By Justin Young, TCA Intern
Landry Murdock and Murdock Farms are the subjects of this week’s “Meet the Future Monday.” Murdock Farms is in Lincoln County, Tennessee, in the small town of Petersburg. Landry operates a 300-acre diversified livestock operation. Landry is a Senior at MTSU, majoring in Agribusiness. He is actively involved in Alpha Gamma Rho, and he volunteers often at the Lincoln County Animal shelter. Landry is a very lively and energetic, respectful and passionate person. While being an active community member, he is a constant advocate of agriculture, using any opportunities he gets to educate others about agriculture and the beef industry. Landry participates in Ag Literacy Week, where he reads agricultural books to young children in schools. Landry is a great example of hard work and determination for other aspiring farmers. Landry Murdock and Murdock Farms is another great display of Tennessee’s great generation of up and coming, young farmers. Get to know him below!
Q: How long has your family been farming?
A: I am the fourth-generation farmer; my family raised 100 head of dairy cattle through 1997, and then transitioned to 100 head of beef until 2005. Between 2005 and 2007, we did not farm, but in late 2007 my grandad gave me 2 Angus bottle heifers and that is where my original herd started. When my grandfather, who I love and respect greatly, passed away from cancer in 2009, I received 15 head of his beef herd and have continued from there.
Q: What have you enjoyed most about growing up on the farm?
A: The lessons learned, the hard work, and the relationships have all been the most enjoyable. I have been raising some sort of animal since I was 4 years old; having these experiences have made me a better person and has helped me in all walks of life. Additionally, anyone who knows me probably knows that I love animals. I have raised goats, chickens, sheep, and beef, and have always had dogs on the farm, and that is certainly one of my favorite parts of farming.
Q: Who has been your biggest role model in pursuing your farming aspirations?
A: Both of my grandfathers have been instrumental in my passion for agriculture and farming. I can’t say enough to describe how much they have impacted and enabled me to do what I love. They were both big-time farmers in Petersburg, and I look to continue the same tradition.
Q: Describe your operation…
A: I have a commercial herd of 42 beef cows made up of Angus cross, Saler, and Charolais. I also have 50 head of Khatadin/Dorper ewes, and around 30 chickens.
Q: What are you most passionate about in your operation?
A: I am most passionate about keeping my farm going for years to come, as it means a lot to me to be able to farm this land. I am an avid outdoorsman and enjoy the lifestyle that accompanies farming as well.
Q: What are some of the greatest challenges that you face as a young farmer?
A: Right now, and for the last 3 years I have been balancing school, a job, and the farm; that has been a challenge itself. Being so young and in this phase of life, finances can be tricky, but the hardest part is farming alone and running back and forth from Murfreesboro and Petersburg.
Q: Where do you see yourself and your operation in 10 years?
A: In 10 years, I would like to see my beef herd at 100 cows and 300 ewes. I will be in my early 30’s after 10 years, and I hope to farm full-time by then.
Q: How will you continue to improve and grow your operation?
A: I look to improve both my commercial beef and sheep operation through genetic selection and further education. I would like to see myself able to maximize the efficiency of my pastures, develop better marketing strategies, and add acres to my farm, reaching 1,000 acres eventually.
Q: How do you intend to leave your footprint on the beef industry in Tennessee?
A: I would like to have my farm established and prepared to leave to my children someday; continuing this farm would mean so much to me. Additionally, I would like to continue my advocacy of the beef industry, but also farming. I enjoy informing others and teaching them about the value of agriculture, hopefully debunking a lot of silly misinformation and myths about the industry.
Q: What could the existing farmers do most to help young farmers such as yourself?
A: The older generation of producers could mentor, teach, and develop relationships with the younger generation of farmers to further educate them. Simply inviting someone to your farm to explain the operation can be very valuable to a young farmer. Personally, I really enjoy when the older generation wants to help me, because frankly since I am young, I do not always know everything.
Q: What is your favorite beef dish?
A: Filet Mignon cooked medium-rare!