At 98 years old, James “Eldred” McKinney may be the oldest surviving Madera County Senior Farmer, but his attitude is as spry as ever.
It was a mere four years ago that McKinney stopped operating the 3,600-acre cattle ranch near Avenue 15 and Road 36 that won him the award in 1990.
“I just got too damn old,” McKinney said with a smile.
McKinney’s son Don, the current manager of the ranch, said that wasn’t entirely true. “Farmers never really retire,” Don McKinney said. “We go out there every week and he tells me what to do. He’s still the boss. I don’t care what he says.” ...