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Canton farmer, rancher stays positive in drought

An ag producer says that even in this drought, he maintains a daily “half full” perspective
by Bryan Painter Modified: December 6, 2012 at 10:13 pm •  Published: December 7, 2012

In terms of rain, the cup is neither half empty nor half full in Oklahoma.

In this drought it's nowhere close to the latter.

But that hasn't changed the perspective of ag producer Brandon Webb, of Canton.

Webb's area is among the 34.56 percent of Oklahoma in an exceptional drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor report released Thursday.

With the exception of a few years as a child, the 47-year-old has lived in Blaine County. His great-grandfather, William Haigler, with his dad, James Marion Haigler, and family arrived in the area in 1892.

Webb's grandfather, George Marion Haigler, was born in 1906. He endured the droughts of the 1930s and 1950s.

Cup is ‘half full'

“I think being positive is a choice we make every day,” Brandon Webb said. “I was taught to look at the cup half full instead of half empty. That doesn't change what's in the cup but it sure changes the way in which we handle what's in front of us. I pray for rain and our needs every day but I also thank God for my blessings every day too.”

With that said, Webb points out that their farming and ranching operation, with land in northwestern Blaine County and a little land in Dewey County, is in “full drought mode.”

“Our first priority is maintaining our cow herd,” he said. “Our cow/calf operation is the backbone of our farming and ranching business. We are implementing several different plans of action that differ from what we call normal. We take things a day at a time but are looking ahead 60 to 90 days as far as our hay supplies and grazing that we have available.

“We are weaning calves early and selling calves lighter and younger than normal to stretch what feed resources we have to our mother cows. I think the willingness and decisions to change directions are crucial in times like this.”

Brandon and wife, Cari, have two sons, Clayton, 19, and Wade, 16. Clayton is living and working on the farm, and Wade is a junior in Canton High School and also works on the farm.

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by Bryan Painter
Assistant Local Editor
Bryan Painter, assistant local editor, has 31 years’ experience in journalism, including 22 years with the state's largest newspaper, The Oklahoman. In that time he has covered such events as the April 19, 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah...
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