Jackson County Farm Bureau held their annual banquet on Thursday, August 9. The highlight of this annual event is the recognition of the Outstanding Farm Family. This year Mike, Steve, and John Jordan were selected for this prestigious honor.
Jordans have been farming in Jackson county for four generations. Their grandparents, Onie & Verna Jordan as well as Joe & Neta Johnson continued the farming tradition and passed it to their children, Pat and Veneeda Jordan who raised three sons to know the honest, but hard work involved in farming life. Once grown, all of three sons left the farm life to explore a career away from farming. They wanted to enjoy nights and weekends, and a steady income, but over time the realized how much the really missed the farm life. One by one they came back to the farm, and now all three brothers carry on the family tradition. Three brothers made the choice to work and farm together using the name 3J Farms.
The Jordans farm 3300 acres of land, of which 70% is leased from area farmers who retired, but have entrusted them with the use of their land. Like many of today’s modern farming operations, this family farms what 10 families farmed just one generation ago. In years past the Jordans grew hogs, wheat, corn and cattle, but now have specialized in producing three crops well: cotton, peanuts, and cucumbers for Vlasic Pickles. They have developed a reputation for quality in all three crops and were recognized as the Jackson County Outstanding Cotton Producers in 2007 and Outstanding Peanut Farmers in 2008 and 2011. They also raise some pine timber in areas not suited for crop production.
When asked the key to their success the Jordans all agree that it is making the best crop they can from every field. They consider irrigation one of their best investments. They got their first irrigation well in 1991 and now operate over 40 center pivot irrigation units, which provide water to 80% of the crop acres they farm. Now they are slowly working to make this more efficient as they gradually convert their irrigation pumps from diesel power to 3-phase-electric pumps. While this requires quite an investment to get the electric lines run, they save 62% on their energy costs for irrigation. They don’t consider themselves as “Innovators” trying every new idea immediately, but carefully consider how to tweak their operation with proven practices to boost yields without hurting efficiency.
The Jordans operate 3J Farms as a team. All three brothers give great credit to their wives, who each have off farm work that enabled them the opportunity to invest and develop their farming operation to the point where it is today. Rene operates Rene’s Headquarters hair salons in Malone and Marianna. Milo is a registered Nurse at the Florida State Hospital in Chattahoochee, and Cindy works as a Soil Technician for the Natural Resource and Conservation Service. All three brothers agree before a major financial decision is made. Mike and Steve do all of the cotton planting and John is the chemical expert, handling the spraying and pest management. Everyone works together to manage the irrigation and harvest. Cindy, and Milo also pitch in to help the brothers with the financial management of the business. They have three full time employees now, allowing the Jordans to spend more time with their families. They also employ four part-time employees that assist with harvest each year.