The Brackin family moved all the way from having Hollywood in their backyard in Burbank California to having cattle in their backyard in Henderson.

Husband and wife, Stewart and Mandy Brackin moved their family here in January 2018 to start a farm and live in the Bible Belt. Also in search for a Christian community, their son Connor started attending college at Freed-Hardeman University the same year.

Their other children are 17-year-old Ethan and 9-year-old Abby. Mandy wishes that they moved into a rural area while her kids were younger.

“We always wanted to be on a farm and move to a rural area,” Stewart said. “We could have chose anywhere, but we chose Tennessee for the churches.”

Before they made the move, they did a lot of research on agriculture and luckily they were given the contact information of the UT Extension office and found help with starting a farm from UT Extension agent Steve Rickman.

Rickman enjoyed teaching them everything about agriculture and how to take care of the animals they decided to have which are 12 chickens, four cows, two donkeys, and a bull.

“The fun thing about my job is being able to help people I can educate and see the results,” he said. “I like to work with them because they were willing to take it slow.”

Stewart appreciated how Rickman helped them.

“I liked how he started with research and added was able to add a lot of experience,” he said.

“We literally couldn’t have done it without him,” Stewart said.

“We were going to have to wing it,” Mandy said.

Now the family enjoys farming and taking care of the animals.

“It’s just rewarding watching the calves grow,” Stewart said.

“I feel like you’re living the dream,” Mandy said.