Mr. And Mrs. Norman Giddens Honored in Bal. Farming Turkey laying hens will be selected from this flock to produce hatching eggs. Mr. & Mrs. Giddens raise 8,000 turkeys a year. Their farmstead includes two new 40 X 20 foot turkey laying houses. Balanced Farming honors for 12 Western Missouri farm families were announced Jan. 10, 1963, by C. B. Ratchford, director of the Cooperative Extension Service at the University of Missouri. Mr. & Mrs. Norman Giddens, Agency, received the honor in Buchanan County. The families will be honored at a luncheon March 6, in Kansas City. Next fall they will receive complimentary trips to the American Royal Livestock and Horse Show. The awards are sponsored by the Kansas City Chamber of Commerce. In December, 15 farm families from Eastern Missouri were honored. Over 10,000 families are using Balanced Farming planning in Missouri. Ratchford said. Balanced Farming is a system of planning and management used by families to make good use of the land, labor, and capital on their farms. Judging was based on progress the family has made in reaching the goals in their Balanced Farming plans. Scoring was determined on plans and progress in these areas: Organization of the farm business and records: livestock, dairy, or poultry production; farmstead arrangement; soil improvement and crop production; and family living. The families were nominated by county University of Missouri Extension Councils. Final judging was done by representatives of business, mass media, and the University of Missouri. Mr. & Mrs. Norman Giddens, Agency, have used Balanced Farming planning to intensify their grain, livestock and turkey farming operation. By combining good management with hard work, they have developed a sound farming system. When the Giddens joined Balanced Farming in 1949 they were faming 380 acres. Their cropping system included 10 acres of corn, 70 acres of oats, 57 acres of wheat, 30 acres of alfalfa and 20 acres of red clover. They had 17 beef cows, 13 litters of hogs and 80 hens. Today they are farming the same 380 and renting another 240 acres. The cropping system has increased to 250 acres of reed grain, 50 acres of wheat and red clover, 50 acres of soy beans, 30 acres of oats and red clover, with the rest in pasture and improved pasture. Their livestock operation now includes 38 beef cows, 60 litters of hogs and 8,000 turkeys. After the laying season the hens are sold. Then the Giddens start raising turkey for the holiday markets. They sell both live and dressed birds. Just before Thanksgiving they dressed and sold 800 turkeys. Hogs are favorites in a barn that has been converted into a central farrowing house. After weaning the pigs are raised on clover or alfalfa pasture. The entire farm in fenced hog tight which permits maximum use of crops. The increased size of the farming operations requires good records. The Giddens now use the University of Missouri's mail in record keeping system. In this way they get electronic business analysis of their farm records. The Giddens have cut down on labor required in feeding the hogs and turkey by adding mechanized equipment,. They have two 250 bushel bins for handling purchased feed. They are arranged so feed can be augured from each at the same time into a grinder mixer feed wagon. Feeders are filled from this wagon. In addition to Mr. And Mrs. Giddens, the farm's labor force consists of two full time hired men. In 1959, the Giddens gained membership in the St. Joseph Balanced Farming Club on the basis of better than average feed conversion record for their turkey and hogs. They also maintain a high fertility level on their land. Much of the farm is terraced and contour farming is used on the unterraced land. They also make heavy use of fertilizer manure and green manure. The Giddens have remodeled and redecorated their seven room farm home. During the past year they landscaped their lawn by removing old shrubbery an making new plantings. The Giddens rate high in community activities. Giddens is chairman of the Farm Bureau livestock committee and chairman of the St. Joseph Balanced Farming Club. Mrs. Giddens was president of the local Extension Club. The Giddens served as 4-H leaders when their two children were in 4-H club work. Both children are now married.