As would be expected of sons of an Ole Miss lawyer, legislator, postmaster, history buff, and farmer, Colin Collins and David Collins dutifully attended their father’s alma mater — Colin earning a degree in education, and David a degree in chemistry.

But they became neither educator nor scientist.

Instead, both answered the call of the land, returning to the Union County, Miss., farm that has been in their family for generations, harking back to their ancestor, William Bridges, who came here from Kentucky in a covered wagon in the 1830s when the area first opened for settlement, and began farming the bottom lands adjacent to the Tallahatchie River.

“I’d grown up in farming,” says Colin, the elder brother. “Our father, William Collins, had me on a tractor when I was eight or nine years old. So, when it came time to choose a livelihood, I chose farming over teaching. This is all I wanted to do.”

David actually had a go at putting his chemistry degree to use in the corporate world, taking a job with Dow Chemical at Baton Rouge. “It wasn’t for me,” he says. “It didn’t take me long to come home. From an economic standpoint, it probably wasn’t the wisest decision I ever made [he smiles], but I’ve never regretted it.”

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Today, along with Colin’s son Clay (Ole Miss also, business management degree), they have a 1,500 acre soybean operation and timber land, and in the best Jeffersonian tradition, lead lives of myriad interests, community service, neighborliness, independence, and self-sufficiency.

“We’re just country farmers,” David modestly avers as he settles his 6 foot 6 frame into a chair in their shop on a late April morning after tornadoes have raked the state and rains have idled their planting start by perhaps another week [planting actually began  May 5]. “I can’t imagine there’s anything about us that would be of interest to anyone.”

Colin smiles, nods in agreement.