Learning Life’s Values
Growing up on a farm meant long, blissful days spent exploring the outdoors for Daniel. “My dad bought the farm in 1958, and I was born and raised here. Growing up, it was really the idyllic farm life that you read about in novels,” he reminisces. “All the kids wanted to be here. We were always on horseback, in the mountains, in the creek bottoms. Friends regularly stayed overnight, and we coon hunted, we fished, we wrestled goats – typical kid stuff,” he laughs.
His passion for the outdoors only grew, and it didn’t take long for Daniel, the youngest of five children born to Bobby Brad and Gwendolyn Carter, to take to farm life. “All of my best memories are on the farm,” he says. “I was always wanting to be around the animals, to play with them and take care of them.”
His love for animals was evident to his family, who enjoyed nurturing his enthusiasm. “Each Christmas, my present was an animal for the farm,” he recounts. “My favorite Christmas ever, my dad bought me a nanny goat named Barbara. Dad had gotten her from a friend that had named her after his wife, and she had a red bow around her neck. I built an empire with Barbara over the years!” he laughs. “I was definitely an animal kid, and I think my dad was too. He always had an animal in his hands.”
This shared love for animals bonded Daniel and his father; it was days spent working in the fields and feeding cattle that created an environment ripe with opportunity to pass along some of life’s most important tenets. “One of the biggest values I learned from my dad is the importance of taking care of your animals. You have to feed them, check up on them daily, and make sure they have their vaccines,” he explains. “It’s not cheap, and if you’re not willing to put in the work and the resources, you shouldn’t do it. If my dad didn’t think someone would take care of the animals, he wouldn’t sell them to them.”
Today, Daniel and his wife, Rachel, along with their two teenage sons, Ollie and Harry, have about 100 head of cattle, 100 sheep, 10 to 15 laying hens, a couple of roosters, a goose, a llama, a pig, some guinea fowl, horses, peacocks, a few dogs including Daniel’s righthand man and farm dog, Ace, and a turkey – to name a few – which means checking the animals can take some time.
“You can’t do that well if you’re just out a few days a week. It’s gotta be seven days a week,” says Daniel. “But I don’t see it as work. It’s a lifestyle. The moment you start trying to count hours or days, it loses something. It’s not about return on investment. These are just the things you do because they’re your lifestyle, and you love it.”
“I don’t see it as work. These are just the things you do because they’re your lifestyle, and you love it.”