The Warren and Becky Webster family of Washington (Hempstead County) is the Southwest District Farm Family of the Year. They operate 14 broiler houses on 1,174 acres where they produce 1.4 million birds per year. They also lease pasture land for cattle and hay production and have 493 acres of timberland. When the Websters began farming 24 years ago, they were in a land and cattle partnership operating on 517 acres.
They have implemented soil testing and litter barns as well as cattle and hay field rotation to increase productivity. The ability to control cooling in the poultry houses has also been greatly improved on the Webster farm. They have upgraded from foggers and fans to cool cells and fans. There is also a computer and generator as a backup plan to avoid worst case scenarios.
Their timberland consists of 60 percent pine with 70 of the 493 acres in plantation pine and the other 40 percent in hardwood. Timber sections are thinned as needed and when the market is viable for clear cutting, the Websters cut and replant.
In their first four years of farming, Warren and Becky received “Broiler Grower of the Year” from Hudson Foods twice. As every farm does, the Websters have faced their fair share of challenges, but they said: “Farm family life has been a true blessing. Our kids get to see us work and even work with us.”
Warren and Becky have three children, Logan (21), Nolan (20) and Katie Ella (6). Warren serves as vice president of the Southwest Arkansas Water System Board, Arkansas Constable for the Saline Township, leader of the Hempstead 4-H shooting sports and as a member of the Hempstead County 4-H Foundation Board. Both Becky and Warren are active members of Unity Baptist Church where they are Awana leaders.