Jimmy Stephens was born into a family that gave him two dreams. One of those dreams, or passions, as Jimmy called it, stemmed from riding around in the pickup truck with his grandfather when he was a young boy, while he checked cattle. The other dream stemmed from an uncle that worked in law enforcement. Jimmy started working in law enforcement first, by becoming an Arkansas State Trooper, but he still had a longing to have a ranch of his own. So, in 1995, Jimmy bought a ranch just off of I-40 Interstate, with a creek running through it. He raises registered Black Angus and Brangus cattle, and has built a working barn and pens along with a dog kennel for his Catahoula cow dogs.
“I feed good quality hay in the winter, and my place has a lot of natural winter grasses that grow on it. We keep salt and mineral out year around, they also have fresh water available at all times. Blair Griffin comes out and soil tests for us, and then we add whatever those sections need. We add chicken litter about every two years,” said Jimmy.
“We also reserve a certain section of our pasture for hay only. We have a few registered Quarter Horses, so we rotate every six months depending on what shape the pasture is in. I rotate my bulls about every three years, for no other reason than I have good success doing it this way,” Jimmy explained.
Jimmy said he used to feed some of his calves out, and send them to the markets in Texas, but didn’t like the lack of control he had on selling. He now uses the I-40 sale barn in Ozark. “Kent Reading is a real good friend of mine. He sets a price in, and if you don’t get a bid from the audience, then the barn buys the cattle. I keep my best heifers back, but not as many as I used to, because I get impatient with waiting, so I usually go and find me a lot of heifers, or young cows that are already fixing to calve.”
The cost of the fuel, feed and fertilizer, or the three F’s, as Jimmy calls them, definitely affects how a ranch operates. The places Jimmy sees he should cut back involve fixing up the ranch. “I put the money back in the quality of my cattle, and my horses,” said Jimmy. “I also think the beef industry will be doing good in a couple of years, I just read some statistics that said 2010 will be better than it was in 2009,” he quoted.
Jimmy’s love for the ag industry is matched only by his dedication to serve and protect as an officer of the law. And then, sometimes, those two areas of his life have a chance to meet.   
“I had a funny, but humiliating incident happen to me,” said Jimmy, with a sheepish grin. “I was a state trooper in Johnson County, Arkansas, at this time. I had pulled a bull hauler over for speeding, and I was fixing to give this driver a stern talking to for driving too fast. I was walking over close to the trailer to stay out of traffic’s way. I was about three quarters of the way (up the trailer) when it happened. I was completely covered on my right side in cow manure! I made an immediate 180, and I must have not been thinking, because I got almost to the rear, when it happened again, splat! I was covered again on my left side. I proceeded to the trunk to get my raincoat out, and laid it on the front seat of my patrol car. As I sat down, I heard the driver belly laughing so hard he was in tears. I glanced up in the rear view mirror, and I had to laugh. After that, I thought twice about stopping a cattle truck.”
Jimmy is a member of the National Cattlemen’s Association, the Arkansas Cattlemen’s Association and the Johnson County Cattlemen’s Association. He also is a member of the American Quarter Horse Association.
Jimmy summed up his realized life-long dream, simply. “I love ranching,” he smiled.


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