Hometown: Berryville, Ark.
Family: Wife Jeanne; sons Heith and Jeremy; daughter Jenny; and grandchildren Dayton (22), Hayton (20), Foster (12), Maverick (2), Keileigh (20), Destiny (19) and Aly (17)
In Town: “My dad Melvin went to auctions throughout Arkansas and Missouri buying replacement dairy cows for his herd. The dairy business went south and I’ve been a carpenter and a welder but continued to go to estate and small farm auctions with my wife Jeanne. One day we decided we needed to be making money instead of spending it. Therefore, in 1999, I went to an auction school in St. Joseph, Mo. I then opened my business, Williams Auction Service in Berryville. My first auction ended up being my grandmother’s estate and I was very nervous in spite of being well prepared. Additionally, I have also been an agent for Williams Properties Real Estate since 2000.”
In the Country: “I have raised cattle all my life, beginning when I was 8. I now run 40 acres and keep a small herd of commercial cattle. Because of my busy schedule, the bull stays with the cows all of the time. Fortunately, the herd seems to have naturally synchronized into general fall and spring calving. I work my herd twice a year using a vaccination protocol. Because I enjoy it, I use my three horses to work the cattle. I spray for flies and fly bags for further support. The herd is basically grass- and hay-fed, with me raising some hay but buying most of it locally. Calves are weaned at 7 months and then put on a 12-percent protein ration until I’m ready to sell. I also occasionally feed cubes to the herd so the cattle remain easy to handle. Last fall, I didn’t want to sell my calves, so I have a group that are now close to being yearlings. I fertilize every year with chicken litter and broadcast spray for weeds. While cattle are important, so is family. Jeanne and I have always enjoyed sharing the farm with the family and are now having an especially good time with our youngest grandson. The kids love riding horses and swimming in the river. Because this is a family farm, it is going to go to our family and hopefully remain for many generations to come.