Henry family keeps traditional ways in steadily growing cattle industry

If you’re looking for a traditional cattle operation with a little bit of uniqueness to it, look no further than Mt. Vernon, Ark. This is the home of Jerry Henry, his family, horses and cattle business.
Jerry got his start in the cattle business at a young age when his father would take him to the local sale barn to buy his own cattle. It didn’t take long before Jerry, even at a young age, was treated as one of the guys at the sale barn and started building his cattle business. He steadily built himself a living in the cattle business and has passed his knowledge and love for the business onto his son.
Jerry’s operation is traditional in almost every sense of the word. Work on the Henry ranch starts at 6 a.m. sharp everyday and continues long after most people are calling it a day. Jerry himself oversees the management, buying, selling and hauling of the cattle while his son Jace, and daughter-in-law Kalyn, are in charge of the doctoring and caring for the cattle and horses on the ranch. Kalyn has also recently started doing the book work for the operation. The operation consists of 750 acres owned by the Henry family and they currently have approximately 1,200 calves, 200 momma cows and 20-25 horses on their place.
Jerry leaves all the horse work and training to his son and daughter-in-law and keeps his focus on the cattle side of the business. All the cattle work on the ranch is done by horseback and it’s not looking like that will be changing any time soon. The Henry’s feel like they can best work their cattle and their operation from the saddle. In sticking with traditional ways Jerry’s best piece of advice for beginning ranchers is to “have a cash flow and to take care of your equipment.” These have been two instrumental pieces of advice in keeping the Henry cattle business operating.
While Jerry sells calves in local sale barns, most of the Henrys’ calves are sold through the Joplin, Mo., sale barn via video. Jerry has been selling his calves this way for many years and said, “It’s a great way to get calves sold and keep operating expenses down.”
As a secondary part of their cattle operation, they also run a pre-conditioning yard for a ranch in Colorado. The cattle are purchased from sale barns in eastern states and then shipped to the farm. The cattle are kept on the Henry ranch for approximately 45 to 50 days for weight gain, vaccinations and any doctoring that needs to be done. At the end of their stay at the Henry Ranch the cattle are then shipped on to a feed yard in Colorado.
The Henry farm continues many traditional ways, but understands the farm must also adapt to today’s industry.


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