Name: Mike Fountain
In Town: “I work 30 hours per week at Fountain Home Center, in Harrison, Ark. I sell on the floor and help manage the family business.”
At the Farm: “I run commercial beef cattle, (in Boone County) cut fescue seed in the summertime and I am an area beef representative for Genex that encompasses seven counties in Arkansas.”
Family: Wife: Pollyanna; Daughters: Sarah, Katie, Jessica, Carolyn, Clarice
Why have you chosen to farm, as well as work at the store?
“I guess I was working at the store as an occupation. I got interested in some of the aspects of raising better beef and artificial breeding through Mr. Joe Dearing. Pollyanna and I rented a house from him, and when he came out to breed cattle, I got to watching and helping him. I like both of my jobs. It probably takes both to make a living. I would hate to give either one of them up.”
How do your job in town and work at the farm compliment each other?
“(Farming) has made me more aware of seasonal adjustments. You have certain things that sell in season at the store, and there are always seasonal adjustments on the farm. You also have to be more efficient on the farm to get things done.
"Dad is real good about giving me gracious hours. This time of year when we are inseminating lots of cows, I’ll take a couple three weeks off. In the summertime, I get off at 5:30 p.m. and I can still do some bush hogging and fence fixing.”
What advice do you have for others farming and working in town?
“You need to enjoy both. If you can position your life to do things you enjoy, it makes it less stressful. Specifically, I would say to search out aspects of farming that would fit into their town job, or find a town job that fits into their farming schedule. Have some flexibility in both places. I’ve been fortunate that Dad allows me that flexibility.”
“I would like to mention the help and support that I’ve had from Pollyanna, my dad and Joe Dearing. If it wasn’t for these three, it would not be possible. It’s also nice to have a lot of friends who will cover for me if I need it, and I will do the same for them.”
By JoAnne Rowland