Hometown: Berryville, Ark.
In Town: “I graduated from College of the Ozarks with an agribusiness degree. Working at the First National Bank of North Arkansas for seven years as a teller, junior appraiser and loan officer, I quickly learned how to deal with people professionally but compassionately. While I appreciated my position and colleagues, I was restless being tied to a desk. Then an opportunity arose at Berryville’s Kings River Physical Therapy owned by Wade Hill. Helping others reach their maximum physical potential is hands-on, less restrictive and completely rewarding. I love the small town atmosphere of Berryville. I know a majority of the folks who walk in our doors, and quickly get to know new faces. Nonetheless, I am grateful to the bank and the opportunities they gave me.”
In the Country: “After college, I returned home and purchased 130 acres and a house from our family farm. My grandpa Paul was a major influence in my youth. I named our operation after the ‘Oak Valley’ that runs from the Hoodie schoolhouse to my own home. I was very involved in showing cattle and really liked the appearance of the Red Angus breed. I have 65 Angus and Red Angus-influenced breeding females and a Hereford bull. I always liked black baldies and they sell well in this area. My goal is a growthy calf that is part of a consistent group of calves. I have both fall and spring calving, and wean at nearly 600 pounds. The calves pretty much wean themselves using a method I’ve adapted from college and home. It is a four-week process using a creep feeder gate in a separate pasture away from the herd. They quickly become used to running in for the feed daily. Once they are all used to coming in at once, I simply close the gate behind them. They adapt quickly with little fuss. The calves are on a two-stage vaccination program and are sold at weaning to a backgrounder who lives close by, picks the calves up and weighs them on his scales. The process is easy for me, something important in my time-pressured life. Additionally, my mom Paula and I have a small herd of registered black Angus with a goal of selling registered bulls. Her help in the day-to-day chores makes my life much easier.”
Future: “I will always have some kind of a ‘town’ job because I am a fairly social person. However, I hope someday to be able to spend the majority of my time on the farm.”