Hometown: Aurora, Mo.
In Town: Jimmy Patterson has worked in the construction field for 28 years. He has been in an equipment operator for Kenny Singer Construction in Aurora, Mo., for 14 years. After commuting to work for a number of years, Jimmy decided to move from his native Dallas County, Mo., to Aurora five years ago.
In the Country: Jimmy has a small commercial cattle herd he operates near Aurora, Mo., on a small farm he purchased five years ago. He got into the cattle business four years ago.
“I had never had cattle and when I moved here I got about 5 acres and bought two cows,” he recalled. “I bought them from a sale and the next day one of them died, so I learned that I needed to get better cattle. When I buy something, I buy the best I can afford.”
Because he has limited pasture available, Jimmy is keeping his herd small with a total of six head.
His property’s livestock facilities were lacking when he purchased the parcel, but he is continuing to make improvements to fencing and is in the process of building a corral. To improve pastures, Jimmy said he constantly spaying weeds to allow for better grass growth.
Utilizing a black Angus bull owned by a friend, Jimmy’s breeding season is from Thanksgiving to February 14.
“That gives me calves coming in September and October,” he said. “I usually sell calves in June or July, after they have been weaned about 30 days and they are creep fed during those 30 days.”
Because of his limited pasture availability, Jimmy culls closely.
“You can’t afford to just keep a pasture ornament,” he said. “If she’s not going to raise a calf, I’ll sell her.”
Cattle are vaccinated and wormed annually, with Jimmy doing all of the work himself.
While farming full time isn’t an option for Jimmy, he said working at his construction job makes his farm possible. He also said it has its rewards.
“The best part is sitting in my lawn chair watching my cows eat,” he said. “Right now this is just a hobby and it keeps me busy. One day I hope to be able to buy more land and get more cows.”