Hometown: Springdale, Ark.
Family: Wife, Pamela Hager; sons, Cole, 7 and Caleb, 2; and daughter Hanna, 4
In Town: “My town life is composed of three distinct areas. First, I own, manage and maintain 80 residential rental units in Springdale, Ark. Second, I enjoy working with my father Jim, who four years ago moved his woodworking business from Pocahontas, Ark., to here in Springdale. It’s called Hager’s Custom Woodworks. We are currently working on new cabinets for seven of my rental units. At the shop we custom build kitchen and bathroom cabinets, mantles and bookcases, as well as items for offices and libraries. We have built for homes up to 5,000-square feet. Finally, my wife and I are members of the Elmdale Baptist Church in Springdale, where we are involved in various ministries with children and annual trips to India.
In the Country: “I have a bachelor’s degree in agriculture and a master’s degree in operations management, but reading and doing are two different things, so I am on a steep learning curve. Six years ago, we bought 100 acres outside of Springdale on which we run a cow/calf operation. The land had been set aside for housing development and then left unused for seven to 10 years with hundreds of young trees with trunks 3 to 8 inches in diameter. After three years of dozing and clearing, that land is now 50 percent cleared half still left in the pasture reclamation process. This will be the first year for fertilizing my mixed clover fescue and Bermuda pastures which I recently over seeded with clover. I use Richie continuous use water tanks and cross fencing with help coming from the NRCS. Right now I have 20 commercial black Angus crosses and purebred black Limousins bred by a purebred black Limousin bull. Because I am so busy, my bull runs with the herd all of the time. The replacement heifers are placed in a separate pasture until September or June when they are ready to breed. My first six cows came from Oklahoma in 2014 when I purchased a seed herd of nine heifers, three cows and a bull. I really prefer spring calving because the grass comes on when the mommas and calves are ready to graze. I wean at 6 months when the calves are usually kept in a separate pasture. They are sold weighing anywhere from 650 to 900 pounds at the Springdale Sale Barn. I love this life, especially for my kids. Cole is now showing lambs. We have four ewes with five lambs, as well as rabbits and chickens so all the children will learn how to interact with animals safely and without fear. Because my kids go to private school, 4-H will be their farm youth program since FFA is not available.”