Hometown: Harmon, Ark.
Family: Wife, Louetta Baskin; daughter Michelle; son Greg; and grandchildren Ethan (18), Canaan (15), Jordan (14) and Noah (13)
In Town: “Years ago, my wife Louetta and I owned a furniture and antiques store. However, the kids grew up and I had back issues in addition to not being interested in the business anymore. I decided to make a change and 25 years ago started selling insurance for Farmers Mutual.
In the County: “I was raised with cows and had some most of my life. My dad always said I’d never make money with them but I would accumulate value and always have a cow to sell. Louetta and I have 35 acres on which we raise calves from 20 to 25 mixed black commercial cows. I divide my herd into halves and move the cows and calves rather than the bull who stays with each half for six months. This means calving takes place in the pasture nearest the house where I can keep better track of each momma. I retain heifers to replace culled cows. I breed my heifers at 2 or 3 years of age and change bulls at the same time to keep my bloodlines clean. I cull my mommas if they don’t breed back twice, if they have questionable respect for my electric fences and most of all for temperament. Those that stay become a member of my family until they reach 12 to 14 years old. I wean my calves at 4 ½ to 5 months and sell them at 400 pounds in either Decatur or at the Benton County Sale Barn in Siloam Springs. I basically want my operation to be as simple and manager friendly as possible. My cattle are grass and hay fed though I use grain with my heifers just until weaning age to keep them gentle. I purchase my hay locally from friends and neighbors who have excess amounts. Rather than fertilizing, I drag thoroughly each year which works for me because the land used to be chicken land… What makes my country life possible is that I am blessed with good friends and neighbors.”