Hometown: Gravette, Ark.
Family: Husband Greg; sons Austin (25) and Ayden (17); daughter AveryFaith; two grandchildren
In Town: The majority of Nicole Jowers’ professional career has involved public relations, sales and marketing. Nicole has worked in the private and public sectors, even owning her own PR and marketing business for a while. She said her favorite role was working win the long-term, geriatrics, psychological and hospice care.
“The elderly have always been my sweet spot. I spent more time with my grandparents growing up than I did my parents, so that was my comfort zone.”
In the Country: Nicole grew up in Louisiana, where her paternal grandfather managed the Louisiana State University Hill Research Station. She trailed along with her grandparents and learned about dairy cattle, forages, land management and crops. On the maternal side, her grandparents raised cattle and a large garden each year for decades, which provided enough to support five families until he passed seven years ago. Nicole said the time with her grandfather taught her to be more self-sufficient when it comes to food. She added her first job was to keep the mule from eating the tops of the corn stocks when working with her grandfather.
Today, Nicole and her family work to provide their family with food farm-raised food, including meat from their livestock and produce from their garden, and have a little fun at the same time.
“I grew up showing beef cattle,” Nicole said. “I went to college on a show team scholarship, I was the Simmental Association Queen, so I’ve always been into showing livestock and farming. When Ayden started showing, it just made sense to continue with that. What steers he shows, we turn around and process for our use. We’re going to eat one anyway, so why not have that one?”
Explaining the circle of showing and that animal coming back to the family as meat to a young Ayden, she said, was difficult, but he understood from an early age.”
She added that by using the show steers for their family, they are also confident in the quality of the meat and know how the animal was cared for prior to processing.
Nicole’s goals are different from some producers, but she said she’s raising more than livestock and other foods.
“I’m not here to win the banners or take our livestock to national competitions,” she said. “At the end of the day, it’s about raising children who learn responsibility and compassion for animals, and an understanding of the industry. It’s more about them than it is that ribbon or those prized tomatoes; it’s about keeping them grounded. So many kids their age, so many adults, do not know what’s involved in ag. To me, it’s bringing them back to the basics, giving them, as much as I can, a taste of how I grew up in the 1970s and 80s and understanding that. I don’t think 100 percent self-sufficient, but I like not being worried about going to the grocery store.”