The Roy and Suzanne Runsick family of Melbourne (Izard County) is the North Central District Farm Family of the Year. They operate on 150 acres of land where they have 100 acres of pasture land and 45 head of beef cattle.
Roy is a former agricultural education teacher and Suzanne is a retired home economics teacher, so both are able to apply that knowledge to the work they do on and off the farm. Roy works as an artificial insemination technician, a representative for Genex stud service and a sales representative for Powerfelx Fence. Suzanne uses her education and training from the Master Gardeners to produce a spring, summer and fall garden where she harvests a variety of herbs, vegetables and flowers.
When they began farming in 2000, Roy and Suzanne had the goal of creating an efficient, profitable and sustainable cow-calf operation. Cows are now calving in a 60-day window from April through May on their farm. They also wanted to use both permanent and temporary electric fencing to keep livestock out of ponds and creeks so manure would be retained on the pastures. 90 percent of the natural water sources on the farm are now protected by electric fencing. The Runsicks work tirelessly to ensure the balance of nature is preserved on their farm by closely monitoring soil, water, forage and wildlife habitat, particularly quail. In their 14 years of farming, they have increased the number of coveys from zero to two with about 20 birds in each covey.
Roy and Suzanne have four children, Stewart Runsick (38), Scott Runsick (41), Bradley Bangs (41) and Keith Bangs (38). They are currently involved with the Tri-County Cattlemen’s Association, the Izard County Farmer’s Market, American Angus Association and Red Angus Association of America.