"I love farming"
I love farming”…..these are words generally spoken by the Farmer not one of his employees but that's exactly what Frank told me when I asked him why he had been working at Pearson Farm for 17 years.Frank is Pearson Farm's Irrigation Manager. He manages a crew that sets up, operates, maintains and repairs all the irrigation systems for our peach and pecan trees. If it has to do with water or plumbing, Frank is our man!Years ago, farmers used their eyes and hands to test the dirt for moisture and spent time praying for rain when the dirt was dry. Today, they still run that dirt through their fingers and spend hours on their knees in prayer but technology has allowed farmers to be more precise with water management. We use probes that test the soil for moisture and computers to calculate how much water needs to be added. Without enough water, the trees would shut down; produce small and poor quality nuts and fruit. Our dry Georgia climate requires us to be proactive with maintaining the right amount of water to grow healthy and productive trees.
Frank grew up on a farm but got his first job in town. He worked at a local grocery store (Young's Super Foods) as a teenager. After high school, he went to work for Blue Bird Body Company working in their bus manufacturing plant. Frank says that he knew immediately being inside all day was not for him. He soon went to work for a local Pecan Cleaning Plant where he stayed for 25 years. During those years, he also worked for a local gentleman who built an RV Park in a nearby town. Mr. Al was good friends with both these men and knew all about Frank. He was particularly interested in the skill set he possessed along with his wealth of experience in irrigation. He knew Frank would be a major asset to Pearson Farm and the rest is history. Frank takes care of all our irrigation needs from January until mid October when he moves to the pecan cleaning plant. Here he runs moisture tests on the nuts and operates the dryers along with any other task that needs addressing. He is an invaluable asset to Pearson Farm.Frank came to see me a couple days after our interview. He sat down in my office and said “I want to tell you about Al's compassion.” Of course my eyes opened wide and I grabbed my pen but I found myself not writing a word…. Just listening to him tell story after story of acts of kindness and compassion that he had witnessed from Mr. Al. The most touching was a story about Frank's father. He had been diagnosed with dementia and placed in a hospice facility. Frank took off work to spend the last few days by his father's side. Several afternoons during those last days, Mr. Al would stop by to check on things. Frank told me, “Al didn't know my dad, he was coming to check on me…and that really spoke to my heart.'It's easy to see why Frank says, “I wouldn't trade being here for any other job….I love farming!”