Brothers Kyle and Bryan Benedict manage three ranches in Marion County, Ark.

Two young Marion County, Ark., brothers, Kyle and Bryan Benedict, are combining their efforts and talents to manage three ranches.
Kyle and Bryan work side-by-side daily to manage their individual commercial herds, as well as assisting their grandparents, Forrest and Nina Wood, on their Fallen Ash Ranch. The boys say they are grateful for the opportunity they have been given by their mother Donna Alexander, aunt Brenda Hopper and their grandparents to do what they do today.
The brothers work together every day, sharing tractors and equipment. With several thousand acres of owned and leased land to maintain, the boys say there is plenty of work for everyone.
“It all kind of just works together,” Kyle said. “If there’s a job to get done, we all just jump in. When it’s time to cut hay, we combine all the equipment and cut everyone’s hay.”
The Benedicts’ commercial herds include lots of colored cows, but they use registered Black Angus bulls that come from Fallen Ash Farms. At Fallen Ash, they use selective breeding to get the bulls they want for their herd to achieve Angus cross calves. They keep 20 or so bulls a year for themselves and have customers who buy the rest.
Combining calves from both herds allows them to present large lots of calves of the same weight and size at one time come sale time.
Kyle and Bryan both love cattle and ranching and say that’s all they ever wanted to do. “The hardest part of ranching is balancing time between family and doing everything that needs to get done,” Kyle said.
“There’s a lot of life lessons for a kid to learn on a farm,” Bryan added. “Mom and Dad had a farm when we were growing up, both grandparents had a farm, and my dad’s side of the family had dairy cattle when we were little kids. It was just pretty much cows every time we went anywhere. I wouldn’t trade that for anything. It kept us close to home and it may have kept us from seeing other parts of the world, but I wouldn’t trade it.”
Kyle and Bryan would like to continue this lifestyle with their own families. Bryan and his wife Andrea have 12-year-old Bryce and 8 year-old Adrianne. Kyle and Alisha’s children are 12-year-old Maelee, 9-year-old Marcee and 4-year-old Karson. Both men’s coach summer league ball teams.
Bryan said it’s hard working everything in, “but at some point you just stop what you’re doing and you go.”
When asked about the future, Bryan said, “I plan on being there. I’m 35 years old now. In 15 years, looking out there, I’d say I’d like to own a little bit more of my land, what I’m operating on, maybe a little bit larger size-wise. At some point you have to get to the threshold of, ‘Can I handle this by myself and farm on my own,’ or do I want to hire a lot of people and depend on them to have it done? Also, where do I get to the point where this is what I can handle and still meet my duties as a husband and a father, and down the road from now, maybe even be a grandfather, helping my son start his own cattle herd. I don’t know if that’s what he’ll do, but I suspect that’s what he’ll end up doing at some point in his life, whether it’s his main source of income or if it’s something he wants to do on the side because he enjoys it – I expect to be fully engulfed in the cattle business.”
“Before I graduated high school I wanted cows, when I graduated I wanted a hundred cows, a few years ago I wanted 200 cows. I’ll get as big as life will take me but I also think you can string yourself out too much,” Kyle said.
The boys said being a farmer is a gamble. It makes them feel alive, but sometimes they lose a little sleep at night, too. Their biggest goal is to be content, whether they have five cows or 500.
Either way, they intend to accomplish their goals while surrounded by family.
“All the help my family has provided is extremely beneficial. I’m not saying I wouldn’t be farming without them, but it would be a lot harder without them in our lives,” Bryan said.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here