MATHESON, Colo. — It takes courage and grit to start a farm in Colorado. It takes all that and more to uproot your family’s life in the city and start a farm in the middle of a pandemic.
For most of his life, Terrance Boyd has lived just a short drive away from a grocery store where all his food needs could be met.
“It’s different when you're used to going to a store and seeing products, any kind of product you want, 20 different ketchups or 10 different mustards,” Boyd said. “You don't know where the food came from. You don't know how long it took to grow it.”
However, when the pandemic hit and store shelves were empty, Boyd began thinking hard about how he can better provide for his family.
“I just wanted to be able to provide for my family just like any other man would want to do for their family. So that's what prompted me to look into agriculture,” Boyd said.
So, while so many other businesses were closing during the pandemic, Boyd decided to buy several acres of land in Matheson and start a homestead.
At first, the only goal of Wild Boyd Farm was to provide food for his family.
Eventually, though, he started selling the food to neighbors to help curb some of the increasing food costs they were facing, and the operation has been expanding ever since.
“When you take on any new adventures, there's always the doubt. You know, can you do it? And you can do it,” Boyd said.
It’s not just the "why" and the "when" that makes this story unique. Boyd is one of the only black farmers in the area and starting at a time when minority farm owners are on the decline nationwide.
A study recently released by McKinsey & Company found a steep decline over the past century of black farmers. Today, just 1.4 % of farmers identify as black or mixed-race compared to 14% last century.
Here in Matheson, though, Boyd isn’t on his own. When the little farm got started, an entire community of farmers and ranchers rallied around them, offering advice, helping put in fence posts, and supporting their newest neighbor.
“If you try and we see anybody trying, everybody wants to help,” said Kathleen Stice.
Cliff and Kathleen Stice came to know their new neighbors when Boyd approached them to buy some cattle.
At first, the couple thought he was a little crazy to be starting a farm in the middle of a pandemic and with such little experience.
Since then, the couple has become Boyd’s de factor mentors.
“We're just so happy to see him here, a young man trying to start a new business, and we certainly hope he succeeds,” Kathleen Stice said.
Boyd knows he’s trying to defy the odds. He’s trying to set a good example for his daughters and provide the community with priced, fresh food.
There have been challenges: the farm is keeping its animal inventory low during the winter because of the high prices of hay and alfalfa currently. They’re hoping to stock up on animals again in the spring.
He hopes other minorities will see that it is possible to farm and will consider trying it out for themselves.
“You don't get rich in farming. You do it because you love it. You know, everyone here does it because they love it,” he said.
There’s a fresh blanket of snow around Wild Boyd Farm. Even during the winter, there’s a lot of work to be done if this farm is going to defy the odds to become a success.