Meet the Future Monday: Makayla Dockery of Washington County, TN

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Makayala Dockery of Washington County, Tennessee is the spotlight of this week’s Meet the Future Monday. Makayla enjoys working with her family on their family farm and showing cattle alongside her mother, but she is also always looking towards the future of her operation and her future career as a Veterinarian. Read our Q&A with Makayla below to learn more!

Describe your operation.

We are a small Angus/SimAngus family farm and we have about 20 head. We add about 4 to 5 additional head each show season and are expecting to start showing our first bred and owned this year. We also have some commercial cattle.

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

I just enjoy spending time with the animals and my family. It’s hard work sometimes but it pays off.

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

I would have to say my mother. She grew up showing cows and she is still really passionate about it now and pushes me more than anyone.

What are you most passionate about in your business?

I would like to produce good cattle and be a large animal Veterinarian in the future.

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

We have had to battle the growing cost of feed and also changing illnesses like the new strands of pinkeye. It’s been a tough year where we live for that.

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

As a Veterinarian; I hope to be busy but still have the time to spend with family, farming, and showing. dockery2

How will you continue to improve and grow your operation?

We always try to buy cattle that improve our stock and bloodlines plus help the weight and size of our commercial cows.

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

I would love to be the next generation of cattle producers that people look to for good quality cattle and do my very best as a Veterinarian to improve medicine and vaccines.

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

Keep them interested by helping with things like Agriculture programs and scholarships. The school’s systems have let cattle fall to the side to other programs who are as important but don’t really help the cattle markets.

What is your favorite beef dish?

My dad makes the best steaks and I am up for a good filet any day. dockery3

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Meet the Future Monday: Christine McCollum of Williamson County, Tennessee

Processed with VSCO with c1 presetChristine McCollum of Williamson County, Tennessee is the focus of this week’s Meet the Future Monday. Christine is actively involved in her county’s livestock project group which has laid the ground work for her desire to grow her herd and helped her decide on her future career path. Read below to learn more.

1) Describe your operation.

We currently have eight heifers that are a mix of Angus, Simmental, Chi-Angus and Sim-Shorthorn, six of which are pregnant and due next spring. At the moment, we have one 3-month-old heifer out of one our own cows. I have one heifer that is out of a cow we bought last summer, and I am planning on showing her this summer. We also currently have three show steers at our barn along with three show hogs. We don’t own a bull but have had one brought to our farm to breed two of the heifers that are now pregnant and we artificially inseminated the other four. So, while our herd is fairly small at the moment, we are working to grow it.

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

For me, the best part of growing up on a farm is all the lessons it has taught me. It has specifically taught me responsibility, whether that is in the barn taking care of livestock or serving as president of our county’s 4-H livestock project. It has also shown me that my passion is agriculture and helped me to start my path for college.mccollum1

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

Wow, it’s hard to pick one. Probably my dad and his dad, they co-own our little operation all while having full time jobs as a Pediatrician and a small animal Veterinarian. They’re not making any money from it, they do it so that my siblings and I can show animals and have the experience of growing up on a farm.

4) What are you most passionate about in your business?

Just agriculture in general; I have always loved livestock and I am planning on going to school to either become an Ag Teacher or large animal Veterinarian.

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

Time; owning/living on a farm is a full-time job, and balancing my school work and the time I need to be spending at the barn with my animals is difficult.

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

In ten years, I hope to either be working as a high-school Ag Teacher or a Veterinarian, two very different things. I hope to have a small operation consisting mostly of cattle and horses but possibly some sheep as well. mccollum3

7) How will you continue to improve and grow your operation?

Like I said we have six pregnant heifers that are due in a few months and we are praying some of them are bulls. We will probably sell them as steers and most likely use that money to expand our herd with more heifers.

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

I hope to help educate more of the Middle Tennessee youth. I want to share the knowledge I have learned and expand the agriculture community in our area. I believe that the best way for me to do that is through 4-H. I currently serve as the Williamson County 4-H livestock project President and I am striving to involve more of our youth in the cattle project.

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

I think the best thing for them to do is just to share their experience and knowledge with us. whether that’s by teaching at different workshops or just helping an individual kid. Also, supporting us at auctions is huge, our big county auction is held at the fair each year, and the more people we have there supporting each of us, the easier it is for us to continue to show our cattle.mccollum2

10) What is your favorite beef dish?

That’s a tough one, probably a ribeye steak though.

 

 

Youth Activities at 34th Annual Tennessee Cattlemen’s Association Convention

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With the excitement of the New Year, also comes the annual Tennessee Cattlemen’s Convention & Trade Show at the end of January. There will be activities of interests for all ages, specifically the youth.

On Friday night, approximately 40 youth will be recognized for their honors and achievements at the first annual Alltech/Kubota Youth Awards Banquet. This banquet will include awarding the Farm Credit Mid America/ Tennessee Cattlemen’s Association Heifer scholarships, the new TCA Outstanding Youth Award, and the Tennessee’s Top Tier show points circuit awards. The excitement and anticipation for this event is high so stay tuned for more pictures during and after convention!

A new aspect to the youth activities at convention this year is the Youth for the Quality Care of Animals training sessions on Saturday. YQCA is a program that UT Extension will be promoting and implementing to youth who exhibit livestock in 2019. Youth whom are planning to participate in state expo will receive an incentive for having the YQCA certification or could potentially be required to have the certification.

SIGN UP TODAY, for YQCA training at TCA Convention! Details on how to register for your training session can be found on our website, here. The training will be offered for ages 8-18. The sessions will be held on Saturday morning— Junior (ages 8-11) and Intermediate (ages 12-14) will be held from 9:30-10:30 and Senior (ages 15-18) will be held from 10:45-11:45. We encourage youth members to take advantage of the opportunity to obtain their certification at convention.

Also at convention, we will hold a Tennessee Cattlemen’s Youth Association informational meeting for youth, parents, and others who are interested to learn more about TCYA and it’s programs. The 4-H Livestock Quiz Bowl Contest will be back at convention again this year. Those teams interested in participating should register through Aaron Fisher, fisher@utk.edu. Lastly, youth can network in the trade show as they complete the Convention Scavenger Hunt to compete for a cool prize.

Youth can attend convention for a discounted price of $10.00 which includes Saturday lunch. Registration forms for be found here.

There are a lot of exciting things happening at the Tennessee Cattlemen’s Association Convention & Trade Show this year! A full agenda and registration information can be found in recent issues of the Tennessee Cattle Business magazine or on our website at, http://www.tncattle.org. Hope to see you at convention!

 

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