Made in the 956: Valley couple speaks on challenges of operating a farm

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Francisco and Blanca Bermudez are living their retirement dream of owning and operating their very own farm. But running your own farm doesn't come without its set of challenges.

“We started as a hobby,” said Francisco. “I retired and I decided that we needed to continue doing something.”

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The couple owns and operates Don Pancho Farms in Rio Hondo. Francisco says he and his wife come from a family of farmers.

"Mostly sorghum, cotton and corn; those are our main crops,” Francisco said. "Our harvest time is about to start maybe in the next couple of weeks. We'll start farming the corn."

But farming and harvesting these crops isn't always easy.

"Nowadays what's happening that we have is climate change and that’s changed a lot in the way we farm, when we farm," Francisco said. "The other problem has been the cost of the seed, diesel. We can’t find sometimes herbicides and pesticides, and sometimes our fertilizer went up, almost a hundred percent."

And that brings a lot of uncertainty.

"In the end what happens is we don't know how much they're going to pay us for our crop, and at what cost we're able to sell it,” Francisco said. “So, we don't know how much we're going to make this year."

"My message to the people is that, for the farmers, we need to start appreciating what they do,” Francisco continued. “A lot of people think that we make a lot of money. We don't. We survive. We survive for another day and another year."

But it's a labor of love that keeps them going.

"We love to do this, but as long as we can do it, we'll continue to do it," Francisco said. "Just to see a plant grow every day. For us, it's a miracle."

And the best part for them is they've got each other.

"I like to help him and to accompany him to go buy everything," Blanca said in Spanish. "If something happens to the tractor, I help him, too. We go, we're together and what we do, we gladly do it in agriculture."

"She's my backbone," Francisco said. "I couldn't do it without her."

Francisco and Blanca Bermudez and Don Pancho Farms: Made in the 956.


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