Meet the Future Monday: Grant Funderburk of Decatur County, Tennessee

Grant Funderburk from Decatur County understands the importance of portraying a good image in the livestock industry. Grant not only strives to breed high quality livestock and is constantly looking for new technologies to help him do so, but he also strives to present his cattle to the highest degree. Read this Q&A and you’ll understand Grant’s passion for nothing but QUALITY.Funderburk1

 Q: Describe your operation

A: I currently live on a 500-acre farm where my family raises a large variety of livestock including our herd of commercial beef cattle. I recently started showing cattle where I am purchasing registered heifers to enhance our herds genetics.

Q: What have you enjoyed most about growing up on the farm?

A: I enjoy the fact of never knowing what kind of daily task to expect while working on a farm. You never know what you will get into from show heifers breaking out of their pens to fixing the troughs that the bulls broke. Every day is a new adventure on the farm.

Q: Who has been your biggest role model in pursuing your farming aspirations?

A: My biggest role model in pursuing farming would have to be my grandfather. He always has advice when I need it, and is always one of my biggest supporters. No matter what type of livestock I wanted to get involved with he has stood behind me through it all.

Q: What are you most passionate about in your business?

Funderburk2A: The thing that I am most passionate about is the way my animals look and are presented at shows. When I am going to a show, I really strive to make them look their absolute best because when showing livestock, it comes back and reflects how your farm looks to others.

Q: What are some of the greatest challenges that you face as a young farmer?

A: One of my greatest challenges has to be finding a way to balance all of my time. Having a farm can be very time consuming and being very active in FFA and 4-H there are many times that I am away for long periods of time. Therefore, I have to learn how to balance my time to keep my farm growing.

Q: Where do you see yourself and your operation in 10 years?

A: I hope to see myself growing my operation not only in size but also in genetic quality. So that I will be able to produce high quality registered show heifers.Funderburk3

Q: How will you continue to improve and grow your operation?

A: I intend to continue working hard to achieve my goals I have set for my farm, and to go to college and get a degree in Animal Science: Production. I then can bring the practices I learn at school back to the farm and put them into use.

Q: How do you intend to leave your footprint on the beef industry in Tennessee?

A: I hope to produce high quality genetics for farmers to use in their herds to enhance their own genetics, and to produce better quality cattle in Tennessee.

Q: What could the existing farmers do most to help future farmers such as yourself?

Funderburk1A: The best way for existing farmers to help future farmers like myself is to allow us to work with them in their practices. The best way for young people to learn is to have good hands on experiences, and what better way to gain those experiences than to see it firsthand.

Q: What is your favorite beef dish?

A: My favorite beef dish would have to be a Filet Mignon.

FIVE on Friday: FIVE Industry Events to Attend in August


August—back to school, county fairs, football season and so much more! As you enter into this busy month, be sure to put these dates on your August calendar. You won’t want to miss these industry events!

Tuesday, August 7th—Steak and Potatoes Field Day– The University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture is once again sponsoring the Steak and Potatoes Field Day in Crossville, TN. The day will include a trade show, seminars, and more. Click here for more information.

Thursday, August 9th—Tri- State Beef Conference– The Tri-State Beef Conference is an educational program for cow/calf producers and stocker operators to learn about managing production and price risk. The annual conference is presented by University of Tennessee Extension, Virginia Cooperation Extension and North Carolina Cooperative Extension. The event will be held at the Ron Ramsey Regional Ag Center in Blountville, TN. Click here for more information about the conference and registration information.

Tuesday, August 14th—Grass-fed Beef Workshop—This workshop will be held in Trenton, TN at the Ed Jones Agri-Plex Auditorium. This workshop will be geared towards helping producers address the challenges of managing forages, finishing cattle and marketing beef using pasture-based production systems. Click here for more information.

Wednesday/Thursday, August 15th and 16th—Device Ready Workshops— This workshop is dedicated to helping producers improve their online presence. Learn more and register here.

Friday/Saturday, August 24th and 25th—Stockmanship + Stewardship Clinic—One of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s five regional Stockmanship + Stewardship Clinics will be held in Clemson, SC. The clinic will involve hands-on training, cattle health demonstrations, and more. Read more here.

 There is lots to learn in the month of August by attending these industry events. Other industry events in August include the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s Summer Business Meeting, the East TN Angus Association 100-year celebration, and the East TN Polled Hereford Bull and Female Sale.