By Samantha Reese
TCA intern, Samantha Reese, interviewed Will Mayfield of Mayfield Farm. Will and his family farm in Giles County, Tennessee and have Angus cattle. Will also recently attended the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s Young Cattlemen’s Conference as the TCA/TBIC representative.
How long has your family been involved in raising cattle? Tell us about how it got started.
My family has been involved in the cattle industry for roughly 55 years and it all began with a small set of commercial dairy cattle that my grandparents had. Our Angus operation began with a pair of registered show heifers my father and his sister started with from Texas as they entered into their beef heifer projects in 4H.
Tell us about your farm today (breed of cattle, what are you proud of, etc.)
These two females would be the foundation of our herd and the spark that started the passion of the cattle industry in our family. As we sit today we are a third generation operation, however, it is from the generations prior were the foundation of hard work and the importance of family was instilled in us.
I have had the opportunity to see the initiation of life in a calf being born. The opportunity to save the lives in cows having trouble during calving. The opportunity to work hard and grow the food that feeds our population. So, to place a favorite on any part of our operation or the life I have been allowed to lead would be impossible. I’d say all of the different experiences I have been allowed, all of the people I have met, and all of the lessons I have learned would have to be what I feel has shaped my life.
What is one thing you wish more people knew about life on the farm?
I wish more people knew how much passion that those in the cattle business possess from the cow/calf producer to the feeders to the packers. I also wish people knew of the intellect from one end to the other that these farmers and ranchers have. They are business men, dietitians, engineers, doctors, policy experts, pastors, husbands, and fathers.
What does it mean to you to be able to work with your family every day?
It’s certainly a privilege and an honor to work with my family every day. We fight, we fuss, we learn from each other and we all grow together.
Do you have any advice for young Tennessee cattle producers about the business?
I would suggest to young producers to take every opportunity to learn as much as possible about the industry today, but also keep in mind the potential for changes and technological advances that will come down the pike in the future.
What’s your favorite beef dish?
I really enjoy a T-Bone steak. It’s the best of both worlds. The ribeye and the filet.
Is there anything else you can share with us?
I just had the opportunity to go on the Young Cattlemen’s Conference through the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and it is amazing what they do for us as beef producers. They work to educate our consumers, our politicians, and our youth. They also work tirelessly with our politicians in Washington for our best interests.