MEET THE FARMER: Adam Chappell

An Article from our partners Farmers Footprint

Being on the brink of losing everything will never escape Adam Chappell.

Late one night in 2009, he sank into an empty seat at his kitchen table. About 86 miles northeast of Little Rock, 20 miles southeast of Augusta, sits a plot of land originally home to the Osage tribe, later colonized in 1820, now known as Cotton Plant, Arkansas. The Chappell family has tended their 8,000 acre farm for four generations, but Adam was the first one to face the real possibility that his could be the last.

Most parents yearn for their children to come back home, but when Adam and his brother Seth went off to college, his father told them to not come back. The stressors of farming were becoming more intense, the hard work taxing on both body and spirit, and you had to squint to see the remnants of a vision of a viable future which was getting less clear every day. But despite his dad’s advice, after studying botany and entomology at Arkansas State and University of Arkansas, Adam felt called to come back and quickly realized the farm was in trouble.

Chemical input costs were drowning out the value of countless hours of relentless work.

We were spending well over $100 an acre just to fight pigweed. We were just losing money year over year.”