Retired dentist Bob Austin says his Pulaski County, Mo., cattle operation is where he wants to be
On 250 acres in rural Pulaski County, Mo., Bob and Joan Austin and their son, Jess, raise 35 head of registered Red Angus.
“We like the Red Angus for their various carcass traits,” Bob explained while standing out in the middle of one of his fields on a gorgeous fall day in the Ozarks. “They are docile, well-marbled and warm weather tolerant.”
Almost as if to demonstrate the praise he was lavishing upon them, the herd gathered around the father and son owners in a friendly fashion like expectant pets.
“Another thing I really appreciate about the purebred Red Angus is the THR (Total Herd Reporting) as used by their data base in terms of the EPDs. The other breeds only list the individual best animals but the Red Angus reports include the whole herd and I’m a big fan of that.”
Bob is a retired dentist who left his practice in Linn Creek, Mo., in the hands of two of his four grown children, also dentists. Another son has his own excavating business and Jess is a Harvard graduate mathematician who, along with his father, also works in real estate.
Jess is also a certified AI tech and uses that skill regularly.
“Some of the colored cattle we have we’ve used as embryo recipients,” Bob continued. “Last spring we did some embryo transfers where we sent the unfertilized embryos to Texas where they were fertilized and then sent back here to be transplanted in the cows so that has envolved into vitro fertilization as well.
“We have bulls for sale that are actually flush mates with the embryo transfers, full brothers. People like that in that they’ve gotten one bull that is really good and here is another from the same bloodline.”
“We keep our bulls at my grandmother’s farm up by Montreal, Mo.,” Jess added. “We sell the bulls by private treaty. We sold one at auction, but it works out better when the buyer can call and come out and see the bulls first. We’ve had several people come all the way down from northern Missouri.”
Bob is no stranger to farming, but growing up in Illinois, the farming was just a little different than it is in the Ozarks.
“It was farming there, too but row crops,” Bob said. “I’ve always liked farming but this, working with the animals is better as well as the work ethic that goes along with it. That’s important when you are raising a family. All of my children grew up around that and now all of them work for themselves.”
The pride is clearly heard in this father’s voice.
“We really liked this area when we came here; the temperate climate, clean water and clean environment in general. There are so many outdoor activities available here in the Ozarks – hunting, fishing, boating and we take advantage of all of them. It’s also a great location in that we are close to the highway and from there it is not a long distance to Springfield, the airport, good restaurants and other towns.”
Jess concluded as he took a contented look around himself at the surrounding cattle grazing in a distant pasture of his Crown Reds farm, “We’ve been on this farm a long time and we’ve always had cattle here. This is home.”