Yanta family farms…working the land since late 1800’s

We had the pleasure of interviewing a three-generation family of farmers, producing acres and acres of hay, grain, corn, and cotton.
“I’m the fourth generation, and my son, Cole Yanta, is the 5th generation,” said Scott Yanta of Devine. “My dad, who just turned 82, still does the hay cutting. We are working this farm together.”
One generation after the next, has stepped into his daddy’s boots, and just kept right on farming.
“My great-grandpa JP Yanta settled in South Texas in the 1850s and farmed in the Karnes County area. I just saw an old newspaper article about him. My grandpa, Gussie Yanta also farmed, as well as my dad Edwin Yanta, who expanded into Medina and Uvalde Counties in the 60’s, where we grow most of our crops today,” said Scott adds.
Hay farmers flourish in this area, due to a strong local demand and good growing conditions.
“The sandy loam soil we have around her in Devine is ideal for growing hay,” Scott adds. “Hay is a good crop, because you can get 6 crops a year. You’re always in harvest mode. You’re getting paid every 28 days when you harvest, whereas a grain you can only grow and harvest once a year. Plus the cost of growing a hay crop is minimal, and in 30 days you can get your money back again.”
Hay is also quite hardy.
“Even the big freeze hardly phased our hay crop,” Scott said. “It’s hard to kill grass.”
Scott is proud to say his son, Cole Yanta, will carry on the family farming business.
“He knew he wanted to farm since he was just a little kid. He got farming from both sides of the family. I just knew it was in him. He recently got his degree in Ag Systems Management from A&M, and now he is back out here with us. I was out for about a month after getting Covid, and he stepped right in.”
Cole, 23, is happy to have the opportunity to keep the legacy alive. He knows farming is an important job.
“I see so many farms listed for sale. I think food security is going to be a big thing in the future. Where are all the crops and food going to come from? Is all of it going to come from Overseas?” Yanta asks.
“Farming takes a lot of hard work and dedication, long hours, sun up to sun down, but when you stick with a crop all year and see it come out successful……seeing all your hard work pay off, it’s a rewarding job,” Cole said.
“Yeah, Mother Nature calls a lot of the shot when you’re a farmer, but as a farmer you can choose your own hours and be your own boss. It’s not always easy, but like my dad always says, ‘God always takes care of us.’ It’s nice to work outside on days like this, and when it gets hot, well, you get used to it.”
“Our younger generation needs to get out there and get sweaty,” said Cole. “My grandpa is 82 and he is still out there working with us. I hope I can be like that.”
Grandpa Edwin Yanta of course grew up farming with his daddy and grandpa, and has been hard at it for the past 60 years or so, following in their footsteps after serving a few years in the US Army. He is so happy to see his son and grandson carry on the family business.
“I am very proud of my Scott and Cole. They both have a college education and know how to run the business, and I have turned over the production and sales to them. The main thing I do now is run the cutter, and I will continue to help them as long as I am able,” Edwin said with a smile.
A lot of things have changed over the years. The tractors and equipment have perhaps changed the most, he said.
“They can plant 12 rows at a time now, rather than 4, and harvest close to 200 bushels an acre as opposed to 100. It has to be that way though, because the population is growing and people have to eat.”
“I’m so glad I could turn over the farm to them. There’s going to be good times and bad times, and there’s going to be not so good times, but a person should not get discouraged and just keep at it,” Edwin said.
“I know the farm is in good hands,” Grandpa Edwin added.