TCA intern, Samantha Reese, interviewed the Higgins family of Watertown about their farm. Contributors were John and Marna Higgins, and their children: Andy, Alison, and Amelia.
How long has your family been involved in raising cattle? Tell us about how it got started.
Our family has been raising cattle for centuries. My immediate family formerly raised commercial cattle. My parents started our Chiangus herd in 1986 with 10 replacement heifers.
Tell us about your farm today.
We currently raise and show Chiangus cattle. This year was our 15th consecutive Junior National Show. I am so proud of how far we have come with our show cattle and cowherd. When my brother was about 10 years old, he started showing cattle. I remember being so excited to win classes at Tennessee Beef Expo. Then it was the excitement of winning classes at Junior Nationals and then divisions at Junior Nationals. I never dreamed we would win banners at the North American International Livestock Exposition or Junior Nationals for several consecutive years. Looking back, I am so proud of how our herd and show string have evolved since those 10 replacement heifers, and I am even more proud to know that my family did this together.
What was your favorite part of growing up on the farm?
My favorite part of growing up on the farm was all the time spent with my siblings. Now that we’ve all grown up and will all be moved out of our parents’ house by the end of the year, I sometimes reflect on all the time we’ve spent together at the barn growing up. This is my last year showing cattle, and reality has somewhat struck that we won’t all be together at the barn every day more
Do you have any advice for young Tennessee cattle producers about the business?
Don’t be afraid to ask for help or advice! No one wants to see you fail so most cattlemen will be more than happy to lend a hand or share some advice.