The Morgan Brothers offer farm fresh beef, pork and sweet corn, along with registered cattle
The Morgan brothers grew up on a diversified crop and livestock farm in Barton County, Mo. Bradley Morgan and his wife Erica, and his brothers, Tony Morgan and Matthew Morgan, raise barley, corn and sweet corn, along with having a hog and cow/calf operation where they finish out all their livestock. Matthew also sells honey from his 10 beehives.
Bradley is the oldest of the three brothers and has worked on the farm full time since he graduated high school. Erica is a Mizzou graduate Leggett & Platt during the day but is still very involved on the farm, along with handling all the farm books.
Tony, the middle brother, works full-time on the farm and graduated from Missouri State University with a degree in animal science. Matthew, the youngest, recently finished his year as a Missouri State FFA officer and attends Crowder College, along with working on the farm.
The Morgan brothers’ parents, Rick and Melinda Morgan, are both full-time farmers and are who they credit their interest in farming to.
“Growing up, they kept us involved on the farm doing chores,” Bradley said. “We wouldn’t be farming or where we are today without them.”
They still help their parents on the farm in exchange for using the equipment for their operation.
The family has always been involved in 4-H starting with older sister Stephanie, as a Clover kid at age 6, to their youngest brother Matthew who recently finished his last year of 4-H.
“We all four started by showing bottle calves at our county fair and from there have shown hogs, cattle, sheep and goats over the years,” Bradley said.
They have shown at the local county fair in Lamar to the regional Ozark Empire Fair in Springfield to the Missouri State Fair in Sedalia.
They were all involved in FFA in high school as well.
“4-H and FFA gave us opportunities to experience things, go places and meet people that we would have otherwise not had the opportunity to meet,” Bradley said. “Growing up I knew farming was what I always wanted to do. I especially enjoyed the livestock end of it.”
Bradley started off with showing his own registered Angus heifer, then bred her when he was done showing. This is what started their operation of having the registered Angus breed.
“I really enjoy working the cattle, and watching the calves grow into quality breeding stock and finished beef for the butcher,” Tony said.
On the farm, the brothers have different responsibilities along with some shared.
“The main thing is in order to make our operation run smoothly and profitable, we must work together well,” Bradley said.
The brothers raise and sell 10 acres of sweet corn each year, keeping it watered with stationary and traveling guns and have recently started to sell their pork and beef.
They have about 100 head of registered Angus cattle and sell bulls each spring to local cattle producers.
To diversify their cattle operation, Matthew recently started raising registered Red Angus to reach a new market.
“The calves that do not make the cut to be sold as breeding stock are finished out and sold locally to individuals (for beef), but our main focus right now with the cattle is selling breeding aged bulls and improving our genetics,” Bradley stated.
The Morgan family has always had a farrow-to-finish hog operation.
When Bradley was around 12 years old, they cut out the sows and only bought feeder pigs and finished out hogs. As a freshman FFA member, he kept six gilts to breed for his SAE project.
“I marketed all my finished hogs to individuals, small local processors, and locally-owned retail outlets,” he explained.
They now keep around 60 sows in their farrow-to-finish operation, which are all locally marketed.
Hogs are housed outdoors, with shelter and are hand-fed daily, which allowes the Morgans to closely observe them for any issues.
“A few days before the sows have pigs, they are moved inside so each sow has her own hut to protect her and her newborn pigs,” Bradley explained. “The pigs stay in the hut until they are around 10 days old and are then moved outside where they have more room in groups of three litters.”
The pigs have free acess to corn and soybean meal until weaning. The hogs never leave the farm until they are at market weight, about 280 to 300 pounds.
They work closely with their local processors to make certain that they are selling the type and quality hog that they expect.
“Building a relationship is very important in everything we do, both business and personal. From selling bulls to marketing hogs to selling corn. Only part of our job is producing and raising the product. A huge aspect of what we do is marketing and communication in relationships,” Bradley said.
“We feel like what sets our operation apart from the others is that we take everything from the beginning to the end from the livestock being born on our farm to being weaned and finished. They do not leave the farm until they are ready for the consumer. This allow us to have a marketing advantage.
“Whether we have sold sweet corn, beef or pork, it is reassuring to receive all the positive feedback on the quality of our products. It is always nice to see returning customers time and time again happily buying what we produce,” Tony shared.
As the three brothers return to the farm, they are constantly trying to grow every aspect of it.
“Every year we increase our cow herd, number of hogs we sell, beehives we keep and acres of sweet corn we plant,” Bradley said. “We are growing slowly as we find more niche markets to be able to sell our products and taking advantages of any opportunities that comes along the way.”