Ragland Poultry Farm
Before his father passed away, James Ragland and his dad discussed the possibility of entering the poultry industry together. At the time, the pieces did not quite fall into place when they needed to, but after Ragland’s father passed away, the opportunity to join the industry presented itself. When it did, Ragland and his wife of 28 years, Kim, did their research and decided it was the right time to get started growing chickens.
In 1999, the Raglands built their four-house broiler farm in Hazlehurst, Mississippi, and they have been growing chickens for Sanderson Farms ever since. The Raglands also have a cattle operation, and, together, they operate their farm full-time. In their spare time, they enjoy hunting, fishing, woodworking and cutting grass. The Raglands have one adult son, and are members of Bethel Baptist Church in Hazlehurst.
The family believes that raising their son on the farm helped to teach him a good work ethic. Now that their son, Austin, is an adult with a career of his own, he is able to reflect back on his experiences on the farm with admiration of his parents’ hard work.
For the Raglands, the most enjoyable aspects of farming are being self-employed and having the ability to work from home and spend time with each other. They take pride in knowing that their contributions to the agricultural industry help feed our growing world. “I tell everybody what we do for a living,” said Kim Ragland, “we feed the world.”
No two days on the farm are the same, and that is an element of the work that is both challenging and exciting. “Farming is our livelihood,” said James Ragland, “and there is not a typical day. Expect the unexpected every day.”
Though the farm presents the Raglands with varying demands, they appreciate the fulfillment their work provides. “We enjoy the satisfaction of a hard day’s work,” continued James Ragland, “and at the end of it being successful.”
While juggling evolving technologies and the daily complexities of life on the farm, the Raglands keep their focus on the task at hand, which is providing excellent care for their flocks. While some might think farming is an easy job, it is quite the opposite in reality. “It’s not easy,” said James Ragland, “it’s a grind every day.”