By Dani Blackburn
“I believe that what we become depends on what our fathers teach us at odd moments, when they aren’t trying to teach us. We are formed by the little scraps of wisdom.” – Umberto Eco
Jeannette Collier Shaw has spent a lifetime on her family’s farm, soaking in little bits of wisdom as she followed her father, Carroll Collier, through the fields as a little girl – and her teacher had a lot to share as a farmer who has always known the importance of continuing education and evolving with the ever changing world of agriculture.
Now, it is all paying off as Shaw joins her father at Collier Farm to continue a heritage dating back almost a century. As Father’s Day approaches, it reminds us all of the importance of children and their fathers and giving the next generation the tools they need to succeed in agriculture.
The Collier family’s roots run deep, back to the 1800s when Collier’s grandfather Guy, born in 1894, came from Tennessee to Texas in a covered wagon as a small boy.
“They were moving from Tennessee and got to this point, and this is where they settled. He was a farmer all his life; it’s all he ever did,” said Collier.
Guy, one of six children, would marry Moye Mason, whose family came to the area from Georgia, and have three children of their own. The Collier Farm was founded in the Crafton area down a Wise County road in 1920.
In its early days, the farm was home to milk cows, and the elder Collier sold milk and cream. Corn, cotton and peanuts were produced on the land up into the 1940s and the late 1950s. Guy and Moye also raised their grandson, Carroll, who would take over operations of the farm in the 1960s, keeping the land in the family. Carroll and his wife, Jean, would run the farm and raise two children of their own on the family land.
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