Family: Wife, Faye Deason; son Raven; daughters, Alicia, Carla and Mary; and nine grandchildren.
Hometown: Wauhillau, Okla.
In Town: Mike Deason retired from Greenleaf Nursery in Park Hill, Okla., because the weather was beginning to take its toll on him.
“I needed to get out of the sun,” he said. “I now work as a custodian at Stilwell High School while my wife, Faye, works at the Wilma P. Mankiller Health Clinic in Stilwell, Okla., as office personnel in the diabetes section.”
In the Country: The Deasons own 220 acres in the Wauhillau community near Stilwell, Okla. They also have access to additional acreage in a work/land usage agreement that includes both haying and pasturing in exchange for brush hogging.
“I have 94 mostly Angus/Saler mommas and three purebred Angus bulls that I rotate carefully and replace only when needed. I started with seven mixed cows and the use of the neighbor’s Saler bulls because they provided better genetics than I could afford at the time. I have used Angus bulls the last 10 years and like the Angus/Saler cross because they have more frame and, for us at least, few birthing issues. I have spring and fall calves though the largest portion is sold in the spring while some of the fall crop is retained as replacements. I carefully select mommas used for potential replacement heifers, hoping those mommas will pass on their good maternal instincts. I wean at 7 months, just before sale. I grain my replacement heifers and bulls when not in service with a 14 percent protein mix and creep feed my calves. The pastures are a mix of Bermuda, fescue and rye as well as some naturally occurring clover. I overseed the land and use commercial fertilizers with an herbicide in the spring followed by chicken litter I get from my son-in-law in late summer. I spray for weeds in early summer and spot spray for thistles. My goal is to graze more than I hay.”
Future: Mike has no plans to increase his herd or total acreage, but he does want to increase his productivity by rotating Angus and Saler bulls.
“I also hope to hand this place down to my family,” he said.