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For the Andersons, farming is life
W 122013 FARM FAMILY 04
A barn sits on the Andersons' property in Nevils.

Farming isn’t just a profession, but a lifestyle that involves more than just one person; it is a family affair that takes the whole family unit to be successful.
    Will Anderson and his family know this, and their efforts as a longtime farming family in the Nevils community led to their being named the 2013 Farm Family of the Year. The honor was awarded by the Statesboro-Bulloch County Chamber of Commerce’s Agribusiness Committee in November during its Farm City Week celebration.
    Anderson grew up farming with his father, Tommy Anderson, and still today, his brother Reid helps Will with his farm as well as works his own.
    They are sixth-generation farmers growing cotton, soybeans, corn and wheat. They also operate broiler houses for Claxton Poultry.
    Will Anderson, who has been married to Hannah Anderson for 11 years, is a deacon at Gracewood Baptist Church and a trustee for the Georgia Baptist Children’s Home. The couple have three children.
    “This is an honor to get this award,” Anderson said during the Farm City luncheon as he spoke to a crowded room.
    Afterward, he said he already knew he would get into farming, but when his father’s health demanded help, he took over.
    “I kind of knew I had to come onto the farm or something would happen to it,” he said.  “I wanted to do that, anyway.”
    So, why does he farm? According to Anderson, it’s the variety.
    “You get to experience all kinds of things, and Daddy let us learn by experiencing,” he said.
    The work is always challenging and constantly changing.
    “You get to kind of have a do-over every year,” he said.
    Anderson loves being outside and likes that “every day is diversified” and that he can “micromanage” his crops, he admitted.
    Hannah Anderson has an accounting degree, which likely helps in the business, but after the birth of their first child, the couple agreed she would stay home.
    “I try to be supportive,” she said. “This is different from a 9-to-5 job. Sometimes Will gets home by 9 or as late as 11 p.m.”
    Keeping up with Avery, 9; Avant, 8; and Ava, 5, is a full-time job, but Hannah enjoys being a wife and mother, especially when it comes to mealtime.
    “I like to cook,” she said. “If (Will) is close by, he comes home for lunch, but if he is picking cotton, it is a pack of crackers.”
    Her daughter Ava isn’t yet involved in the family farm operation, preferring girly things and dreaming of being a mommy one day, and son Avery enjoys hunting, fishing and sports. Will Anderson said he enjoys those activities with his son, but middle son Avant is the one with farming at heart.
    “He knows the make and model of every piece of equipment I have,” he said. 
    “He is definitely the most involved,” Hannah Anderson said. “He loves it — he wants to know how all of it works.”
    Avant even helps out when it comes time to module cotton — with adult supervision, she said.
    The Anderson family exemplifies the teamwork and dedication that are requisites for the Farm Family of the Year award, Agribusiness Committee member Todd Faircloth said.

    Holli Deal Bragg may be reached at (912) 489-9414.

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