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Julie Lively Is September Hempstead County Women’s Farm Bureau Committee Ag Woman of the Month

By Hempstead County Women’s Farm Bureau Committee, 09/3/20 1:03 PM
For the month of September the Hempstead County Women’s Farm Bureau Committee has selected Julie Lively as our Ag woman of the month. Julie is a wonderful person and we are super excited to highlight her this month. Sit back and enjoy her write up.
33 years ago, I became a farmer/rancher’s wife. I never expected to live in rural America much less love it! But here I am years later and wouldn’t want to be anywhere else! Together, Steve and I have made a great life here at the Crossroads with a poultry farm and cow/calf operation. Early in our marriage, I was riding through the pasture with my father-in-law, Bill Lively, he told me that my job was to always count the babies – my greatest joy is to be able to still keep count of all the babies during calving season.
Steve and I have two sons, Will and Clint. They were raised on our farm and helped their dad with chores in the chicken houses and cattle. Their Lively grandparents were across the road and they could always be found hanging out there with Pop and Mawmaw. They gained so much wisdom from their Pop – a love of rural life, hunting and fishing, cattle, horses, gardening and the importance of hard work to achieve the goals that they set for themselves. Will lives in Texas with his wife, Jenny and our precious granddaughter, Tula Maxine. They live in a rural area south of Fort Worth near Jenny’s parents and Will works as a chef. Clint and his wife Melanie live near us and he has followed in his father’s footsteps as a poultry farmer and is always available for a helping hand with the cattle and other farm related opportunities.
I grew up in Hope, my father was in the construction business and my mother helped him in the office, but she was mostly a stay-at-home mom. As a child, my Aunt Maxine and Uncle Willie Shepard had a farm at Patmos, and it was a thrill to be able to spend weekends and summers playing around the barn and helping with the daily chores. We spent a lot of time there in the summers working in the garden and “putting up” the vegetables. I learned to cook from watching and helping my Grandmothers, Aunt and Mother. Being at home this spring and summer has allowed me to put some of those skills into practice with gardening and canning. Steve and I enjoy cooking for large crowds and are very involved with our church, Rafter J Cowboy Church and the Crossroads Volunteer Fire Dept.
When Steve and I married I decided to return to college to finish my degree in Elementary Education at Southern Arkansas University and later returned to complete my Masters. I spent 26 years with the Hope School District as an elementary classroom teacher and an instructional coach. I retired in 2016 and began working as an instructional consultant for a reading company based out of New Jersey. I haven’t been available over the years to be hands-on at the farm, but I try to fill in as needed. Usually I get to rake hay or help them get ready for chickens at least once a year. I am the number one errand runner for the family.
In 2018, I was elected to the Board of Directors for Farm Credit of Western Arkansas. I’m learning so much about finance and how the farmers and ranchers of rural Arkansas make a difference in our state’s and world’s food production. This position is proving to be challenging yet, very fulling. It has allowed me the opportunity to travel and meet other farmers and rancher from around the country and meet with our US Government officials in Washington to discuss the issue important to Arkansas.
Farm life was different for me in the beginning, but it has been perfect for me these past 33+ years. I can’t wait to see what our future holds!