An open letter to Mr. David Ward, owner of Valley Oaks Steaks,

I would like to invite you, Tony, Clayton and your families to build and reside in our community, where you have plans to expand your Valley Oaks Steaks operation. The land you own, abuts NW 800 Road and would be an ideal home building site.

Members of this community have created a wonderful area in which to reside. The area residents came together, chipped in money and joined with the county in order to have our roads hard surfaced. Here, our residents walk their dogs, exercise, rehabilitate from health crises, bike, and run while training for marathons. Several of our residents ride motorcycles and greatly appreciate our well-maintained roads. Last year, one neighbor started a veggie stand with homegrown produce. Another neighbor also hosts our Hick City yearly gathering of neighbors at the ice cream social, where we would welcome you to our special community.

I personally have attended several NRCS seminars in soil and water conservation. The brothers that farm our row crop ground have helped. We built terraces, planted cover crops and used no-till practices in an effort to make the soil more fertile, taking in water faster with less runoff. This is an effort to pass on more productive soils to yours and my future generations.

I am a farmer as were my ancestors who settled our farm in this area, which is a Centennial Farm. I have resided on this farm my entire life. I have been married for 48 years this November and we have 3 married children and 9 grandchildren. The oldest grandchildren have made a path through the woods to our home and what a great feeling to see them coming. They love to go fishing, ride 4-wheelers/go-carts, ride horses, work with the skid-steer, ride tractors and help Papa feed the cows and move hay. Outside activities along with actively participating in sports and school/community activities. Our grandchildren attend the Oak Grove R-6 School District where they are very active along with our two daughters-in-law being faculty members at Oak Grove R-6.

As you can see I feel you and your family would have much enjoyment as part of our community as I know you do have grandchildren who would enjoy the benefits of our country living also.

Life-Long Resident Farmer, Jack Wilkinson