In Town: “I am an ultrasound technologist for CoxHealth in Springfield, Mo., at the hospital and outpatient centers,” said Josh. “I work four 10-hour shifts each week. Having an extra day off during the week works well for getting stuff accomplished on the farm.”
In the Country: “I grew up on a farm and realized it was something I wanted to stick with. I ran a few cows through college for extra income, since graduation I have really expanded my herd,” added Josh.
Josh rents several hundred acres and recently purchased his own farm in Marshfield, Mo. Josh currently runs about 60 momma cows with a spring calving herd. “My dad and I rent a farm together,” shared Josh. “He runs a fall calving herd, which works out well in sharing bulls. We tend to stick to Angus bulls, we recently used a Charolais bull on our mature cows for added growth for two seasons. I’m going back to Angus next year so that my calves from each farm’s herd will be more uniform in color.”
To add value to his calves Josh vaccinates and weans for at least 45-days depending on the market and gains on grass in the fall. “I do whatever I can to add value. I often sell in value-added sales and will sell my calves in bigger lots if I can.”
Pasture management is also important. Josh stocks light to keep from overgrazing and to limit the amount of hay needed. “I usually only feed hay for 10 weeks during the winter,” said Josh.
EQIP Program: After purchasing the farm in Marshfield, Josh became involved with the EQIP Program. “I chose to sign up for EQIP because this farm didn’t have enough fences or water sources. I had a few people give me positive feedback about using EQIP as far as increasing stocking rates and managing grazing. I went to my local agent and ended up qualifying as a beginning farmer. They’ve been a lot of help as far as advice and support,” explained Josh.
This is Josh’s first year using EQIP. The plan included a 3-year installation schedule on a 10-year contract. He continued, “Our first step was waterers. I spent about two weeks putting in combine tire waterers. I’ve had good luck with them and they were easy to install. The next step is cross-fencing. The goal is to have even sized pastures for uniformed grazing.”
Balancing Everything: “I try to macro manage instead of micro manage. I plan ahead on the projects or jobs that need to be completed so when I arrive on the farm I am ready to work,” concluded Josh.