Hometown: Green Forest, Ark.
Family: Wife, Janell Robertson
In Town: “My wife Janell and I live outside of Green Forest, Ark., in Carroll County. I work for Anstaff Bank and serve as market president for Carroll and Madison counties. I began in 1981 as a green as a gourd loan teller. My wife is the executive director of the Carroll County Community Foundation, whose goal is to guide charitable organizations to grants and other resources.”
In the Country: “Janell and I run a 50 Angus-influenced commercial cow herd on 320 acres. My active town life determines much of the decision-making for our cattle operation. One recent decision, using leased bulls for a limited time, helps avoid time-consuming problems such as bulls getting out or tearing up fences. I prefer fall calving because the cows are stronger and better prepared to raise a calf and because most of the calves are up and going before the cold comes. I used to raise replacement heifers but they are very time consuming. In 2017, I saw a set of replacement heifers young cows on a video from Kansas and purchased them. My second-calf cows have fewer birthing issues, though if I were home all day retaining heifers would make more sense. Right now this is the best practice for me and makes the more expensive second calf cows worth the extra cost. Culling criteria is another way I manage my time. Culling is determined by a cow skipping a cycle, not raising a healthy calf (especially due to insufficient milk), bad eyes or feet and any quirky behavior which earns a cow a quick trip to town. I wean at 8 to 9 months and keep calves an additional four to five months until they reach 750 pounds. While I can’t remember who gave me the advice, an older gentleman once told me that rain or a new baby calf is good at any time and that producing calves as efficiently as possible is a key to success. That advice has allowed me to lead both town and country lives.”
Future: “I would love to keep the farm in the family and am considering switching to a stocker/breeder operation when retired so Janell and I can go someplace warm in January. I am the fourth generation on my farm, and I can’t drive or ride my horse over it without a good memory of working with a family member going with me. That’s the reason Saturdays are for farming and not golfing.”