(Michelle Felter, Staff)
Tony Heckemeyer and his sons don't plant and harvest seeds. Instead, they have chicken houses, a tree farm and cattle. And the elder Heckemeyer said it's all about being different, and finding the best use for their land.
"We just don't do it like everybody else," said Tony Heckemeyer. "We can't, because our ground is marginal (quality). It could not support three young farm families"
Heckemeyer, his wife, Betty, and their three sons Joe, Matthew and Andrew, will be honored Thursday as the Sikeston Area Chamber of Commerce's Farm Family of the Year. There will be a luncheon to recognize the family at noon at the Clinton building, in conjunction with the SACC monthly meeting.
Joe, Matthew and Andrew are fourth-generation farmers. Joe Heckemeyer is in charge of the chicken operation and helps keep the books, while Matthew Heckemeyer concentrates on the cattle farm and Andrew Heckemeyer is most involved in the family's tree operation.
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