BY JENNY GOLDSBERRY
Cody Wayment is a fourth-generation farmer. His great grandpa, Nephi Wayment, and his son, Edward Jay Wayment, started feeding cattle in 1939. Nephi already had land of his own. Edward Jay would go on to buy 50 acres for $12,000. At first, they had 60 cattle. Back then, cattle cost 25 cents a pound.
Nephi really settled Warren, along with his eight brothers. As his brothers left town, he bought their land. The family built a home, two farmhouses, and two rental properties by the 40s. In his day, they worked the land by hand. All they had was a tractor and a pull-behind (a flatbed trailer). They hand-shoveled the corn silage from the ground and into the cattle’s’ troughs.
Nephi and Edward raised fat steers. They would take those steers to market for beef. At any given time, they had anywhere from 700 to 800 head of fat steers. As a result, they had to grow more corn to feed them. Their first mechanical feed truck didn’t arrive until the 60s. Less than 20 years later, the cattle market crashed. Suddenly, Edward had to borrow money at 13% to buy cattle. Many of his colleagues in the cattle industry went broke. As soon as he got his check in the mail for the cattle he sold, he’d hustle to Salt Lake to cash it because, otherwise, that extra day of 13% interest would cost him a day’s wage. Even then, Edward would only have a paycheck for two to three months a year.
Amidst the tough market, Edward decided to transition industries, and he began raising dairy heifers instead. He hosted and raised them, at times, selling them to local dairy farms. By the time Cody was around eight years old, there were seven dairy farmers in the area. When he was too little to reach the clutch, he hauled hay by hand. He’d line up the bales in the field, pick them off, and stack them on the back of the truck. Even then, he wasn’t quite big enough to pick up the bales, but he could roll them in line.
Next, it came time for Jim, Cody’s father, to transition into taking over the farm. Jim bought some mother cows, which they used to raise baby calves that they sold in the fall. Next, they started feeding other people’s calves. They still had all the farming equipment necessary to raise up calves to become heifers or fat steers.
Today, there is only one dairy farm in the area. Cody can sell calves for $1.70 a pound. Back when his great grandfather started, he was buying them for 25 cents. The family 4250 tractor they bought in 1988 cost them around $40,000, but, today, that same tractor with the same horsepower costs $160,000. Any loans he needs come at about 3% interest. His family farm is about 500 acres, with 50/50 farmland and pasture. They grow 150-200 acres of corn each year and have 300 acres of alfalfa hay, all while renting another 400 acres.
A lot has changed about the farming industry, but it’s come with many benefits. His four kids now understand where their food comes from. The Wayments have an awe-inspiring respect for nature, as they see rainstorms and unsuccessful births cost them hundreds and thousands of dollars. Still, they’re huge advocates for agriculture. His brother-in-law, Ray Smalley, teaches agriculture at Roy High, and his parents remain involved in the Farm Bureau presidency. Together, they have a love for the farming lifestyle in every direction.