MOSES LAKE — Travis Herring and his wife Jennifer, of Quincy, are this year’s Grant County Fair Hay King and Queen.
Herring got his start in farming as a child.
“I started with cherries when I was 13 or 14 years old,” said Herring. “I did that throughout college.”
After college, Herring stayed in Seattle, but farm life called him home. In 2009, he moved back to Quincy and began custom harvesting. The next year, he started farming his own piece of ground. Today, he has a team he employs for both the custom work and farming.
“I got in when farming was good,” Herring said. “Farming is really tough. It is really tough to sell hay. I won Hay King with it, but it’s not sold.”
Herring said that the hay tariffs are making it harder to sell hay. He compared farmers to someone who goes to a casino with $1,000 hoping to make $100.
“Farmers do that every year,” said Herring. “It’s crazy to think that we take all the risk with so little reward. I think it will get better. All the markets are hurting. The hay market is okay. Exports are not as good as it should be.”
Even though that is the case, Herring is still putting in the hard work it takes to make good hay.
“It feels really good,” he said. “That is the rewarding side of it.”
He added that having a solid foundation is important.
“My wife is there to help with the madness of farming,” said Herring. “Otherwise I wouldn’t have any other life except farming.”
Herring and his wife have two children, Cheyenne and Makenzie. Winning the Hay King brought back memories for Herring.
“My dad won the 2003 Hay King,” Herring said. “I was running his crew in high school.”
The Hay King at the Grant County Fair is sponsored by the Mid-Columbia Basin Hay Growers.
Rachal Pinkerton may be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.