Mark Fincher named 2011 Mississippi County Farm Family
The Mark Fincher family of Dyess is the 2011 Mississippi County Farm Family. Mark is a third generation farmer. He and his wife, Mary Cullom "Callie" Fincher and their children live at 3755 West County Road 876 with a duck, turkeys, the dog and the hermit crabs.
Their children range from ages 20 to three with sons, Chase, 20, and Cody, 18, and daughters, Whitney, 11, Caitlyn, 9, and Callee Wryn, 3.
Mark said he has lived on the same road all of his life. His roots go deep in the Dyess area as both his grandfathers, Howard Fincher, Sr., and Raymond Henard, Sr., came to Dyess Colony in 1936 as part of the original settlers. Dyess Colony was a government project helping families make it through the Great Depression. Families were given a house, barn, a team of mules and 20 acres to clear. Later the land amounts were expanded to 40 acres per family. His parents' home is one of the original farmhouses.
Callie was raised in town but had no trouble adjusting to the county life. She is a physical therapist and has worked in the Osceola/Blytheville hospitals for three years.
Mark's farming operation has grown from 40 acres to 2400 acres in 27 years. He had always worked on the family farm but rented his own 40 acres after graduation from high school in 1983.
He has 1,000 acres of rice, 1,300 acres of soybeans and 100 acres of wheat.
Their goal is to have all of their owned land precision leveled to reduce irrigation on costs and improve crop yields. Currently, he has 75 percent of the land leveled and 100 percent irrigated. They plan to implement a water recovery system where possible to reduce the amount of underground water being wasted.
"As much water as we take out, we need to put back what we can," Mark said.
They have two full time employees and Mark said they do a very good job.
They have added to their grain storage bins giving them 150,000 bushel capacity.
Their first home was built in 1988 and when Mark's sister wanted to move to the country she bought their home and they built their present home just across the field. During the spring rains they had to leave their vehicles at the farm shop and tractor in and out. The water did not get into their home but the access was covered.
Callie enjoys working in her large yard but this has been a difficult year with too much rain and then no rain. She is having trouble keeping everything alive.
They are a busy family. Chase works at Pizo as a mechanical maintenance man. Cody works on the farm and will be a student at ASU this fall. He hopes to major in ag business.
Cody started Motocross racing at an early age and the entire family enjoys riding. He is a 12 year member of the American Motorcyclist Association. Last year, Cody competed in the AMA Motocross Nationals, making it to the top 42 amateur riders in the US. Whitney is also a racer and is a six year member of the AMA> She competes in the USA gymnastics and won the state championship in her division in March.
Caitlyn enjoys riding motorcycles and competes in the USA gymnastics as well. She wont he state championship in her division, also.
Both girls are members of a softball team in Osceola.
Callee Wryn enjoys riding her John Deere tricycle or her Barbie Jeep but she is sure to follow in the family tradition and get a motorcycle in the future.
The family will be going to Minnesota for a race. It is time the family enjoys together.
Callie is a member of the PEO.
Mark is a Farm Bureau committee member, serves as Farm Bureau vice chairman on the rice committee, the South Mississippi County School Board, and is a member of the Dyess Rural Water Association.
Mark said he was honored to receive the Farm Family award but if he could take it to heaven, he would hand it over to the ones who really deserve it. The ones who paved the way.