Del Rio native Christine Miner did not grow up on a farm. Although she has always been passionate about agriculture, her parents only allowed her to have a dog.
When she was 15, they yielded a little and allowed her to raise some chicks. But she eventually lost them due to predators.
The disheartening experience did not stop Miner. She continued reading about agriculture and learning about it from whoever would teach her. She cleaned horse stalls, worked with horse trainers and trained show animals.
She eventually got an agricultural degree and became a teacher at Del Rio High School. Her chance to raise chickens came again and with a big reward.
“Another teacher hatched eggs in her classroom and had all the birds left. We picked them up and that’s what started our farm,” Miner said. “I was excited.”
Miner and her husband, Billy, have operated Miner Farms for five years. Christine said they started the farm to be a place of education for people that want to learn about agriculture. They have educated many families and students. Miner runs an after school agriculture interest club.
Miner said they teach many agricultural skills including animal first-aid, how to give animals vaccines and how to make animals into food products. The farm has chickens, ducks, geese, rabbits and horses.
Now, they’ve been asked by their landowner to vacate because he has other plans for the property. The Miners are at risk of losing their farm.
“If we can’t find a place that will house all the animals, then we’ll have to dissolve the farm,” Miner said. “That’s what we’re up against right now.”
Miner said the animals would get either processed into food or sold — thwarting the progress they’ve made and their dream of becoming a self-sufficient farm.
They eventually want a research-type homestead where they can teach even more skills including how to make milk products, how to plant and fertilize gardens and how to sheer sheep to use their wool for clothing.
For now, those dreams are on hold as they await a response from a potential property they want. Until that time, the Miners are still welcoming people to their farm — educating them and sharing their passion.
“We want to give the full experience to anybody that wants it,” Miner said. “It’s great to live it but it’s even better to share it.”
Miner Farm is open to the public and visits can be scheduled on their Facebook page. Search “Miner Del Rio” to find page.