Farmer of the Month - Johnson Family Farm
By Robin Gregg
Mark and Macy Johnson have always loved animals and it was their plan to begin a farm once he retired from the military. Their three daughters; Kaylee, Kelsey, and Kenzie, share that same passion for animals, so it's been a great decision!
“It was always part of our plan, but implemented sooner due to the COVID-19 pandemic, to become a self-sufficient farm to produce products to provide our family with a majority of our food supply. As we continue to grow our farm, we hope to provide products for sale to the community in the future as well,” said Macy.
The Johnsons currently raise show quality Boer goats, show quality Mini-Rex rabbits, several varieties of poultry including a peacock, pasture-raised meat chickens, and a miniature donkey.
Mark is the first to rise and he handles the morning chores before heading out to his full-time job off the farm. He makes sure every animal has food and water, he fills the goat creep feeder, and he moves the chicken tractor that our meat chickens are in. A chicken tractor is a moveable chicken pen so that they can continually be on fresh pasture.
Now that it's summertime, the kids are able to help Macy provide any necessary care for the animals throughout the day while Mark is gone. This includes moving the chicken tractor again, filling the meat chicken's feeder, checking and filling the goat creep feeder if needed, and on hot days, ensuring every animal has adequate water.
“Aside from helping with chores, the older girls love to play in the pasture and explore the creek on the back of our property! Throughout the day they also work with animals they will be showing with 4-H this summer. Kaylee will show a goat and Kelsey will show a rabbit. Kenzie loves to be with the animals too and loves to give them treats and plenty of snuggles and scratches,” said Macy.
In the evening the Johnson family makes sure all the animals are fed and watered again, the chicken tractor is moved a third time, and that the goat creep feeder is full. Macy said, “This is also the time when we perform any routine vaccinations or give medications if needed, as those usually require both Mark and I to catch and hold animals.”
After all chores are finished and their own bellies are full, most evenings you can find Mark and Macy on their back deck. “It is here that we enjoy watching our children play and our animals graze, we find gratefulness in the beautiful views, peacefulness, and all that we've been blessed with here at our little piece of paradise,” said Macy.
The girls enjoy all the animals but each definitely has their favorite! Kaylee chose Billy, one of our wethered Boer goats. He was the first bottle baby goat that joined their farm last year and he still loves to be the center of attention!
Kelsey chose rabbits! “We currently have several litters of Mini-Rex bunnies that Kelsey can be found playing with every day. We had a few different colors born this spring that we've never had before, so it's been exciting watching them grow,” said Macy.
Kenzie's pick was chickens! She loves shaking their feeder or throwing them grain to see them come running! Her big sisters taught her how to catch one and she gets so excited now that she can do it herself!
Macy adds, “When we are not busy on our farm or enjoying the outdoors, we also run a non-profit that is dedicated to serving families of those with Down syndrome. We're so excited to be a part of the Paris community and we're excited to see what the future holds for our family here on the farm!”
You can follow the Johnson family on Facebook at Johnson Family Farm or feel free to message them and schedule a visit!
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