Hometown: Sulfur Springs, Ark.
Family: Husband, Kenneth Hicks
In Town: Tara Hicks has been at Simmons for four years, starting as a service tech for broiler farms. She is now a lean coordinator at the Treats plant for pet food in Siloam Springs, Ark. She has a bachelor’s in animal science from Missouri State University in Springfield, Mo., and her husband Kenneth works for Black Hills Energy as a maintenance tech, and before that worked at Johnson Machine in Centerton, Ark..
In the Country: “We lived in Maysville and were landlocked with 10 goats and three horses. We were planning on looking for a new place and put ours on the market. It sold very quickly and we needed to find a place right away,” Tara said. Then 30 acres came up in Sulphur Springs with the additional acreage we needed and still in the vicinity of where we work. We had 10 days to move in and put up fence while Brad Wofford built a barn in three days so we could meet our deadline. Nonetheless, we are still settling in. We are in the process of adding cross fencing to be set up for rotational grazing. We currently have 23 mostly registered Boer goats total: 18 does, three bucks and 2 wethers. We strive for show correct colored Boer goats and have a variety. We supplement with Essential Feed, 16 percent protein/6 percent fat for our kids and a 17 percent protein/4 percent fat to our adults as well as with loose mineral and protein goat tubs. We are using only one wormer and only when needed, perhaps once a year for everybody. My aunt and uncle raise traditional Boers goats which is why we decided to go into goats. They are a important source of information, though we utilize many sources to get whatever information we need because our backgrounds were with dairy cattle, commercial cattle, pigs and chickens. Researching something before you get into it is important so you are as prepared as possible before you enter the real livestock world. We have a couple heifers and a cow at my other aunt and uncle’s where they run around 100 head of commercial cattle.”
Future: “Our goal is to start selling at consignment auctions and add bees to our little farm. We tried once but lost the hive. With the cross fencing we hope to be able to have grazing land, brush and a hayfield that will support a maximum of 30 registered does and five or six cows, perhaps borrowing a bull from uncle Bill Mullen. I eventually would like to be employed off the farm only part time so I can devote more time here in anticipation of having two kid crops a year. Kenneth, of course, wants more land.”