Rob Warren and his wife Laurel with their three children, five-year-old twins, Aiden and Adyson, and 11-month-old Hudson Hayes, along with their Jack Russel Terrier named Ellie, live on and operate a farm southeast of Seminole.
Rob is the son of Jackie and Jean Warren who have farmed in Gaines County for a number of years. Rob was born in the Lubbock hospital but his family lived in Lamesa where he attended school through 12th grade and graduated in 1996. After high school he attended Texas A & M University. He received his Bachelor's Degree in Ag Development.
He was planning to go to graduate school in Real Estate Development, but right after taking his GRE test to get into grad school he got a call from his mother which changed his plans. His dad had fallen and cracked his pelvis and broke his arm badly. He was on his way to the hospital. His dad is a farmer and this happened during planting season. His dad would be in a wheelchair for a couple of months, and laid up for a long time and they needed Rob to help out on the farm. Thankfully, his dad has fully recovered from the accident.
But Rob's plans were postponed for at least a year, (he thought). After the year was out and his dad was up and going again, two of Rob's great uncles had decided to retire from farming and gave Rob an opportunity to rent quite a bit of land.
He had really enjoyed farming so he decided to take the offer and begin farming on his own. He has now been farming the land for 13 years. He has 5,200 acres of dry land where he hopes to raise a cotton crop after a couple of years of drought. With the rains we have been having he has to stay busy with the scratcher to keep the blowing sand from cutting down his young crop. He also has 660 acres on which he farms organic peanuts and organic wheat.
The 660 acres had been in CRP for more than three years when he took it over and had not had any weed or bug spray or commercial fertilizer used on it. Thus qualified to be used for organic crops.
This land is irrigated, and for fertilizer he uses organic compost and liquid fish Hydrolysate. As soon as his wheat crop comes out he will replace it with organic milo.
Rob says organic farming is a higher management crop, meaning it takes more work than non organic crops. He tries to use irrigation practices which conserve water, (he uses more efficient nozzles, and only waters when necessary). He said, "Organic farming is not as easy as it sounds. It takes a lot of management and lots and lots of record keeping and paperwork. And, lots of headaches.
When they first moved onto their farm they killed six or seven rattlesnakes near the house. A friend had a Jack Russel Terrier dog which was aggressive toward snakes and kept them driven away from their house, so Rob got himself a Jack Russel Terrier, and named her Ellie. It wasn't long until a little rattler came along and Ellie went up to sniff it and got bit on the nose. She was pretty swollen and sick for a while, and afterwards she would not go near a snake. But Ellie has a unique habit. She likes to catch catfish.
There is a pond on their farm stocked with fish. Ellie goes there often in the warm weather to bathe and cool off. When she is hungry, or just craving some action, and a catfish swims by she pounces on it. She pays no attention to any other kind of fish, but she goes after a catfish. She will dive to the bottom of the pond to grab it in her teeth and bring it to the surface.
Ellie isn't very big, and she often gets ahold of a fish bigger than herself. This is when the battle occurs. Ellie will not give up. She dives to the bottom, grabs the fish and hurries to the surface. She comes up gasping for air and the fish takes advantage of the situation and breaks away and dives again. Ellie goes after it until she is able to get it out of the water.
Rob was watching one of the first times Ellie went cat fishing. She caught a fish which was bigger than she and the diving and surfacing war began! Rob was afraid Ellie was about to drown. She was getting exhausted, but wouldn't give up. He waded out in the water and when she surfaced with the big fish he grabbed her by the collar and tossed her out onto the bank. The fish got away and Ellie was so mad at Rob she wouldn't look at him and didn't come back to the house for several days! Rob finally had to go and get her and bring her back.
Rob said, "Every few days I will smell a decaying fish and find a partially eaten catfish where Ellie has done her thing."
Laurel was born and raised in Welch. She attended school in Dawson Independent School District in Welch. She is the daughter of Keith and Melany Hayes. She graduated from Dawson in 2000 and went to college at Lubbock Christian University.
The Warren's go to the First Baptist Church.
As far as hobbies go, Rob said he used to love to go hunting and fishing and they both like camping.
Rob says fly fishing is his favorite form of fishing. He used to be in a group at Lamesa who had shirts alike which read, "Lamesa Fly Fishers: Quality Fly Fishing, 600 miles in any direction." He is fortunate now when he is so busy with farming he has a dog to do his fishing for him.
Laurel's hobbies are cooking and decorating and spending time with their children. Rob says she is an excellent cook.
Rob's dry land crops had suffered greatly from the drought, but were looking promising this year, but when the rain finally came just recently it washed out quite a bit of his crop. He is working diligently to recover.