The Richard and Jennifer Broach family of Vandervoot (Polk County) is the Western District Farm Family of the Year. They have six chicken houses, 85 head of cattle and hay on a total of 465 acres. The Broaches began farming 19 years ago and were only farming on 20 acres, which they used for hay fields.
The Broach farm raises more than 700,000 birds per year. The sale of the poultry litter is important to their operation as it helps remove the 1,080 tons produced annually off the farm and helps alleviate the cost of cleaning out the poultry houses and bedding replacement. While awaiting removal, the litter is stored in a stacking shed and timber is left along all creeks to provide buffer zones. Conservation also plays a major role with the poultry operation. They register the farm with the Arkansas Natural Resources Conservation Service each year. Also, they have a nutrient management plan and work with the Rich Mountain Conservation District to be aware of the best management plans.
The Broaches would like to expand the cattle operation in the coming years. To accomplish this, they plan to clear 200 acres of land where they will implement rotational grazing and have wells dug to set up a livestock watering system. They also plan to continue upgrading the fencing and corral systems and begin raising registered stock in addition to the commercial cattle.
Both Richard and Jennifer are active members in their community, including serving on the Van-Cove and Cossatot Agri Boosters, Little League Baseball sponsors, coaching the trap shooting team and assisting with various activities at their local fair. They have three children, Tyler (17), Trevon (14) and Tayden (5), who are all active in showing animals and playing sports.