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Just beyond the front porch of the Mobley home off St. John Road, vibrant green rows of crops stretch across some of the 400 acres, a testament to the unbroken family line of farmers who have worked the land for five generations.
“Mobleys came here in 1901,” said Kevin Mobley, 48.
The long line has included fathers teaching sons to farm the land, planting, fertilizing and harvesting crops.
“My dad was the only boss I ever had,” Kevin said.
Until recently, the Mobley farm had three generations working on it: Kevin’s father, Jodie; Kevin; and Kevin’s son, Kyle. Jodie, who was very active in the Hardin County agricultural community, died May 29 at the age of 79.
“I’d say I’m very fortunate to have this opportunity,” Kyle, 16, said, explaining not a lot of others his age get the chance to work with their father and grandfather on a farm.
Throughout his life, Jodie worked on the farm and with agricultural organizations, such as Farm Bureau, Farm Credit Services, Hardin County Livestock Improvement Association and the Hardin County Fair Board.
“Dad was very involved in the community,” Kevin said. “He was involved in organizations that made agriculture stronger. We were in a meeting all the time.”
Jodie enjoyed all the organizations he worked for, but he probably took the most pride in being on the fair board, of which he became director when Kevin was 3 or 4, Kevin said.
The Hardin County Fair Board seemed to share that sentiment because Jodie was referred to as the “glue” that held it together and “the peacemaker,” Kyle said. That was because, in part, of Jodie’s ability to get along with everyone, despite any age differences.
“He had a lot of friends on the fair board,” Kyle said.
That was one of the things for which Kyle was most proud of his grandfather.
During his last days, Jodie still was working wherever he could on the farm, often doing pick ups and deliveries and whatever his failing health would allow. The fact Jodie persevered and accomplished all he did was what Kevin is most proud of.
“For years it was a tough way to make a living,” Kevin said. “We went through some tough times, to be honest.”
Kevin said his father’s strong work ethic, foundation of faith and attitude of treating people like he wanted to be treated were his legacy. Kyle cited perseverance and reliability as the most valuable lessons his grandfather taught him.
These days, the Mobley farm consists primarily of row crops, specifically corn and soybeans.
“I have an acre and a half of sweet corn that’s mine,” Kyle said.
The teen, who is a Central Hardin High School junior, has been active in Future Farmers of America throughout high school and does agriculture projects.
Farming and being in FFA complement each other because he can use what he learns in FFA on the farm and share his hands-on experience on the farm with the club, he said.
Kyle has worked on the farm “since he was old enough to walk,” much like himself, Kevin said, explaining he was driving a tractor before he was old enough to reach the pedals.
“All farm kids start that way,” he said.
Though Kevin’s least favorite part of the work is the stress of watching the markets, farming is something you have to enjoy doing or you shouldn’t be in it, he said.
For Kyle, the enjoyment comes during the hands-on part of farming, such as planting crops or spreading fertilizer. Though he’s not sure if he will continue farming after he graduates from high school, Kyle is sure whatever career he pursues will be related to agriculture.
Until then, Kevin continues to be proud of how his son has progressed in farming responsibilities, such as operating machinery and taking on more physical work.
As for his own preferences, Kevin most enjoys spring planting and fall harvest, seeing what he plants come to fruition.
“That’s why farmers do what they do,” Kevin said. “Taking something from the beginning and bringing it to the end.”
Robert Villanueva can be reached at (270) 505-1743.
ONE FATHER’S FARM LIFE
Name: Joseph Stanley “Jodie” Mobley
Born: Dec. 4, 1932
High school: Rineyville High School, class of 1950
Military service: U.S. Army, 2 years
Farming organization affiliations: Hardin County Fair Board, former vice president emeritus; Farm Bureau, former director; Farm Credit Services, former director; Hardin County Livestock Improvement Association.
Church: Severns Valley Baptist Church, nursery worker, 40 years
Died: May 29, 2012