Our farm was founded approximately 65 years ago by my grandfather. He worked hard and purchased land in Northwest Arkansas that we still use today. He, along with my grandmother, started the farm with cattle, but also raised other animals. Over the years my grandparents raised and sold several animals including: sheep, hogs, peacocks, horses, and chickens
However, after many years of experimenting with raising different types of livestock, my grandparents ultimately decided to work exclusively with cattle.
My father grew up on the farm and worked closely with the animals. However, once his success as an auctioneer took off, he moved away from the farm for nearly twenty years and didn’t return until my grandfather was unable to take care of the farm himself.
In 2003, our family moved Texas, where we lived in the middle of town, to a house in Arkansas, 10 miles from the closest paved road. The transition included living in a 5th-wheel camper for 6 months with an infant and a five year old, so it wasn’t an easy one to say the least.
Where We Are Now
Over the last decade, we have completely renovated the farm. When we first returned to Arkansas after my father had been gone for twenty years, the place was pretty run down. Fences were laying over, cattle were running wherever they pleased, and a general sense of chaos consumed the place.
As the years have passed, we have made some big changes to the farm. Instead of just raising cattle, we operate several different sections of the farm and raise…
Ducks and Chickens
Sheep and Goats
And of course, Cattle.
Time has changed many things on the place; there are new roads, fences, gates, and animals, but most importantly, the sense of chaos was replaced with organization and a smooth running corporation.
A Typical Day
One of the most frequent questions I get from people when I am visiting about how I grew up was “What do you do?”. Little did they know that this was a really loaded question tat seriously required more detail. After years of being asked this question (and realizing that nobody was going to narrow down their inquiries for me) I established a fairly generic answer, one that would hold true despite the constant changes on an agricultural operation as the seasons change. So, when asked “What do you do?” I usually break it down into three parts:
- Taking care of the livestock
These tasks obviously change depending on the season. During the fall and winter, we often separate the spring babies from their mothers and prepare them for sale. During the spring and summer, we spend time vaccinating the livestock and allow them to graze in fields in order to maintain their health. If the benefits of allowing animals to graze is of interest, check out the East Bay Regional Park District!
- Maintain machinery
This is one that usually takes people by surprise. While it’s not something that most people think about, it is one of the most important tasks when operating a farm. Aside from the larger tasks, such as changing oil and getting tires replaced, even the small things (like filling the machinery up with fuel when it’s done being used!) helps the farm run much smoother.
- Producing feed for the animals
Once again, this is something that many people who did not have the privilege to know much about a farm are unaware of. Some farms buy the hay for their livestock from an outside source. However, we are fortunate enough to have land of our own, and the equipment required, to harvest our own hay. For more information about harvesting hay, visit Provide Your Own, they have an easy to understand breakdown of the process of harvesting hay.