Each farm or ranch has its own specific charm, but Sawoaks outside of Tahlequah, Okla., is like a manicured park with rolling hills, heavy metal fences and dotted with clumps of beautiful red oak trees. The difference is these hills are home to 152 registered Angus with 40 bulls being sold per year. Al Williams started in the late ‘80s with 110 acres that has gradually grown to 575 acres with a beautiful home sitting on the crest of a hill and overlooking picturesque land. The ranch didn’t look like this in the beginning, however. The land had been full of rock, brush, dead trees and other debris, and Al began clearing by using a brush hog. Patience and persistence have paid off in a big way.
Ed Yancey had no idea when he attended graduate school at Kansas State University that he would be gaining more than just an education. Ed met his now wife, Janeal, and later they began Yancey Simmental Ranch in Huntsville, Ark. They have owned 22 acres in Madison County for seven years and keep about six to eight head there. Ed’s parents have 700 plus acres in Searcy County and they keep the rest of their herd on that ranch. All together they own about 35 head of Simmental, Red Angus, and Simmental/Angus cross cattle including six bulls.
In this day and age of “charge now, pay later,” Drew and Katie Wood have decided that their lifestyle will be “pay as we go.” Their 20-acre farm in north Arkansas near Berryville came complete with an old run-down 1920s farmhouse. Instead of tearing it down and building a home they would be making payments on for many years, they’ve been remodeling it. Drew uses recycled wood and reclaimed building materials. This young married couple, with their baby boy, Dakota, are living in a vintage motor home. Katie said, “I like it so well, I don’t even want to sell it when the house is complete.”
Twenty-five LaMancha and Nigerian Dwarf doe goats, 22 bottle-fed kids, four adult bucks, three Great Pyrenees guardian dogs, an Australian Shepherd and a donkey named Nellie roam Simple Pleasures Farm on Nubbin Hill near Leslie, Ark., owned by Phil and Dawn Hurd.
Dale and Amy Hill bought 60 acres with an additional 40 rented acres next to the farm in Fayetteville, Ark., where Dale was raised in order to expose their children to a lifestyle that teaches responsibility on all levels. Dale still works with his dad and is the fourth generation on the land while Dale and Amy’s four sons are the fifth generation.