Dutch Hoggatt traveled the world, but finds Searcy, Ark., and his small cattle herd relaxing
Being from Arizona and going to college in Texas, one would think Dutch Hoggatt grew up around cattle, or at least had some exposure to cattle farming. Not so.
Until 2008, raising cattle was the farthest thing from Dutch’s mind, and the process of getting into the cattle business was opposite of how most folks get into the business.
Dutch and his brother bought a tract of land just outside Searcy, Ark., in 2006. The land had some pasture and a large pond. After a couple years, Dutch decided he wanted to buy some cows and start a herd.
“I called my brother and told him what I was thinking,” Dean recalled. “He said, ‘You don’t know anything about raising cows.’ I said, ‘I know but I can learn.’ So, I got on the internet, talked to folks and bought my first set of cows in 2008.”
Dutch has made a large circle from his home state of Arizona to Arkansas. He grew up in Arizona, graduated Abilene Christian University, and received his doctorate in communications from Ohio State University. Over the years Dutch has worked as a television news producer, reported and anchor for stations in West Texas. His education and experience have provided the opportunity to produce documentaries in Israel, Greece, Turkey and England. After teaching for 16 years at Abilene Christian Dutch and his wife Sharon moved to Searcy, where he joined the communications department at Harding University and teaches media, audio and radio production courses, advises media production majors and manages Harding’s radio stations.
“Raising cattle is a far cry from teaching in a college environment,” Dutch said. “But it is sure relaxing and provides a great escape to just get away and relax for a while. I’m not a cowboy by any means. I really enjoy it out here.”
Dutch is quick to point out his cattle operation is really a hobby. The farm could handle more cattle than the current 10 head, which are a mixture of Herefords and Angus, but with a small herd the investment in equipment is minimal. A tractor, ATV and livestock handling equipment is the extent of the equipment inventory.
“I sold my cattle off last year so I wouldn’t have to feed them over the winter,” Dutch said. “But this year I had a good hay crop, so I had it cut and I have a good supply of round bales.”
The Arkansas Cattle Auction also provides Dutch a brief retreat from his university duties and allows him to keep up with the market.
“I really enjoy going to the sale and just watching all the cattle come through,” Dutch said. “I’ve learned a lot by hanging around the sale.”
While Dutch takes some individual pleasure being out on the farm and raising cattle, it is also a major gathering place for his family.
The farm provides an excellent opportunity for the whole family, three grown daughters, their spouses and the grandkids to enjoy the outdoors with fishing and riding atvs. The kids and grandkids have not taken to the cattle like Dutch, but they are working on it.