About Caywood Farms
Caywood Farms is a fourth-generation, family-operated farming business located near Casa Grande, Arizona. In addition to the production of cotton and forage crops, our family also runs cotton farm tours on a seasonal basis.
Introducing the People Behind our Operations
Please click the tabs below to read the individual bios.
Nancy Caywood Robertson (3rd Generation)
Nancy is a 3rd generation member of Caywood Farms. She graduated from Casa Grande Union High School and eventually earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Elementary Education from Arizona State University. After teaching 1st and 2nd Grades for the Casa Grande Elementary School, she continued her studies at the University of Arizona where she earned a Master’s Degree in Agricultural Education.
In 2001, Nancy moved to El Centro, California where she accepted a position with the University of California, Agricultural and Natural Resources Division. She lived and worked at the UC Desert Research and Extension Center where she created the FARM SMART Program, an agricultural literacy program that reaches out to learners of all ages teaching them about agriculture, where food comes from and what it takes to get it from the field to our tables.
In 2011, Nancy began Caywood Farm Tours on a limited schedule. After retiring from the University of California, Caywood Farm Tours took first stage. Through many hard hours of planning and development, we are up and running and can offer tours to schools as well as cotton tours for our Winter Visitors. As a fiddler player, Nancy can offer unique programs by incorporating music into the tours.
In October of 2014, Nancy was one of 15 Women in the United States who was selected to attend the American Farm Bureau Federation Women’s Communication Boot Camp in Washington, D.C. This intense 4 day workshop prepared her to be a strong advocate for Agriculture. Ready for the challenge, Nancy is ready to speak up in behalf of agriculture.
Tom (Tommy) Caywood (2nd generation)
Tom Caywood was born in Globe, Arizona in 1922. His family relocated to Casa Grande and he grew up on Caywood Farms learning to farm alongside his stepdad, Lewis Storey (1st Generation and original owner of Storey Brothers Farms, later renamed Caywood Farms). After graduating from Casa Grande Union High School, he continued his education at the University of Arizona. He attended classes for two years until WWII. He served his country in the Navy aboard the U.S.S. Cimarron (Tanker) as a Storekeeper.
He returned to Casa Grande after the war and helped on the farm. With the help of his dad, he purchased land near Stanfield (west of Casa Grande) where he began his farming career. In 1947, he met and married Sammie (Darr) Caywood and together they raised three children, Jim, Nancy and Patty. He sold his land in 1980 and planned to retire.
But he never really retired! He continued serving on many Agriculture related boards including the West Pinal County Natural Resource Conservation District, Electrical District #1 (founder and first president), Maricopa-Stanfield Irrigation District, Arizona Power Authority, Arizona Agri-Business Council, Government Affairs Committee, the Casa Grande Industrial Development Authority and the 11-mile Corner Gin Board just to name a few. Grandson, Travis Hartman, wanted to farm so Grandpa (Tom Caywood) never really retired but instead helped Travis get his farming career up and going at the 11- Mile Corner Farm.
Tom Caywood has won numerous awards. Most recently, he was inducted into the Arizona Farming and Ranching Hall of Fame. At age 92, Tommy still drives out to his farm at 11-mile Corner every day where he continues to give his expert advice and lend a hand when it comes to working on equipment.
Sammie Darr Caywood
Sammie was born in Casa Grande in 1926. Her father worked for the railroad and settled in Casa Grande where she and her three siblings attended school. She married Tom Caywood in 1947 and raised her three children, Jim, Nancy and Patty.
Sammie loved big gardens at the farm. Tom and Sammie would plant the garden each year, but it was Sammie who would harvest the produce and she canned, froze and preserved everything. She continues to garden on a smaller scale and she still cans, freezes and preserves her harvest. An excellent cook, Sammie is always ready to prepare large family meals and host gatherings at her house.
Sammie always encourage her kids to be active in whatever interested them. She and Tommy always taught them to pursue their dreams. She taught 4-H and was active with the Pinal County Fair.
In the 1960’s, Sammie realized the need for a Humane Society in Casa Grande and she followed that passion by becoming the 1st President. During her reign as President, she saved the lives of many animals including dogs, cats, horses, tortoises and even a ring-tailed cat and an eagle. She worked diligently to get a shelter built in Casa Grande. The Humane Society of Casa Grande is still active to date thanks to Sammie’s early efforts.
Sammie was also very active with the Casa Grande Valley Historical Society. For many years, she ran the gift store. She was responsible for inventory, preparing budgets, buying merchandise and then selling it.
Sammie is so encouraging and supportive of the farm tours on Caywood Farms. She makes many of the door prizes, helps maintain inventory and maintain supplies, takes registration and helps with hand-outs distribution. She also prepares for children’s programs, by packaging program materials and supplies.
Travis Hartman (4th Generation)
Travis was born and raised in Casa Grande and graduated from Casa Grande Union High School in 1999. Always interested in farming and firefighting, he pursued both of these interests. At age 11, Travis learned to drive tractors and began doing farm work on Caywood Farms. His grandfather, Tom Caywood, was his “College of Agriculture,” teaching him the farming business.
At age 12, he was operating cotton module builders and driving cotton pickers for Wade Whatley, a farmer and neighbor. By age 14, Travis was driving combines for a commercial combine company, harvesting wheat throughout Pinal County.
During his years at Casa Grande Union High School, Travis was active in FFA. He raised pigs, a steer and he restored a 1947 Minneapolis Moline that placed 5th at the National FFA Convention in 1999. The tractor belongs to Tom and Sammie Caywood and was in need of restoration. It is used to pull trailers for hayrides at Caywood Farm Tours.
While in high school, Travis worked for the USDA checking insect traps in the field. He also worked for the USDA Water Lab and the University of Arizona Maricopa Agricultural Center doing seasonal work.
After graduating from high school, Travis drove fertilizer trucks for Fertizona and took classes at Central Arizona College. He became a Firefighter and EMT and became employed by the Eloy Fire Department where he continued his education and became a Paramedic and is now a Captain for his shift. He also earned an Associates Degree in Science from Central Arizona College.
A full-time Captain, Firefighter and Paramedic, Travis also farms cotton. He is married to Amanda and together they have two children Hannah and Tommy.
Married to Travis Hartman
Mandy graduated from Casa Grande Union High School. During high school, Mandy was very active in the FFA Program serving on committees, held officer positions and raised animals for the fair. Upon graduation, she served as Secretary for the Arizona State FFA Club. She attended Central Arizona College graduating with an Associates Degree in Science.
Mandy currently works with the FFA Program at Casa Grande Union High School. She is very actively involved with her children Hannah and Tommy and encourages them to achieve their dreams.
Al grew up in New York and Michigan. Upon graduation from Michigan State University with a degree in Business, he joined the Navy and began his career in Aviation. He was a Navy Pilot flying E2’s and served in the Navy Reserves after five years of active duty. He continued his flying career as a “Freight Dog” flying freight around the United States and Canada. He began flying commercial passenger planes in 1990 for America West, Morris Air and finally Southwest Airlines.
After retiring from Southwest Airlines, he became very active with the FARM SMART Program where he volunteered many hours helping Nancy. He and Nancy grew FARM SMART into a program that reaches approximately 10,000 learners a year. During his time in El Centro, Al was hired by the University of California to research and write a history on the Desert Research and Extension Center. This 1 ½ year project was published and distributed at the Centennial Celebration of the research farm in 2012 and has become a part of the history of the University of California.
Al writes and sings songs that relate to many areas of agriculture and occasionally performs them with Nancy at programs. He is a talented wood worker who can design and create program props. He is also an excellent educator. Together, Al and Nancy, continually brainstorm ideas and create curriculum that will be valuable to schools and the community.