A well-known and respected Hempstead farm family with 30 years of experience was formally named as 2018 Hempstead County Farm Family, joining a select group of family farms that were honored in ceremonies across the state.

A well-known and respected Hempstead farm family with 30 years of experience was formally named as 2018 Hempstead County Farm Family, joining a select group of family farms that were honored in ceremonies across the state.
Jeff and Jane Collums were visited by a group of state district judges last Wednesday, June 13, in the first of three visits in the region the judges made that day, including trips to Rosston in Nevada County and Lewisville in Lafayette County.
According to the official packet, Collums oversees of 802 acres of land near Hempstead County Road 46 after starting off with just 72 acres in 1988.  The primary enterprises of the independent operation are cattle and poultry houses, but the Collums family is very diverse, being active at the Hope Farmers Market, Beekeeping with 28 active hives, and running a welding business and a one-acre vegetable garden.
In their packet statement, the Collums described their humble beginnings 30 years ago, saying “In 1988, we purchased 72 acres and 2 non-contracted poultry houses from Jeff’s father. We then moved our family from Melrose Lane in town to the country and farm life where we still reside to this day. As we waited for a contract to raise poultry Jane worked with her father moving houses.”
“In March of 1989, our prayers were answered and Hudson Farms place pullets in our poultry houses for 8 weeks and then another batch of pullets for 21 weeks. After this we changed over to broiler houses. In 1989 and 1990, we moved two more poultry houses to our farm. These were moved in pieces from across the road to the farm. They were put into operation in 1990. In 2011, we built three 40’ x 500’ Super Broiler Houses that we now operate along with the welding business, raising cattle, beekeeping and the vegetable garden.”
In distributing their livestock enterprise, Collums said, “We load our cattle and take them to the Hope Livestock and/or Oklahoma Stockyard to be sold. We raise our poultry for the Hope Tyson Complex to be processed. We also rob our hives for honey that is bottled and sold at the Farmer’s Market. Our fresh produce along with an abundance of baked breads and goods are available for sale at the market.”
Jeff Collums, a member of the Cattlemen’s Association since 2010, added that the operation is always looking to expand, saying “We are continually purchasing cattle to increase our herd. Also, we have plans to build and maintain more poultry houses.”
His wife, Jane Collums, has been active and well-known in a number of groups, including the Hempstead Master Gardeners (since 2012), UA Extension Homemakers Club (2011), Southwest Arkansas Beekeepers Association (2012), Hempstead County Fair Board (2014), Southwest District Livestock Show Fair Board (2014), and Hope Farmers Market Board (2014).
At the Hempstead County Fair, Jane Collums has been a multiple winner, including Best of Show in the Canning Division for her Mayhaw Jelly, and also Best of Show for both Peach Salsa and Honey.  And, as a member of the Extension Homemakers, she has been club president of the Blending Eras.
Jeff Collums, who was actually in the process of building a barn on Friday afternoon, a couple of days after the judges’ visit, said “The welding business provides needed services to many farmers and businesses. The business serves many different areas such as: constructing buildings and barns, corrals, shops, fences and repairing large and small equipment.”
A true family affair, Collums’ son, Jacob, now age 27, works with Jeff in the family’s welding business and also the cattle operation. They also have a daughter, Emily Collums Salisbury, age 30, and her husband, Chris is charged with keeping the family farm’s equipment maintained and operational on a daily basis.
The Farm Family of the Year awards, established in 1947, also recognize leadership and community service.  In neighboring Nevada County, Todd and Kathy Brown of Bodcaw, also cattle ranchers, were named as the 2018 Nevada Farm Family and were also visited by state judges on June 13.