Chris Tarter uses farming as a stress-reliever, although sometimes farming in-and-of itself isn’t always problem-free.  Like many farmers, Chris can’t remember a time in his life when farming wasn’t a part of the everyday routine.  “I used to dairy, but I was offered a full-time position with the United State Postal Service, so we relocated and began the beef farm,” said Chris.
Through years of hard work, the Tarters have developed a quality Angus operation that they can be proud of.  When they started their beef farm, they began their herd with Herefords and commercial Angus.  “A friend tipped me off to a good registered Angus bull, and we started going in that direction,” said Chris.  Now the Tarters have only registered Angus on their Stone County farm.  
Chris and Debbie like the results their Angus cattle have produced.  “I like the challenge of working with a pedigree and figuring out the right matches to breed better cows every year,” said Chris, who has done his own AI for almost 25 years.  One tool the Tarters have found useful are CIDR progesterone inserts that help regulate timing and make synchronization easier.  “Even in years where we haven’t used CIDR inserts, we’ve been able to achieve a success rate of 75 to 80 percent,” said Chris.  “It’s also really important for us to look at our donors and see that they have proven results and will improve our herd before we think about using them,” said Chris.
The Tarters like their Angus because of the relative ease with which they are cared for.  They’ve set up a rotational grazing pattern that moves their cattle across four different paddocks on their 78 acres during the summer.  “I can move the cattle once every week to 10 days and they have sufficient grass.  It’s not a really technical system, but it gives our cattle one week on a field, and then gives the field three weeks to replenish.  It’s working for us so far,” said Chris.  During the winter, the Tarters feed the fescue and orchard grass hay they’ve put up throughout the year and grain.  “What you see is what you get with our animals,” said Debbie.   
Chris and Debbie have also worked hard to make farming a family activity.  Their son, Andrew, has a big role in helping out on the farm, and raises a small herd of his own.  They are quick to point out that he’s learned a lot from his Galena FFA teacher, Robin Farmer, who has encouraged Andrew to work toward his American FFA Degree.  Their daughter, Alicia, has also gotten involved in the farm.  This year she’s taken on two FFA projects—raising an Angus heifer, and raising three hogs.  
More than anything, the Tarters have found farming to be a way to get away from life’s stresses and enjoy time as a family.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here