for 2-3 hours, then it was back to work….I would then go and rake hay so that it was easier to bale. Some nights I had to take water samples to the irrigation company so they could figure out how much mud was getting into the sprinkler lines. Currently we are on our third crop for hay; we are also trying to fit in a second on oats.”
In addition to Paul’s responsibilities on the farm and to his football team, he raises pigs and pheasants. Because the pheasants he raises are desirable prey, and the sweet corn his family grows is desirable food, Paul has to set traps to keep predators and raiders (i.e., skunks & racoons) at bay. In the fall and winter, Paul along with his self-trained hunting dogs, will guide private hunting groups. Paul’s aunt is a teacher, and in his “spare time” he enjoys teaching some of her students about life on his family’s dairy farm.
Paul farms with his family on their dairy farm outside Gunnison, UT