Charles Hatfield had his first taste of raising cattle from his father. He had his first calf of his very own at age seven. “I had Angus ever since high school,” he said. “In 1980 or 1981, we started switching over to Brangus. We didn’t sell our Angus cows and then buy back,” Charles said. “We just put three quarter Brangus bulls on them and then in one cross we had Brangus. It took me about ten years to get my uniformity back.”
Through selective breeding and culling, Charles got the look he wanted in his herd. Charles says every cattleman has his preference for his specific breed. He likes Brangus for several reasons. “Brangus are really good momma cows. Their life expectancy is a little longer. They produce longer,” he said.
Charles said he recommends breeding your own replacement cattle. “You just can’t buy someone else’s cattle. You can go to a dispersal sale, pick out the cattle you want and two years later you may have one or two left,” he said.  “Sometimes, they just don’t work out.”   He got lucky around eight years ago. A cattleman who bought one of his cows was having a dispersal sale. Charles was able to trace a cow he had sold as a first calf heifer to a farm in Rosebud, Ark.
The rancher having the dispersal sale had bred most of his cows just like Charles. “He had a record for every cow he had. I was able to purchase her and five of her daughters,” he said. That cow is now 17 and still having calves. “Some of them are still having calves as old as 18 or 20,” he continued.
Charles went to Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Okla., to become a veterinarian after graduation from high school.
“This practice became available in Bentonville, Ark., and I decided to buy it,” Charles said. “I practiced veterinary medicine for 35 years.” He bought his farm in 1973. “I moved out here in 1980,” he said. He started with 120 acres, but sold a portion retaining 86 acres. He also leases additional acreage in Bentonville and Siloam Springs, Ark., to accommodate his 150 cows.  “All the cows are here and across the street now,” he said. “Some of the cows will stay here until they calve and then they and the heifers will go to Siloam Springs to be bred. I’ll sell some of them as cow calf pairs.”
Charles sells about 30 bulls a year. He currently has three big bulls and has 28 bulls that will be ready to go this summer with a total of 48 bulls.
Development in Bentonville near Charles’ veterinary clinic caused him to relocate his clinic. “We were two years  a five year plan toward phasing out, when we were looking at a design build deal and just decided to quit,” Charles said.  “Things were just not working. It was just like a big weight had been lifted off.”
In addition to being a veterinarian and cattleman, Charles is an entrepreneur, having patented a leash and collar combination made of nylon which locks down to fit any animal. He has marketed it through Wal-Mart since 1987. He also has an adjustable collar he has been selling in four sizes since 1991.
Charles also has four generations of labrador retrievers. Ace and Jack are the first ones to the truck when Charles heads to the field to check his cattle. 


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