Danny Abshier of Prairie Grove, Arkansas is a P.E. teacher and football coach. He helps run his families 80-acre farm. Photo by Terry Ropp.
Photo by Terry Ropp

Hometown: Prairie Grove, Ark. 

Family: Wife Kaye; sons Patrick and Robbie; daughter Ashton; and grandchildren Alex, Eli, Jacob, Jude and Lainey.

In Town: “While I lived in the country as a youngster, I was never heavily involved with agriculture. Football is what drew my attention, and I was an All-State fullback and linebacker for Farmington. Then I went to college where I met my wife Kaye. We returned to the area, and I have worked as a P.E. teacher and football coach for Prairie Grove for 33 years, while Kaye retired a few years ago from the Prairie Grove Telephone Company.”

In the Country: “My mom, Wilma Lacy, lived on an 80-acre farm within the Prairie Grove School District. Not long before she passed, I started routinely helping her and her husband with the cattle. She passed about three years ago, and I have been running the herd of 25 Angus/Simmental mommas and two Angus bulls since then. Though I had chores as a kid, I knew very little. I began to really understand how wonderful the agricultural community is as people all around began helping me learn what to do and when to do it and how to be flexible. I have 40 acres of pasture at the home place with 15 mommas and lease another 25 where I run the other 10, each with one bull. One advantage is being able to move females back and forth between herds as needed. Because of my breeding pattern, I have calves coming much of the time and sell up to four times per year, generally weaning at 9 months and selling at 10 months, though some may be a bit older as I gather a group to sell. I work the calves before I sell them. When weaned, I feed them a sweet commodity feed of pellets, corn and other grains from 50 pound bags though I am considering switching to big bulk bags. Last year, I fertilized with chicken litter and I spray for weeds. Since I buy my hay and trade labor for a better hay price, I never seem to be caught up with weeds whose seeds are in the hay. Thistles, curly dock and buttercup are my biggest problems.”

The Future: “For me, agriculture is a perfect partnership with sports. I love to be busy all the time and have no problem doing so, especially since I believe in diversifying income. The beauty of agriculture is that cows don’t talk or text. Being on the land with its own special noisy-quiet, sense of fulfillment and problem-solving when plans go awry is a precious kind of freedom. As I move toward ‘retirement,’ I would like to expand my herd to 40 mommas, enough to fully use the land and not overgraze it.”


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