Family: Wife Dollie, son Derek, and daughters Denissa and Darcy
Hometown: Combs, Ark.
In Town: “I am vice president of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters Union. I have been a member for 44 years. I began as a millwright and then started working on the administrative side in 1991. I was elected vice president in 2015, at our general convention, which is held every five years. Before that, I served as the executive secretary/treasurer of the Southern States Millwright Regional Council. My position does require constant travel and keeps me away from the farm much of the time, but I really enjoy working for our members and helping them have a better life.
“My wife Dollie retired from the St. Paul School District where she served as district treasurer for 27 years. She now spends time with her three grandkids.”
In the Country:“We run a cow/calf operation on two farms covering 315 acres, with 190 used for pasture and hay meadows. This is the farm I was raised on, and it is the one I raised my family on. I clearly remember a cow crashing through a gate with both the gate and the cow landing on my dad. Even though I was only 9 and struggled to get the cow and the gate off of him, he amazingly didn’t get hurt. Double D Ranch has one herd on each farm with a combined total of 50 commercial Limousin-influenced cows bred by two registered black Angus bulls who remain with the herd year-round. We have natural spring and fall calving. Calves receive one round of shots when they are 250 pounds and sold after weaning when they weigh about 500 pounds. I use an injectable wormer twice a year and supplement grass and hay with protein tubs but also feed cubes to keep the animals manageable. Additionally, free choice loose mineral and block salt sometimes containing fly control are available. Pastures are mostly fescue though the hay meadows are orchard grass with some fescue and clover mixed in. I fertilize with chicken litter and I spray for weeds twice a year. Spot spraying catches spring buttercups and other weeds during the rest of the year. The hay meadows produce 400 to 450 large bales annually so I don’t need to purchase hay. When I travel, my son Derek and my two sons-in-law, J.R. Mayes and Anthony Blok, take up some of the responsibility. I sometimes get additional support from a part-time farmhand, James Presley.”
Future:“For now, the size of Double D Ranch is what I enjoy given the time I have at home to spend on it. However, when I retire, I’m looking to increase my herd size to 75 to 80 cows; numbers I believe my land can handle with the correct techniques.”