Family: Wife Deanne, son Tim and daughter Tori
Hometown: West Fork, Ark.
In Town: “I was born in Bakersfield, Calif., and met my future wife Deanne while serving in the Navy as a helicopter mechanic. When I deployed during the Gulf War, Deanne moved back to our childhood stomping grounds in Arkansas and in with my mom Gina. I am now the area manager for AT&T Construction and have worked for the company for 27 years. Deanne is a billing specialist for Ozark Dermatology. Our son Tim is a Houston FedEx manager and our daughter Tori works as a sonographer in Omaha, Neb.
In the Country: “In 2011, we moved from a house in West Fork to 1 1/2 acres Deanna already owned outside of town. She eventually inherited more land so we now have 56 acres. Beginning when I moved back to West Fork in fifth grade, my grandfather Ted was my best friend. One of my favorite things to do as a youngster was to watch baby calves with him as they ran across the fields. After he passed, we had no cattle for six years and then started with two cows, taking them to a buddy’s for breeding. Initially, the cattle were a way of earning some extra money while our children were in school and a way of utilizing idle land. We now have 10 commercial Angus females bred year-round by a commercial Angus bull. I kept our first bull until he was 2,170 pounds because he was calm, bred heifers well and never produced a calf that had to be pulled. When change was necessary, I found a direct descendent who is turning out to be as good as his sire. I sometimes trade calves with my best friend Chris Coker, who is the local fire chief in Strickler, as a way to keep diversified genetics. I keep my calves until weaning at 400 to 450 pounds and currently sell them in Siloam Springs. The herd is grass and hay fed, but given grain when the weather is bad and once per week to keep them coming to the corral. I raise my own hay on shares with Chris who harvests it for me. To maintain pasture quality, I fertilize annually with a granule fertilizer and only spot spray for weeds like sage grass because we don’t have many.”
Future: “My wife and I are approaching retirement and plan to travel for a while, going to ruggedly remote places like Wyoming, Montana or Newfoundland where her family originated. After that I hope to build my herd and watch those baby calves run for many years.”