Years of Experience and
Hard Work Equal Success
By Angela Rogalski
For forty-one years, Jerry Evans of Evans Farms has been growing rice, soybeans, corn and wheat in Symonds. This year Evans is concentrating on two crops only: rice and soybeans. Along with his brother Larry Evans and his son, Jerry Evans Jr., the three men have carved a successful life out of the land that they love. Evans’ farming headquarters has always been a center of activity around the business, ensuring the safety and good working condition of all of the machinery and equipment that he owns, which is the backbone of the farm.
“My shop is 50×150 and the back-end, which is the shed, is 100×50, so it’s a very large shed,” Jerry Evans says. “Half of the building is the shop and half of it is the shed where I store my combines. My brother and I used to work on all of the equipment ourselves, but today, with all the computerized technology, we’re just not able to do it anymore.”
Evans farms with his brother Larry Evans, and his son Jerry Evans, Jr. He says his shop is fully equipped. “We have everything from torches to lifts, and we do all of our own welding. We have International 280’s and New Holland tractors and some older John Deere’s, so our machinery and equipment is diverse. I really don’t have a preference. I look for a good deal and something that will get the job done.”
Evans says at first he had a rather small shop, but as time went by, he tore that down and built himself a new one. “About four years ago, I built the larger one. We needed the space. And the new one is extremely nice.”
Evans says his introduction to farming happened when he managed a farm years ago. “I managed Fioranelli Farms in Bolivar County for thirty-six years, plus I was farming about 600 acres for myself here on my own farm on the side. Today I have about 2,000 acres of my own. I’ve always just loved farming. There really isn’t one part that I love over another. I will say that rice has been my number one crop over the years, but I love growing it all.”
And he enjoys helping out his neighbors when he can. During harvest, Evans says if his crops aren’t ready, he has four trucks that he offers to his fellow farmers if they need them.
“I just park the trucks in the field and there’s access to them in the morning and in the evening. That way the farmers can keep cutting and they won’t be looking for a truck all day.”
Along with farming, Evans says he has another passion he enjoys, one that he bought from his uncle twenty-five years ago: a 1977 Corvette. A cool addition to the farm, no doubt.
“When I bought it from my uncle, it had 1,900 miles on it,” he adds. “Today, it has 8,900 miles on it, and those basically from me and my granddaughter. I’ve changed the oil on it twice and other than that, it’s had no maintenance at all. And everything on it is still original.”
Evans is a firm believer in trying to do the right thing and treating people the same way, with respect. And in putting God first always.
“I try to do the best I can and treat everybody right,” Evans says. “Treat people the way that I want to be treated. And if you put God first, He’ll do the rest.”