In Town: “I have been working for Sho-Me Power Electrical Cooperative in Marshfield, Mo., for 21 years now. The first nine years working for Sho-Me I was a lineman and then I started working as a substation mechanic. As a substation mechanic I drive around to different substations in Missouri, and prepare routine preventative maintenance on transformers, high voltage breakers and related equipment.”
Are there any challenges?
“Keeping up with new technology can be pretty challenging. When I started working at Sho-Me we didn’t have computers and now we don’t go anywhere without one. Another challenge is the thought of having to be constantly aware of your surroundings. We work around very high voltage every day and one simple mistake can cost someone their life.”
In the Country: “My wife and I own a patch of land just outside of Marshfield where we raise Holstein steers. I wanted to find something that would not be too time consuming because of my job so I started buying weaned Holstein steers and raising them to market weight. I buy all of my weaned calves from local farms and when they are the right weight I will take them to the sale barn. I run anywhere from 50 to 70 head and as long as there is enough grass I don’t try to feed any grain but I keep good loose mineral and salt out. During the winter months I feed haylage and liquid mineral. To keep a good stand of grass in my fields I try to rotate my cattle often leaving one field open at all times.”
Why did you start farming?
“When I was young my family always had some sort of livestock to take care of and for a while my brothers and I raised bottle calves. Once I got older I joined the Marine Corps so I didn’t have time to farm. After the Marines I started working at Sho-Me but I also wanted to start raising cattle again. So when I got the opportunity I bought some land and a few cattle and that’s where it all began.”