Date: August 15, 2019
The Charles Hayes Family of Preston County was recognized as the 2019 Farming Heritage Award winner during Military Day, August 15th, at the State Fair of West Virginia.
The Farming Heritage Award, sponsored by West Virginia Farm Bureau and the State Fair of West Virginia, is presented to a worthy family demonstrating a commitment to a rural lifestyle, involvement in their community and serving as a role model to others in the state of West Virginia.
After serving in the military, Charlie Hayes and his wife, Fern, wanted to find a farm close to Kingwood where they could raise their family. Fern’s only request was that the farm would be near a good road with a school bus route so that the children wouldn’t have to walk far in the wintertime. They found their farm, located just three miles outside of Kingwood, in 1964, and established White House Cattle.
Charlie was an excellent cattleman and passed those traits on to their five children. The farm is now owned by children Chuck, Dave, Kimble and Joy, who all play a part in the farm along with their children and grandchildren.
The Hayes Family owns and operates a Purebred Angus and Club Calf operation. They make 100% of the decisions on the farm from breeding to selling. Their goals are to raise the best replacement seed stock as possible as well as produce top quality and top selling show cattle for 4-H and FFA members.
According to Casey Hayes, “Farming is a family legacy. It is something that our family takes pride in and works hard to maintain. It is a college savings account for our children. The lifestyle around the farm is a bonus, because it teaches us and our children lessons that will never be learned on a computer screen or video game. Our farming lifestyle means we have daily responsibilities other than just taking care of ourselves. It is a lifestyle to be proud of, working with multi-generations. Our farm is our pride and joy, and it is something we work for daily!”
A luncheon was held in the family’s honor, at which time West Virginia Farm Bureau President Charles Wilfong presented the award. Governor Jim Justice and WV Department of Agriculture Commissioner Kent Leonhardt joined State Fair Board President Ralph Warren in acknowledging the family’s accomplishment.
The family received an engraved Natural Stone Sign to signify the honor.
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