Grady (15), Gavin (14), Gunnar (10), Gage (8), and Grant (6) Giffey, along with their parents, from White County, Tennessee make up Five Oaks Farm. Their farm name, Five Oaks Farm, comes from Isaiah 61:3 that says, “That they may be called oaks of righteousness, a planting for the Lord, that He may be glorified.” Their goal at Five Oaks Farm is to not only raise great cattle but also great boys who bring glory to God in all they say and do. The Giffey family has had a small herd of commercial cows for years and recently started raising and showing registered cattle two years ago. Read our Q&A with Grady, Gavin, and Gunnar below to gain an appreciation for their take of life on the farm.
Describe your operation.
Grady: I live on a small Red Angus cow/calf operation and I personally have a few Shorthorns.
Gavin: I have a small but high-quality Red Angus herd.
Gunnar: I have one steer that was a bottle calf that I bought from my neighbor.
What have you enjoyed most about growing up on the farm?
Grady: All the lessons you learn and coming up with functional plans for the future.
Gavin: I like building and fixing things.
Gunnar: All the equipment…like the 4-wheeler to do chores, mowing the yard, and driving the tractor.
Who has been your biggest role model in pursuing your farming aspirations?
Grady: My two role models are Wade Matthew and my uncle, Josh Rust. Wade taught me all about the cattle business and cattle in general. Uncle Josh knows how to raise a quality herd that I hope to have one like someday.
Gavin: A multitude of people including my dad who is good at fixing stuff that breaks around here and my mom who just rocks! (she made me put that in here)
Gunnar: My brother Grady.
What are you most passionate about in your business?
Grady: Raising quality animals for my future herd.
Gavin: Making money so I can build my herd.
Gunnar: Selling my steer to get a good heifer to show.
What are some of the greatest challenges that you face as a young cattle producer?
Grady: Finances to buy the cows I want to build my herd.
Gavin: Doing my chores because I sometimes tend to procrastinate.
Gunnar: Chores – the feed is heavy.
Where do you see yourself and your operation in 10 years?
Grady: I see myself getting out of vet school, finding a job, and looking for a place to raise my herd.
Gavin: I hope to be moving my cows to my own farm to continue to make my herd great.
Gunnar: Maybe having six mama cows that my mom takes care of while I’m in college.
How will you continue to improve and grow your operation?
Grady: I will continue to make connections with breeders across the country to learn how they improve their herd so I can apply the same practices to my herd.
Gavin: I will keep good heifer calves and AI for traits that I am looking for in my animals.
Gunnar: Selling cows for more money and buying them for less.
How do you intend to leave your footprint on the cattle industry in TN?
Grady: There are lots of things that I am doing or plan to do. For instance, participating in TCA, raising my own herd of quality Shorthorns, learning from others to understand best practices, and potentially becoming a vet.
Gavin: I met a nice man named Steve Burnett, who raises Red Angus, that sold me my first two heifers. I would like to be as kind and helpful to young people when I am older as he was to me.
Gunnar: I will stomp in the mud after rainy days in my cow pasture.
What could the existing producers do most to help young cattle producers such as yourself?
Grady: I think helping provide resources that we could not afford like land, leasing high-quality cows to show, and letting us borrow or use the equipment.
Gavin: They could give us knowledge by teaching us.
Gunnar: Sell good cows for cheaper because kids don’t have much money. That is how I got my steer.
What is your favorite beef dish?
Grady: A filet grilled medium with mushrooms and onions.
Gunnar: Burger loaded with lettuce, tomato, onions, pickles, and a fried egg.