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Lingerfelts have farmed for 50 years

Over their 50 years of farming, the Lingerfelt family has raised all kinds of crops.
“We’ve grown about everything in Lincoln County that’s legal to grow,” said Wayne Lingerfelt, a farmer.
The Lingerfelts have grown soy, cotton, produce, grain and rye on their west Lincoln farm.
“We’re still looking for something better,” said Wayne Lingerfelt.
The Lingerfelts were named this year’s Farm Family of the Year.
This is the first time the Lingerfelts have received an award recognizing their achievement in farming.
“Since we got 53 years under our belt, if we’re ever going to be (Farm Family of the Year), we better take it now,” said Lingerfelt.
Both Wayne and Peggy Lingerfelt have farmed all their lives.
Peggy and Wayne knew each other since they were children when they lived five miles apart.
They attended school together and took off six weeks a year to work in their family’s cotton fields.
“Back then it was cotton and that’s about it,” said Wayne. “Everybody had a cotton patch. That’s how they made enough to buy their clothes.”
The two married at the tender age of sixteen.
“If one of my grandchildren or something did that now, I don’t know what I’d do,” said Peggy.
Over the course of their marriage, many things have changed in the way the Lingerfelts farm.
“He’s got equipment for just about everything,” said Peggy. “The machinery really saves a lot of work. It’s costly, but it’s worth it.”
Lingerfelt receives help form Karl Beam, a full-time worker. He also hires temporary farm workers when things get busy.
Around 10 years ago Peggy decided to start a florist business that takes up most of her time. She leaves the bulk of the farm responsibilities to her husband.
“All I do is keep food on the table and listen to his gripes,” said Peggy.
When the Lingerfelts retire, they doubt that the farm will stay in the family, which consists of three grown children and one grandchild.
“We’ve got kids, but they sure don’t want to farm,” said Peggy.
The Lingerfelts are looking forward to their retirement, but it won’t come for another 10 years, Wayne Lingerfelt said.
When they do retire they plan to spend their time at their house on the lake.
“They might have to push us down there in our wheelchairs,” said Peggy.
In the meantime, the crops have to be grown and the florist shop managed.
Every season they have to worry about hail storms and drought. Fuel prices are also starting to concern the family, but the Lingerfelts still love what they do.
“It’s hard work, but we’ve got a good life,” said Peggy. by Sarah Grano

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