Proud to be a Heartland Farmer: Donnie Beggs - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Proud to be a Heartland Farmer: Donnie Beggs

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Every October, Beggs opens up three different haunts among other attractions, an idea that started several years ago with a pumpkin patch. Every October, Beggs opens up three different haunts among other attractions, an idea that started several years ago with a pumpkin patch.
Beggs says it's his passion for farming that keeps him going. Beggs says it's his passion for farming that keeps him going.
The historic dry spell helped Beggs harvest about eight million pounds of watermelon. The historic dry spell helped Beggs harvest about eight million pounds of watermelon.
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BLODGETT, MO (KFVS) -

Harsh weather crippled corn and other crops in the Heartland this summer, but it didn't slow down Beggs Family Farm in Blodgett.

That's because Donnie Beggs produces two crops that can take the heat: watermelon, and fear.

The Beggs family has produced watermelons for an astounding 118 years. And this watermelon harvest was pretty good thanks to the drought.

"That's what they like. The hot dry weather and the sandy soil we have here," said Beggs.  "It's perfect growing conditions for them."

The historic dry spell helped Beggs harvest about eight million pounds of watermelon.

But as the growing ends, another season is just beginning at Beggs, the season of fear.

Every October, Beggs opens up three different haunts among other attractions, an idea that started several years ago with a pumpkin patch.

"One year we just decided to see if some school kids would show up," Beggs said.  "So that year we made some phone calls and contacted some local schools and lo and behold 3,500 school kids showed up our very first year."

Now that number has increased to nearly 30,000 visitors every fall.

Beggs Family Farm has activities for the kids, and the frightful sites for adults.

"I'd say now that the entertainment comes before corn and beans," Beggs said.

But growing watermelon still comes first, and Beggs says it's his passion for farming that keeps him going.

"If you weren't an upbeat person that can really handle adversity, you would have never survived the last two years," Beggs said, referring to the flood of 2011 and this summer's drought.

But Beggs and his family did survive the past two years, and the 116 before that, and he hopes his children will farm for many more.

"We're not pressuring any of them to come home, but we're hoping someone will to take on that legacy," Beggs said.

Beggs Family Farm opens the first week of October.

For more information visit beggsfamilyfarm.com or showmefear.com.

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