Hometown: West Fork, Ark.
Family: Wife Kaylee; children Rett and Remi
In Town: “My father, Chris Coker, has been chief of the Strickler Volunteer Fire Department for 29 years. I was an EMT in Madison County, Ark., for four years before becoming a firefighter in Bentonville, Ark., a year ago. I really love what I do and plan on spending my career here. My wife, Kaylee, is a commercial loan officer at the Centennial Bank branch on Joyce Street in Fayetteville, Ark. My wife and I met at Arkansas Tech while she was working for Arvest Bank in Fayetteville.”
In the Country: “I started helping my dad on the farm when I was 12 or 13. I am currently in partnership with my father on 200 acres in West Fork, where we raise a commercial black Angus herd with 40 mommas, and three commercial black Angus bulls. Our smaller bull stays with the first-calf heifers for calving ease, and we recently purchased two bigger bulls to increase calf carcass size. Because we both work, bulls run with the females all year-round. We wean at 4 to 5 months, at 400 to 500 pounds, although this year we waited longer because the winter was hard and the calves were smaller. When we get a group of 10 to 15 of similar ages and the appropriate weight, usually twice a year, we sell our calves sell at the sale barn and Siloam Springs. Because we are in the growing stage, we retain enough heifers to expand our herd gradually. We grain once a week with 19- to 21- percent protein feed to help everyone recover from winter but use cubes with a lower protein in summer. Mineral tubs are available year-round, which we switch by season. We watch for worm issues and try to work all the cattle at one time using pour on rather than the pill we previously used to reduce stress. We hay 50 acres of Bermuda and fescue and broadcast spray some years but always spot spray for thistles. In the spring we apply chicken litter for fertilizer which we purchased locally.
Future: I plan on being on the same land 10 years from now and having built a house. I will also take over for dad when he decides he’s done. I was in the West Fork FFA, served as president and showed market hogs. I would like to see my children have the same kind of experiences I would also like to follow in my dad’s footsteps and hope to become a captain and perhaps even a battalion chief in Bentonville one day.