Hometown: Stilwell, Okla.
Family: Wife Raelynn; son Greyson (13) and daughter Rylee (6)
In Town: “Seven years ago, I was out of work and a family friend, Jeff Marriott, owned a heat and air business. I went to work for him and he taught me all the basics. Then he decided to become a general contractor, I worked for other heat and air companies. I work for Franklin Heat and Air in Springdale, Ark. My wife Raelynn has worked as a driver recruiter for 15 years. About a year ago she started working for Larry Williams Trucking out of Colcord, Okla.”
In the Country: “Raelynn and I own 20 acres in Stilwell, Okla., but lease an additional 100 acres, including a 40-acre hayfield. We have 35 heavily Angus-influenced commercial cows that are about 75 percent Angus and 25 percent LimFlex. I bought my starter herd from my dad Paul Arnold who lives in Pea Ridge, Ark. Both of us are focusing on enhancing the Angus traits of marbling, efficiency and calving ease so we use registered Angus bulls. I use the same health protocols as my father, working the cattle twice a year. I wean at 7 months and feed out the calves until they reach 800 to 900 pounds when I sell them at the Stilwell Livestock Auction. I cull heavily for temperament because getting beat up is not one of my goals and I want my family safe. I feed a 16-percent protein ration daily, and last year my hayfield produced 400 round bales, all of which I plan to use. I’ve been accused of overfeeding, but I don’t think such a thing exists. What the cattle don’t eat they use as bedding which is fine with me. I fertilize with a commercial fertilizer and broadcast spray with 2, 4-D because it doesn’t harm clover. I follow up by spot spraying with Grazon carefully because it will kill clover. My land is a combination of fescue, Red River crabgrass, ryegrass and clover, with a little Johnsongrass. I really like the crabgrass because it is drought resistant and the cattle love it.”
Future: “The farm is not only a source of income but also important in our family life. The kids love to pet the cows and bull, with Greyson showing beef cattle and Rylee showing chickens and goats until she’s big enough to handle a steer. Both belong to 4-H. We also ride horses together, and our children are looking forward to competing in rodeos. Ten years from now I would like to transition to full-time farming with my own 250-acre farm and the cattle to fill it.”