By Samantha Reese
TCA intern, Samantha Reese, interviewed Aaron Lay of Muddy Water Farms in Madisonville, Tennessee. The Lay’s are very involved with showing cattle in Tennessee and have a long family history in agriculture.
How long has your family been involved in raising cattle?
Farming and cattle are things that have always been in my family. Since back in my great granddad’s day, we’ve had dairy and beef cattle. When 4-H became a part of my life, we were introduced into the registered Shorthorn breed. My family and I have proudly been raising and showing registered Shorthorn cattle since 2008.
Tell us about your farm today.
Today, we operate an organic dairy and have a small herd of registered Shorthorn cattle, consisting of 20 mama cows from which we market show heifers and seed stock.
What was your favorite part of growing up on the farm?
I have always been a stickler for the outdoors. Being raised on a farm has allowed me countless hours of activities to do outside, such as riding four-wheelers. Farming may be a hard task at sometimes, but the countless hours of family bounding makes it all worthwhile.
What have been some of the trials you or your family has had to overcome?
In order to be successful in the show ring, you have to grasp the concept of working hard at home to earn ribbons and awards on show day. Also, time budgeting became super hard for me when I first started my herd. Sometimes you have to say no and sacrifice things in order to say yes to the things that are the most important.
Do you have any advice for young Tennessee cattle producers about the business?
GET INVOLVED! I encourage you to strive to be active in your county and state cattlemen’s association along with being involved in your breed’s state and national breed association.
Is there anything else you can share with us?
With showing cattle and the 4-H organization, I have been places that I never would’ve gone to and met people I would’ve never met. It is the memories, friendships, and many life lessons that I will cherish forever.
Follow the Muddy Water Farms’ Facebook page for more information: click here.