Family: Wife Kim Treat; and daughters Shelby Witt and Carley Treat.
Hometown: Welcome Home, Ark.
In Town: “My first high school agriculture teacher, Johnny Neel, retired before my senior year, and I was pretty upset. However, the new teacher, Keith Kilbourn, turned out to be really important in my life and part of God’s plan because one day he asked me what I planned on doing. I mentioned I’d probably go into sheet rocking with my dad. He told me that I could do better than that and set me on career path that fit me perfectly. I took a trip to the University of Arkansas where I learned being a veterinarian had too many requirements and that teaching was the best fit because I could be like Mr. Neel and Mr. Kilbourn, serving as a role model doing for students what they did for me. Harrison, however, has a more urban setting and has to serve both rural and urban populations. Consequently, my co-ag teacher, Sarah Walker, teaches plants and animals while I focus on the shop classes I was hired to teach. The shop program is well developed so students gain both agriculture and industry skills. My wife and I are pastoring the Snowball Baptist Church and have for the last two years. God has been and continues to be the reason we live such a great life here in the hills of Arkansas.”
In the Country: “I started out in animal agriculture raising chickens and rabbits on a small country farm and helping with the annual garden. I stared raising cattle when my dad gave me an opportunity to have a place to put some cows. I was able to buy cattle with a student FSA loan in the ninth grade, but had to sell my 20 cows when I went away to college because we had lost our rented farmland and had no place to put them. My wife Kim and I now have 53 acres of family land outside of Marshall where we have 10 mixed black mommas bred by my father-in-law’s bull for spring calving. I separate mommas and calves at weaning and sell at local sale barn according to current prices. They then weigh 500 to 700 pounds, are bunk broke and worked, including shots and pour-on wormer. My cattle are mostly grassed fed with a small amount of feed, which is generally used just to keep them tame, depending upon the price of grain. Our pastures are pretty well-established so I only spray for weeds, with blackberries as the biggest issue. I am encouraging native grasses and have a good combination of both hot and cool season forage so cattle can eat the grass all year. I raise hay and usually get three cuttings.”
Future: “I would like increase the number of cows and improve my pasture and fencing, but time is a rare commodity for an ag teacher and that will have to come later. I would like to be able to provide finished beef to supply to a local butcher where local families could get top-quality beef and know where it came from. Kim and I look forward to sharing our lifestyle with our grandson, Dawson, who was born in September, just as we have with our daughters Shelby Witt and Carley Treat.”