Hometown: Prairie Grove, Ark.
In Town: “I am an attorney working with Steve Tennant at his office in Farmington, Ark. I come from North Carolina where I earned a specialized law degree in agriculture and food law. Then I came to Arkansas for a specialized law degree at the University of Arkansas. Steve is the city attorney for Farmington but our specialty is working with rural people in all legal matters. A typical issue is farm succession so we develop many trusts and wills. We help in developing businesses and counsel people about food partnerships and ventures. We also offer information and advice in how to stay in compliance, especially important in the poultry industry. We structure family ownership, taxes, payouts, care and management.”
In the Country: “I closed on 107 acres in Prairie Grove at the end of January this year as my first step into the farming world. An added benefit is being close to work. I spent a year planning for poultry farming, but found this beautiful spot with excellent grass, good water and an infrastructure that includes a working pen, a barn and a workshop. I have creeks, ponds, wells and city water. I am digging another well because it’s a better investment in the long haul since it improves my infrastructure and eliminates paying for city water. I have 51 mommas, half of which are purebred Red Angus with the rest being heavily influenced, high quality Red Angus with some Hereford blood. I believe I use the nation’s best red Angus bloodlines through the Red Alliance team and partner with Derek Armstrong on bulls and superior genetics. Once I decided to do this I started geeking out and studying everything I could find, especially from the industry leaders. True to my nature, I am using a highly analytical and holistic business approach. I will purchase hay because I want to raise as many cattle as possible while avoiding expensive equipment investment. I have recently consulted specialists including an agronomist and herbicide specialist to study the perfect balance for my land in my effort to control nutrients. The agronomist explained that I have good grass potential because of the unique soil in this spot combined with a high water table. While the land may get too wet in spring, at the end of summer when everybody else is dried out, my grass will be thick and lush. I am feeding heavily including protein tubs to keep my females ready for breeding season.”
Future: “My long-term goal is to have superior Red Angus genetics so that I can sell breeding stock while maintaining a commercial herd as well in order to maintain a diverse operation. I will use both AI and ET and plan on eventually retaining ownership through the feedlot process.”