By Lindsay Stevens
Michael Newhouse has been farming alongside his father and grandfather in Donley County, Texas, for most of his life. They grow peanuts, cotton, hay and wheat and raise cattle.
According to Newhouse, farming has always been in his family. While they currently farm in Donley County, Newhouse said the previous generations of his family have farmed in Roby, Snyder and Abilene, Texas. The Newhouse family has been stewards of the land for generations and he thinks his children will carry on the legacy.
“I don’t know if it’s in my blood, but it’s sure in my boys’ because that’s all they want to do,” Newhouse said. “If we’re not on the farm driving tractors, they’re playing in the living room or playing farm simulator, or something farm-related all the time. We try to brainwash them at an early age.”
Newhouse serves on the Texas Peanut Producers Board and the Panhandle Peanut Grower’s Association. If there’s a piece of advice he could give younger growers, it would be to get involved and let your voice be heard.
“I really encourage them to get involved,” Newhouse said. “If you’re comfortable with somebody else making decisions on your farm that are going to affect you, then stay at home. But if not, you need to get out there and let your voice be heard because nobody else can tell your story like you can.”
In addition to encouraging younger growers to get involved, it’s also important to help them when getting started.
“One of the scariest things too about the farm is the age of our farmers,” Newhouse said. “If we can’t figure out how to make it easier for the guys to come in. And I’ve heard guys say it all the time, but if you’re not born into it or marry into it, it’s nearly impossible to get started.”
Farming is a career that is a mix of art and science where farmers must combine generational wisdom with emerging research and cutting-edge technology. For Newhouse, it’s deeper than that. It’s a career that’s been in his family for longer than he can track. A career in which he can be closer to his family and his Creator.
“The good Lord is prevalent in our life, that’s for sure,” Newhouse said. “Because we get to see his handiwork every day, with the sunrise in the morning with the rains that we get with bringing in the harvest. It’s just an incredible way of life.”
Photo Courtesy of the Texas Peanut Producers Board.