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Thursday, September 9, 2010

R.A. Griffin Family is Farm Bureau’s 2010 “Farm Family of the Year”

Well known Alford area farm family receives award.
Around Alford the R.A. Griffin family has been a vital part of that community for over sixty years. At the annual meeting of the Farm Bureau organization last Thursday evening, County Agent Doug Mayo delivered a glowing description of the contributions this fine farm family has provided their community and Jackson County.
“R.A. Griffin started farming in 1922”, stated Mayo… “That was the year he was born”. Mayo described how Mr. Griffin had begun as a worker as a youth in the Satsuma groves, and then had been part of a crew that went South to help clear land for the construction of Tyndall Field, and later worked at Wainwright Shipyard.

In 1943 R.A. made one of the best decisions he ever made…he asked Ardella Melvin who also lived near Alford to be his wife. Luckily she accepted, and eventually they had three children to help them on the family farm, Judy Griffin Sanders, Kenny Griffin, and Syble Griffin Melvin. They now have seven grandchildren and thirteen great grandchildren.

Mr. Griffin had a driving desire to own enough land to start a farm. In the early 1950’s that desire was fulfilled when he bought forty acres near Alford. He worked his regular job as a farm mechanic during the workday, and during the evenings and weekends he cleared the land for his new farm. During the 1960’s he entered into a partnership with Aubrey Hudson, and expanded the farming enterprise, planting large acreage in watermelons, peanuts, soybeans, and corn to feed hogs.

Eventually the Griffin farm evolved into truck farming, providing produce for the family roadside stand located on Highway 231 in Alford. This business has become a mainstay in Alford, providing food to visitors and locals for over fifty years.

Today, the forth generation of Griffins are involved in agriculture in Jackson County. R.A. and Ardella now have great grandchildren who are active in FFA, and are engaged in agricultural projects.

R.A. and Ardella stated that the one crop they raised on their farm which required the most observation, cultivation, attention to growth, and at times challenged their ability to keep up with, …but has brought them their greatest return on investment was their family. They thank God for blessing them with the opportunity to share their love of farm life with their children, grandchildren, and great grand children.

We congratulate R.A. and Ardella Griffin, a true example of a “family farm” in Jackson County.

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