Anthony J Smith Farms, Benton County


By Trista Crossley
Editor

Smith_F

Tony Smith is the third generation to farm his family’s land in Benton County’s Horse Heaven Hills. Smith’s grandparents, saloon and boarding house operators from Montana, headed west in the 1930s, intending to settle down in the Pendleton, Ore., area. Instead, the family ended up buying land in Washington and starting a farm that is still going strong today. The Smiths grow dryland wheat, mostly soft white and hard red.

Three generations of Smiths come together to help bring in the family’s harvest. Tony (left) and his father, Steve, are primarily responsible for the farm for most of the year, but during harvest, Tony’s children, Madeline and Lucas (not shown), help out. Tony is the third generation to farm the family’s Benton County farm.

The Smith family, which settled in the Horse Heaven Hills in Benton County in the 1930s, farms land that surrounds the original homestead (seen in the background) and is owned by the extended Smith family under the name Kovach Land Co.

Smith took over from his father, Steve, and the two are primarily responsible for the farm for most of the year. During harvest, however, Smith’s son, Lucas, and daughter, Madeline, join in, driving combine. While Smith hopes one of his children will one day take over the farm, he says he doesn’t want to pressure them. For now, he just enjoys their help.

“One harvest tradition we have is that my dad has to drive combine to keep his 65-plus year combine-driving streak going,” Smith said. 

Tony Smith, the third generation to farm his family’s land, loads up the semi, while his son, Lucas, keeps the combine moving in the background.

Repairs are a fact of life during harvest, including combine tire blowouts. Here, Fermin Mariscal and Michael Vance from the Tire Factory install new tires on one of the Smiths’ combines.

Smith trucks his soft white wheat to Horse Heaven Grain in Roosevelt, Wash., which is right next to the Columbia River.

“The river transportation system is so important to the well-being of our family’s farm. We take the grain to the elevator, and they can turn around and load it on barges immediately,” Smith said. “Without barging, we’d have to use more trucks and pay more to move our wheat to market. That’s going to hit our bottom line pretty hard.”

The Smiths usually truck their soft white wheat to Horse Heaven Grain in Roosevelt, Wash., which is right next to the Columbia River. Having such ready access to barging on the river system helps keep the family’s transportation costs low.

The Smiths grow dryland wheat, mostly soft white and hard red, on their family farm in Benton County. During harvest three generations of the family work together to get the wheat harvested.

A sample is taken from every load that comes into the elevator and will be tested for quality and protein.

 

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