Family: Wife Sabrina Bowen with five grown children, Jessica, Daniel, Tyler, Hunter, Megan; and five grandchildren, Noah, Evie, Elijah, Caitlin and Macy.
Town Life: “I am part of a family owned business called Richland Handle Company (in Wesley, Ark.) and part of the fifth generation in the woodworking industry. We still use an ax handle machine purchased by my great-great grandfather in 1850 and hauled from Springfield, Mo., by oxen. We make ax, shovel and hand tool handles of all kinds shipping all over the United States, especially to California and sometimes to Canada though the tools the handles are used to complete can go anywhere. We even made handles for tools that were part of the 9/11 cleanup. We have over 20 employees on the payroll, which is down from 82 in the 1980s. We also fabricate the metal ferrules for hoe and fork handles. We find that more economical than purchasing them and also sell to other companies because we can sell in smaller quantities than the huge manufacturers.”
Country Life: “I own 250 acres and use my grandfather’s farm of 50 acres as well is leasing a couple of other farms. I keep at least 150 Angus/Gelbvieh cross mamas and am in the process to changing to Hereford bulls because my wife wants Black Baldies and because they sell well. The switch is also important because I keep replacement heifers and it is time to vary the genetics. Because I am so busy in my town life, I hire neighbors to harvest my hay and have used the same people for years. I built large hay barns to store the extra hay, I fertilize every spring and have 17 or 18 crossed fenced pastures where I use rotational grazing. The cows let me know when it’s time to move because they are accustomed to the system and wait by the gate for me to give them access to a new pasture. I sell calves both in the spring and fall after they have been weaned, given two rounds of shots, and checked for good all around health. Because I got tired of hiring people to help me, I built lanes so my dog and I can get the cattle in the working facility by ourselves in 30 minute. The truth is, I like my cattle and they are more than just an income to me. My town life is busy and stressful and my country life is just what the doctor ordered.”