Cowboy Poetry: The Stockman

By Barry Cooper | Bradley Farm | Sparta, TN 

cowboy at the rodeo - shot backlit against big cloud of dust, coWell, I got a little stockman’s blood,

Pumping through my veins,

I like a horse that can hold a cow,

I like the feel of bridle reins.

 

I’m really quite found of ropin’,

But I never made it to the NFR,

I’ll never be a singing cowboy,

Or a cowboy movie star.

 

I’ve never owned a pair of tennis shoes,

But I’ve got four pairs of boots,

I’ve got a good stout workin’ pen,

And a brand new cattle chute.

 

I keep my cattle healthy,

they never graze brush or weeds,

I got a charge account at the Farmers’ Co-op,

For supplies that I may need.

 

My gooseneck trailer is a little rusty,

My truck sure ain’t brand new,

But I’ve got a good bit of lush pasture grass,

Sparkling in the morning dew.

 

I’m usually bustin’ ice in January,

I’m fighting flies on the fourth of July,

I’m building fence in mid October,

Underneath a clear blue sky.

 

I’ll have to repair the big round baler,

I mush harvest and store some feed,

‘Cause in the dead of winter,

Good hay is what my cattle need.

 

I’ll gladly help my neighbor,

‘Round up some skittish strays,

I’ll have to bottle feed this baby calf,

Whose mother died today.

 

And while I’m outside in God’s creation,

I’ll stop and give Him praise,

For making me a stockman,

And for granting me another day.

 

Meet the Future Monday: Blaire Lamon of Henry County, Tennessee

Lamon1You would be hard-pressed to find someone as sweet and genuine with just as much fire and passion for the cattle industry as this week Meet the Future Monday. Blaire Lamon of Henry County, Tennessee not only loves this industry but also loves learning more about it and gathering the necessary tools to take her far into the future. Read our Q&A with Blaire to learn more.

  1. Describe your operation.

My grandfather, David Lamon, bought the farm we live on now in Cottage Grove. He started with 10 head of cattle. At that time, my grandfather, dad, and uncle started Triple D Farms. We are now called Lamon Farms & have increased our herd to 30 mama cows and a bull.

  1. What have you enjoyed most about growing up on the farm?

I enjoy driving the ranger around our property and helping my dad feed and move our cows to new pasture.

  1. Lamon2Who has been your biggest role model in pursuing your farming aspirations?

My biggest role models are my dad, mom, and the owners of Sunrise Farms- Ann & Angela Wilson for helping me with hands-on learning on the farm. The Wilsons have allowed me to show heifers from their farm at cattle shows & taught me about showmanship.

  1. What are you most passionate about in your business?

I enjoy learning new things about farming & cattle and want to further my education in the industry.

  1. Lamon3What are some of the greatest challenges that you face as a cattle producer?

Money to purchase quality cattle and land is a big challenge.

  1. Where do you see yourself and your operation in 10 years?

I see myself in college working towards a degree in Ag Science or Ag Business at Murray State University. I also hope to be helping other 4-H kids with showing cattle.

  1. How will you continue to improve and grow your operation?

I want to learn everything I can to improve the genetics of my cattle. I hope to one day be able to purchase more land around our farm to have more cattle.

  1. Lamon4What could the existing farmers do most to help young cattle producers such as yourself?

They could have programs & workshops at their farm to show us what they do for their cattle to help us be more successful on our farm.

  1. What is your favorite beef dish?

Steak, but I like hamburgers a lot too!

 

Op-Ed: TN Agriculture Commissioner Jai Templeton

4-18-16 Templeton_CommissionerJai_Tennessee Department of AgricuAs Governor Haslam’s administration comes to an end, I’m extremely pleased with the great work and devoted efforts that have come from our state government. During my time with the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, one focus I’m particularly proud of is our work to assist and promote Tennessee’s food, farm, and forest businesses.

Even if you have the best innovation or idea, the thought of having an international customer base can be daunting. By reorganizing our Agricultural Advancement Division, we’ve been able to expand our focus on assisting Tennessee businesses with a renewed emphasis on international trade and exports.

In September, five Tennessee food and beverage businesses made lasting connections and discussed future trade deals during an outbound trade mission to Canada. Soon after that, we were excited to help host the Southern Forest Products Export Conference in Memphis, which showcased the importance of southern forest products and the industry that produces them.

While we’re promoting trade abroad, we will always make sure we focus on strengthening local markets. Our Agriculture Enterprise Fund (AEF) program started one year ago with a primary focus to facilitate agricultural development in at-risk and distressed counties in Tennessee. We’ve already awarded more than $1.3 million through the AEF, and these investments will lead to a total economic impact of more than $25 million throughout the state. Furthermore, many farmers and producers have utilized our Tennessee Agriculture Enhancement Program (TAEP). The program has paid more than $168 million to assist 57,549 projects since it was established in 2005.

Supporting the marketplace and processing facilities that farmers and foresters use can be just as important as assisting with on-farm projects. We understand the need for additional USDA-inspected meat processing capacity, and I appreciate the work our team has recently done to assist in increasing the number of processors in the state to 16 while also further developing our active locations. We are continuing to work diligently with current facilities on expansion projects as well as assisting those interested in building new facilities to extend this progress for our livestock producers who need it.

Producers benefit from having multiple avenues to market and sell their products. With this in mind, I’m pleased that we have assisted more than 500 farmers market projects across the state by awarding more than $2.5 million through TAEP.

Tennessee farmers know how to make the most of what they’ve got, and many have always had to work with limited resources. I’m proud of the staff at the Tennessee Department of Agriculture for being an additional resource for those who need it. And I’m proud of the work that has been done to ensure that our agriculture and forestry industry remains strong and profitable for generations to come.

I appreciate Governor Haslam for giving me the opportunity to serve in this role. My time with farmers, foresters, and consumers from the greatest state in the country will always be a highlight of my life.

I hope you and your family have a Merry Christmas, a happy New Year, and a safe holiday season. Thank you for all of your support during my time as Tennessee’s Commissioner of Agriculture.

Meet the Future Monday: Jamie Fussell of Dickson County, Tennessee

Jamie Fussell of Dickson County, Tennessee has a simple and down to earth perspective of what it takes to be successful in the cattle industry. She enjoys life on the farm and isn’t afraid to work hard. Read our Q&A with this week’s Meet the Future Monday to learn more.IMG950679

Describe your operation.

I run a registered cow-calf operation and I show heifers that I have bred and raised.

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

I enjoyed growing up in an environment where I have had the responsibility of taking care of living things.  I also enjoy being taught to have a big heart for all the little things.

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

My biggest role model is my mom because when we are both tired and frustrated she will still make me work hard for what I want.

What are you most passionate about in your business?

I love building the bonds with the cows and learning their big hearts and personalities.

What are some of the greatest challenges that you face as a cattle producer?

I have a hard time letting them go to the sale barn.IMG951730

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

I see myself in a good college and continuing what I started by working hard.

How will you continue to improve and grow your operation?

I will continue to breed, but I will AI more to get my desirable show cows.

How do you intend to leave your footprint on the cattle industry in Tennessee?

I plan to get my name out by winning shows, selling good cows and being a genuine herdsman.

What could the existing farmers do most to help young cattle producers such as yourself?

Share what they know and if possible, share resources.  Don’t make it competitive.

What is your favorite beef dish?FB_IMG_15

Bacon wrapped beef tenderloin filet cooked medium rare.

 

Meet the Future Monday: Eli Mundy of Claiborne County, Tennessee

Mundy Insta MFMAs a fifth-generation cattleman, Eli Mundy of Claiborne County, Tennessee, knows that it takes hard work to cultivate success. Thankfully for Eli, that hard work involves a multitude of things he enjoys on the farm. Read our Meet the Future Monday Q&A with Eli to learn more about his operation and his plans for success in the future.

  1. Describe your operation.

I am a 5th generation cattle farmer here at Mundy Farms in Speedwell Tennessee, where we have 75 head of beef cattle. I have been showing cattle for five years, and I am currently working on building my own registered Simmental/Angus herd.

  1. What have you enjoyed most about growing up on the farm?

I mostly enjoy waking up every day knowing that my daily routine involves doing things that mean the most to me. I enjoy going to different cattle shows and meeting new people.

  1. Who has been your biggest role model in pursuing your farming aspirations?

In my 15 years of growing up on the farm, I have had many friends and family who have inspired me in many ways. However, my biggest role model would have to be my Papaw. He has taught me most things I know about life on the farm, and he has encouraged me to be the person I am today.Mundy2

  1. What are you most passionate about in your business?

I am most passionate about learning things on the farm that will be useful in my future.

  1. What are some of the greatest challenges that you face as a young cattle producer?

One of the greatest challenges that I face as a young farmer is making time to get everything done. I am involved in several other activities including showing pigs, sheep, and cattle. I am also active in church activities, 4-H, and FFA. However, I still find enough time to get my chores done on the farm.

  1. Where do you see yourself and your operation in 10 years?

In 10 years, I’ll be 25 and hopefully have a college degree. It is my intention to focus on a degree in the cattle industry that would benefit me, my family, my community, and my great state. By then, I hope to have more cattle, improved genetics and equipment, and more acreage to allow me and my family a successful future.

  1. How will you continue to improve and grow your operation?

As I continue my education, I hope to learn about all the many things associated with the cattle industry that I can bring back home to improve my operation.Mundy4

  1. How do you intend to leave your footprint on the cattle industry in Tennessee?

I hope to be involved with things to help my family and neighboring producers, so they will be proud of me and my accomplishments.

  1. What could the existing farmers do most to help young cattle producers such as yourself?

Existing farmers have learned through hours of hard work. I hope through their hands-on experience they can pass down helpful ideas to me as well as other future farmers.

  1. What is your favorite beef dish?

9oz. sirloin medium rare, loaded baked potato no chives, salad with ranch, and Sprite to drink.Mundy1