Sam Middleton is not just any farm kid. He has a goal to expand the family farming operation back home in Happy, Texas.

Cultivating a Future

It’s going to be useful down the road with all of the technology and crops changing.

E

ighty-five miles north of Lubbock, the cool wind carries the sound of fresh weaned stocker calves bawling for their mommas. Sam Middleton pulls the feed buggy down the fence line using the glow of the horizon to guide his way as the sun peaks over the 17,000-acre farm outside of Happy, Texas.

 Middleton grew up with a love for Texas Tech University, with family as both alumni and staff.  He is a junior plant and soil science major at Texas Tech.

Middleton always knew he wanted to go back home to farm and so decided plant and soil science was the best fit for him. “It’s going to be useful down the road with all of the technology and crops changing,” Middleton said.

As a fourth-generation farmer and cattleman, farming is a way of life for Middleton. Plant and soil science is helping him with the family farming and stocker operation. Middleton says he is learning things in class that he will apply to the farm especially information about weeds and pesticide use.

“It’s given me a lot of useful stuff that I can take back home,” Middleton said.

Associate Professor in the Department of Plant and Soil Science, Dr. Glen Ritchie, says Middleton is an excellent student. “He is an outside of the box thinker,” Richie said.

Middleton has learned many valuable lessons and teachings from Ritchie and others like him in the department.

Middleton enjoys going to school every day because of the new things he is getting to see and do. He says he has enjoyed plant and soil science not only because of the knowledge he is learning, but also because of the people.

“All of the people in there are just small-town farmers, so I’ve made some good friends through it and get along with everybody in plant and soil science,” Middleton said. 

Middleton says he is already involved in big decisions for the family farm and will start working with his dad, instead of for his dad, when he graduates.

When Middleton talks about farming, it is clear that he is going to be doing something that he enjoys for the rest of his life. “We just have to be thankful that we’ve got work to do and blessed with the animals and the ground to provide a means of life.”

Sam Middleton is not just any farm kid. He has a goal to expand the family farming operation back home in Happy, Texas.
Sam Middleton has a love for Texas Tech and the people he attends class with.

I am a May 2019 Agricultural Communications graduate from Texas Tech University.

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