Hometown: Mansfield, Mo.
In Town: Taylor Short is employed at DOCO, Inc., Sheltered Workshop in Ava, Mo., where she aids and mentors persons with disabilities. DOCO provides meaningful employment for disabled citizens in Ava and the Douglas County, Mo., area.
Taylor said the workshop has various operations, including aluminum recycling and up-cycled holiday décor items.
“It’s really a fun place to work,” Taylor said.
In the Country: Taylor is a fifth-generation cattle producer in Wright County, Mo., and a third-generation Angus breeder.
“Raising cattle is a part of my family,” she said. “They say family farms are dying out, and I feel blessed we still have a family farm. From an early age, it taught me hard work and responsibility. Some of my best memories are from growing up on a farm. We’ve pretty much been on the same land, in some way or form, for generations.”
Taylor, along with her parents Tim and Payree, have a mixture of commercial and registered Angus.
“I showed in junior shows until I aged out, and we haven’t gotten into the open shows,” Taylor said. “If there were any 4-H or FFA members out there who are interested, we would help them get into showing.”
Retired from the Missouri Department of Conservation, Tim has taken on the role of a full-time cattleman. Payree, a retired teacher, obtained a bachelor’s of science in nursing. She does some substitute nursing and also works at Ozarks Community Technical College one day a week.
The Shorts retain their heifers for their breeding program. Some bulls are also retained or marketed as herd sires. Other calves are sold at about 600 to 700 pounds.
All breeding is done through AI, performed by Tim, followed by clean up bulls.
“The AI works really well for us,” Taylor said, adding that the AI program has been in place for several years. “We can diversify our genetics, and we have gotten some really good heifers. We’ve also gotten some not-so-good heifers; we’ve seen the best and the worse with AI.”
Taylor would like to reduce the herd size a little in the future but stick with the Angus breed.
“I just like the Angus breed, they are pretty and they have done well for our family,” she said. “We’re looking reducing numbers to give everyone a little more freedom and have a herd that’s a little more manageable. When Dad’s gone somewhere, it never fails that they will go right through a fence.”
She would also like to diversify the family farm into new areas.
“I would like to get our meat inspected and sell at farmers markets and even get into some agritourism. I have always wanted to have a pumpkin patch in the fall.”