A passion for farming

Wyatt Merry of Texhoma, Oklahoma, has a passion for farming. He’s only 14 but his mother, Jessica Merry, said Wyatt has loved agriculture from the beginning.

“He is hyperfocused on farming,” she said. “That’s where his passion lies. He would get up early in the morning and watch the farm markets, RFD-TV, all those farm shows, and has since he was six or seven years old. Most kids were watching cartoons but he was watching the markets.”

Wyatt, like most teens, is a bundle of contradictions. He’s shy but outgoing, quiet but well-spoken and humble but confident, especially when he talks about farming. He is polite, deferential and exudes an intelligence which his family has worked hard to support.

Wiley Merry, Wyatt’s father, said that Wyatt has always wanted to go with him on the tractors and grain carts during harvest.

“One time in particular,” he said. “We were baling wheat hay at night and the conditions were right so we kept on moving from one circle to the next. We wound up going for 17 hours straight. Most kids would have been tired of that within two hours but he was with us the entire time and never complained.”

“I’ve been going with my dad since I was one,” Wyatt said. “I love the fact that you plant a seed, watch it grow, harvest it and feed the world. That’s how I came to love farming.”

That love of farming gets a lot of support at school. His FFA teacher, Jimmy Crosby, said he would like to have an entire classroom of students like Wyatt.

“Wyatt wants to talk about wheat production,” Crosby said. “Every day…before school…during school. Wyatt has the determination to succeed at whatever he does.”

In late September Wyatt planted Smith’s Gold wheat on 20 acres to enter in the Oklahoma 4-H/FFA Wheat Show. He plans to document his progress with a podcast and videos on YouTube.

“I want to promote agriculture any way I can,” Wyatt said. “I feel like using this contest wheat is a way to do that.”

Smith’s Gold is a drought-tolerant variety developed by Oklahoma State University. It has high performance for milling and baking and it’s one of the few hard red winter wheats that can be used to make pasta.

“Smith’s Gold can be blended with 25 percent spring wheat to make pasta,” Wyatt said. “When they’re able to use hard red winter wheat for pasta (instead of spring wheat only), that’s pretty exciting.”

Wyatt will harvest his wheat next year and submit it for the competition. The samples will be judged on milling and baking qualities and protein content.

Wyatt is currently a freshman in high school. He said his future plans include studying agronomy in college and someday taking over the family farm.

“Farming is a way of life,” he said. “The population continues to grow but only a small percentage of us are farmers. It’s hard work but we have a mission to feed the world.”

Wheat Squared is sponsored by the Oklahoma Wheat Commission and Oklahoma Genetics, Inc. Find us online at www.wheatsquared.com.