Roy and Jeannie Clarno are the first in a series of interviews that I will be doing with farmers. I chose Roy first because he is not only a great farmer but one of the best people I know. The following will be a brief history and some lessons Roy has learned over his lifetime. I want to thank Roy once again for being the guinea pig on this blog.
Roy was born and raised in Madera, CA. He and his wife Jeannie have three children and reside in Winnemucca, Nevada. After his high school graduation his family moved to Bottle Creek Nevada to live on a ranch. Here his family raised alfalfa, wheat and spent the winters trucking their commodities to market in California. One interesting fact was that Roy’s father purchased the farm from Foster Farms (this is the same Foster Farms who sell chicken). Roy worked on the family farm for ten years, and he and his brother Herb eventually leased the farm from their father and then eventually purchased the farm, and started a partnership.
It was a few years after Roy and Herb had purchased their fathers farm, that Roy decided to move his family to the Columbia Basin in Washington. Roy was able to grow a wider variety of crops, he started growing wheat, beans and renting out his farm to potato farmers in addition to raising alfalfa. Roy’s two oldest daughters graduated high school from Ephrata High School.
Even though Roy was able to grow more crops, enjoyed a longer growing season and had met many great people, he decided that his heart was in Nevada. It took Roy twelve more years to finally make the move back to Northern Nevada. He began renting a farm in Daveytown, Nevada from the Nevada First Corporation and eventually purchased the farm some years later. He always enjoyed farming in Daveytown, and made many friends with the other farmers in the area.
Roy continued growing alfalfa and barley on his farm in Northern Nevada until he sold it in 2005, thinking he would retire and live the good life. However, Roy could not sit still and was soon back to work renting farm ground and custom farming for other farms in the area. The year before Roy sold his farm he began to raise Timothy hay. He had heard many times how much money Timothy hay sold for and needed a crop rotation for his alfalfa, so he experimented raising Timothy and Orchard grass. It did not take Roy long to learn that this was a very good crop to grow, and has been growing it ever since. He admits this crop is not for everyone, but has worked very well into his operation.
Roy and Jeannie continue to farm in Orovada and Paradise Valley Nevada.
Some of the lessons Roy and Jeannie have learned over their lifetime are-
1-He wished he would have waited to sell his farm.
2-He would have stayed in Nevada and not moved his family to Washington. Even though he learned how to work on pivots and learned alot while he was in Washington.
3-He has learned to be consistent.
4-He wishes he would have started growing Timothy earlier.
5-He wishes he knew when to quit.
Roy’s advice to other farmers is-
1-A farm is a great place to raise kids. His kids heard these words often “Handlines, handlines, chop, chop, chop”
2-Hire good people in the areas you are weak. Roy mentioned his Farm foreman Fabian. He said he is this kind of person and without Fabian he could not have been as successful as he has been.
3-This advice came from his grandfather “Take care of your farm, and your farm will take care of you”
Roy, thanks again for sharing. I really appreciate it!