Hometown: Winslow, Ark.
Family: Wife, Liz; infant son Sawyer
In Town: “I began working for the Fayetteville Lewis Automotive Group 14 years ago as a car salesman at our used car lot in Farmington, Ark. Next I was promoted to service advisor at Lewis Ford and then credit acceptance manager five years ago. My wife Liz works as an area office manager for River Valley Primary Care, a family health clinic group. While her primary office is in Fort Smith, Ark., her job responsibility covers several facilities. We are also youth directors at the Blackburn Community Church.”
In the Country: “Our family currently owns 240 acres in Winslow accumulated through purchase, family and inheritance. I grew up around cattle and showed Limousins each year during high school, keeping the cattle on my dad’s farm, which is also in Winslow. My earliest memory is when I was 5 and the cows got out because coyotes were chasing them. They tore through a fence and I remember a large number of four-wheelers and trucks chasing them for a long time before finally catching them. My current herd has 17 heavily black Limousin influenced mommas and one registered Limousin bull. Because our days are so long and raising the cattle is a sideline rather than a full-time income, the bull runs with the cows all of the time. It doesn’t take long to check 18 cows daily, and I love when I find a new calf on the ground. In order to maintain fresh pasture for our cattle and to avoid fly and worm issues, my father-in-law created five paddocks of 15 acres each. The cattle do not return to a pasture for about six months, and we drag pastures to help speed the natural decomposition process. We have a total of about 100 pasture acres with the rest being wooded. Each paddock has its own pond so water is not an issue. Though my mommas and the bull mostly graze, they are supplemented with small amounts of range cubes and a grain mix to keep and mommas’ hips strong because our bull produces large, strong calves. The grain also keeps the animals easy to approach. The calves, on the other hand, are heavily grained because we sell to individuals when the calves are a year old or save them for our own consumption. The point is all of us know the source and pre-market care of the beef we eat. Our calves are large, tame, well developed and grow out well. We perform our own veterinary services, including banding, vaccinating, tagging for genetic records and treating whenever something like pinkeye pops up.”
Future: “For now the purpose of our herd is to provide stress relief as well as meat for ourselves and for our customers. In the future, however, I am considering expanding and raising a 30-50 head herd of beefalo. I believe the niche market for extra healthy protein will lead to the greater demand for this naturally low-fat meat. I would like to be ahead of the game and ready to supply meat for that demand when it occurs. Finally, Liz and I want to raise Sawyer in an agricultural life, perhaps starting a showing career with a blue butt pig the way I did.”