Meet the Farmer – Malorie Ross of Hernando Mississippi

DadMy entire life, I’ve been exposed to Agriculture. When I was a child, my grandfather Harold Ross owned a Holstein dairy farm in Olive Branch, Mississippi. He had taken over the farm from his father, Jack Ross. However, the dairy farm was sold before I enrolled in elementary school.

My father, Trent Ross, always had a passion for farming; but because the dairy family farm was sold, he had to start on his own. My father started out in college working at a cattle farm, and then moved on to working at FedEx. After working there, he entered the construction business. My father made enough money building houses to finally start his own farm, a hay farm. Many pictures from my childhood are of me riding on the tractor with my father tethering, raking, or baling hay.malorie-and-dad-on-hay-machine

The older I got, the more I became interested in agriculture. When I was five, I wished badly for a horse because I wanted to be a cowgirl; and on my eighth birthday my father gave me one. Over the next few years my father bought more animals: goats, chickens, and ducks. I loved them all. When I turned thirteen I began to work on my dad’s farm. I started assisting my dad bale Tifton-44 Hay, and working for his construction company. I have continued both jobs since. While I was in high school, my dad bought me another American Paint horse that I named Domino, and bought us a few head of cattle. I named our Black Angus heifers Steak and Hamburger, and our Charolais heifer Snowball. Every day after school, I would feed them and tend to them. Then I realized how much I loved working with animals.

I graduated high school in May of 2012 and left for college in August of 2012. It wasn’t until May of 2015 that I decided I was in the wrong major, and that I wanted to study agriculture. I was at Auburn University at the time and declared my major to be Agricultural Business and Economics. That summer, my father opened Cockrum Garden Center, a store that sells produce, feed, seed, fertilizer, and farming and gardening needs. Since he has opened the business, I have worked there during the summer. Over Christmas Break of 2015, I realized I missed being home on our farm and returned to attend school at the local community college. I’m currently studying Agriculture Business and Management Technology there.

At father's store Cockrum Garden Center.

At father’s store Cockrum Garden Center.

 
Our 2 heifers, Steak & Hamburger.

Our 2 heifers, Steak & Hamburger.

My view while driving our John Deere 7200 baler.

My view while driving our John Deere 7200 baler.

Vintage agriculture magazines once owned by my grandfather and great-grandfather.

Vintage agriculture magazines once owned by my grandfather and great-grandfather.

I’m a student, I work at the Lipscomb Bros. Livestock Market (a cattle auction), Cockrum Garden Center, and my father’s hay farm. Not many people my age are interested in the work I do, and I honestly feel bad for them.“Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few”.” Matthew 9:47. I study and work in agriculture for many reasons, but the most important reason is it’s what I love.

“He makes grass grow for the cattle, and plants for people to cultivate– bringing forth food from the earth” Psalm 104:14