Paul Wooten (aka Daddy Paul to most and Mr. Paul to some) and Adele established The Wooten Farm back in 1952. The Wooten family got their start in Coldwater, MS, moved to Desoto county and eventually landed in Tate county.
Mr. Paul Wooten raised cotton, corn and cows. Unlike today the farm was not blessed with modern day machinery. Instead farm hands and Mr. Paul used mules and plows. Eventually a tractor would follow. Farming back in that time was met with many challenges and plenty of physical labor. In addition to growing crops there were probably 50-60 head of cattle to raise.
While Daddy Paul and the farm hands were busy in the fields, his wife was busy in the kitchen. In addition to raising crops on the farm, Adele (aka Mammaw) raised vegetables for canning and freezing. She canned some of the best jellies and jams a person could find in Tate county.
The farm had a milk cow and raised its’ own beef, pigs and chickens. No doubt Daddy Paul, farm hands or family never went without a home cooked meal. Eating out was not an option. She cooked three meals a day.
After three bad years in a row Mr. Paul decided to forego raising crops and turned to strictly cattle. In addition to the farm hands, Mr. Paul’s three children, Thomas Paul, Roy and Rosamond helped with any farm chores as needed through the years.
The tradition of farming has been handed down to the children and their spouses, the grandchildren and the great grandchildren. And the spouses pitch in to do anything from driving tractors to birthing cows. They’re all in it together.
Today, the Wooten farm continues raising some 250-300 head of cattle. The cattle round up takes place several times a year. Family and friends come together and the work begins early by getting all the cows to the barn. The cattle are vaccinated, wormed, banded and tagged. Everyone knows their job. The grandchildren and great grand children are learning as they work right alongside the adults.
The Wooten family is fortunate today to be able to have modern farm machinery to make baling hay and other farm chores much easier. While the farm is not big in size it still takes a tremendous amount of time, energy and resources to take care of the 300 acres that are owned and other acreage that is leased. The cattle require a great deal of attention and care. Medicines, supplements and other needed items are necessary to have healthy cows. Birthing season begins in March and ends in October.
During this time they are checked several times daily in order to catch any birthing problems that might arise. To have the best quality hay possible, fertilizers and chemicals are constantly being applied. The summer is spent cutting, raking and baling hay. The winter is spent feeding the cows. No matter what the weather brings the cows have to be fed. All the days in between consist of fixing fences and repairing machinery. The work on the farm never ends.
Today The Wooten Farm has taken on the name of The Wooten Cattle Co. The family feels blessed to be able to carry on Daddy Paul’s legacy of farming. He would be so proud to know that The Wooten Farm is the recipient of the AG Business of the Year award in Tate County.