Cream of the Crop

As he walks through fields the corn stalks sway, giving away to the weight of his arm. Walking the land and checking his crops is something Russell Hendrick doesn’t consider work. While working 30 acres of corn this year, others would never know that this year was his first in farming.

“It’s hard work, but I enjoy it. I can come out here to the land, and people know to just leave me a voicemail,” said Hendrick.

Hendrick gives his grandfather credit for his love of the land. When he was younger he spent time with him learning about tractors and other farming equipment. The topic of farming always fascinated Hendrick, he said, but his grandfather didn’t farm crops, just cattle.

“I remember once when I was 12 I was suspended from school. I helped my grandpa clear land for the barn. It was justified hard work,” said Hendrick.

In recent years Hendrick was known for cutting and bailing around 75 acres of hay between his land and others. The farming career is a kind of side job for Hendrick who also works full-time with Sherrills Ford Fire Department. Hendrick and his family own a total of 100 acres with 30 acres planted with corn this year. Next year the land will be used for soy beans as well as corn using 50 acres. Hendrick said if he had 1,000 acres he would consider quitting the fire department, but he believes that would be hard to get.

“It’s hard to find land. Either to buy or to rent. People don’t understand what all goes into the process,” said Hendrick.

To read more of this story, pick up the Tuesday print edition of Catawba County's community newspaper, The Observer News Enterprise, at newsstands throughout the county.