Owner/Operator Daryl Dempsey (left) hosted and provided a tour of the Triple D Ranch near Oak Hill for the 2021 edition of the annual Jackson County Farm-City Field Day held on Thursday, Sept. 9.  Retired Jackson County Extension Agent Dave Samples (center) served as the program emcee for the Jackson County Farmers Club and Jackson-Vinton-Scioto-Pike County Farm Service Agency County Director Andy Nelson (right) provided information about federal programs and benefits available for farmers. (Telegram Photo by Pete Wilson)
Owner/Operator Daryl Dempsey (left) hosted and provided a tour of the Triple D Ranch near Oak Hill for the 2021 edition of the annual Jackson County Farm-City Field Day held on Thursday, Sept. 9. Retired Jackson County Extension Agent Dave Samples (center) served as the program emcee for the Jackson County Farmers Club and Jackson-Vinton-Scioto-Pike County Farm Service Agency County Director Andy Nelson (right) provided information about federal programs and benefits available for farmers. (Telegram Photo by Pete Wilson)

It was only appropriate that one of the county’s oldest and most successful farms -- the Triple D Ranch in Jefferson Township near Oak Hill -- was chosen to host the 60th Annual Farm-City Field Day event on Thursday, Sept. 9.

Triple D Ranch Owner/Operator Daryl Dempsey welcomed a large contingent of mostly agriculturally-connected visitors to his sprawling multi-generational family farm located at 14 Dempsey Road just off Dan T. Davis Road in northern Jefferson Township. Retired Jackson County Extension Director Dave Samples was on hand to co-host the program on behalf of the Jackson County Farmers Club, which puts on the annual event.

Farm-City Field Day is held on a different farm or farm-related location in Jackson County each year. It’s intended to showcase and demonstrate Jackson County agriculture, agribusinesses and agencies while serving as an instructional and social event for both the local farming community and non-farmers alike.

In his opening remarks, Samples made introductions and explained that the educational concept of Farm-City Field Day is “the opportunity to show what goes on at a farm and where food comes from.” Others making comments included: Andy Nelson, the county director of the Jackson-Vinton-Scioto-Pike Farm Services Agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Jackson Country Farmers Club President Tom Jolly.

Nelson spoke briefly about the federal assistance programs available to farmers and Jolly thanked the Dempseys for hosting the event and Samples for his part in conducting the program. Others introduced included: Danny Barger of the Jackson Soil and Water Conservation District, Jackson County Wildlife Officer Ted Witham, and Jackson County Extension Educator, 4-H Youth Development leader Erin Dailey. Representatives of several businesses or agencies who deal with the farm community also were present with information stations, exhibits and displays.

The Dempsey family has a long history of supporting Farm-City Field Day as family members hosted the very first event in 1962 and have now hosted it in six different years. Daryl Dempsey noted their ancestors came to the area in 1811 before Jackson County was even established and that the farm itself dates all the way back to 1824. Members of mainly the Horton and Dempsey families have owned and operated the farm for eight generations. In past years, the Horton Dale Fruit Farm was operated on the ranch, principally by Daryl’s uncle, Horton Dempsey.

The Triple D name signifies: Daryl; his father, Dale; and Daryl’s son, Dirk, who is now a co-operator of the farm. To symbolize the family’s deep ties to the Triple D Ranch, when Dirk got married last July 9, he and Kristen’s wedding was in a large corn crib on the farm.

Currently, the Triple D Ranch comprises approximately 82 acres and has 200 beef cattle. With all those cattle to feed, hay is considered the farm’s top crop although some thick rows of corn could also be seen in the fields.

Visitors had the opportunity to jump on the back of a hay wagon and see the farm up close with Dempsey and Samples providing the commentary on a tour. Dempsey told about the hay production component of the operation, including baling and storage. He also explained that he utilizes rotational grazing, which means he moves his cattle herds from field to field while keeping some pasture areas totally free of grazing for periods of time. This encourages better stands of grasses for future grazing.

While Triple D Ranch is a very historic farm, the Dempseys employ science and modern methods to maximize their potential success in the agriculture business. Dempsey also related that he takes advantage of government programs which exist to help farmers. For example, he secured a low-interest loan available to livestock producers which provided funding to build a new barn.

In keeping with a Farm-City Field Day tradition, the last order of business was the serving of a roast beef meal with the beef cooked on site. This event proved to be very popular as reportedly 200 meal tickets were sold.