Meet the Future Monday: Rob Oakley of Overton County, Tennessee

Oakley MFM InstaThis week’s Meet the Future Monday, Rob Oakley, is the fifth generation to farm on his family’s century old farm in Overton County, Tennessee. It is evident that Rob has the same passion for raising good cattle and growing the future of his operation that the many generations before him did as well. Read our Q&A with Rob to see his passion and plans for the future of his Angus cattle operation.

Describe your operation.

I am the fifth generation to farm our family’s century owned operation. We manage around 300 acres that we run approximately 100 brood cows and 50 purebred Angus cows on. We have a commercial cow-calf operation as well as a purebred Angus herd. We also sell registered Angus bulls, heifers, and, most recently, Registered show heifers. We also have several donors that we flush and put embryos in recip cows as well.

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

I enjoy being outside and being around the cattle; watching them eat, lay around, & raise a calf crop each season. I enjoy taking care of our farm like my great, great grandfather did.

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

My Pa always had cattle growing up and would take me along on daily chores. So, from a young age I enjoyed that time spent with him and his cows. Oakley3

What are you most passionate about in your business?

Our purebred Angus herd for sure. Not to say I don’t appreciate our commercial herd but I really enjoy picking different A.I. sires and new genetics to breed our purebred cattle to improve the calf crop each season. Recently, my love for show animals has really grown to my biggest passion and is what I’m really focusing on for the future of the farm.

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

I would say our greatest challenge is fighting today’s commercial cow market. With high operating cost and dropping calf prices this is a challenge we all face in the beef industry and is what makes it hard on the modern farmer to survive. Another challenge we face is making sure all cows are bred and producing calves each season.

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

I hope to have my own herd of Angus show cattle that my younger siblings or customers can show on the national level. Also, I would like to have a great herd of donor cows as well as a great recip program.

How will you continue to improve and grow your operation?Oakley2

Continue to buy elite donors, use top Angus genetics, utilize Artificial Insemination and flushing our donor cows.

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

Hopefully to have one of the best Angus herds in Tennessee. Especially, some great show animals as well as genomic performance cattle.

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

Share their knowledge with us and help us to prevent making some of the mistakes they made as younger producers. Also, utilize a good vaccination program to prevent the spread of viruses and sickness, and in return leaving us with better animals to purchase.

What is your favorite beef dish?

I would have to say my favorite is 12 oz. Filet Mignon cooked medium rare.

 

Meet the Future Monday: 2019 Youth Beef Heifer Initiative Scholarship Winners

SIX TENNESSEE YOUTH WIN BEEF HEIFER SCHOLARSHIPS

Murfreesboro, TN—Six Tennessee students were awarded the Youth Beef Heifer Initiative Scholarship, sponsored by the Tennessee Cattlemen’s Association and Farm Credit Mid-America. They received this award during the Alltech/Kubota Youth Awards Banquet at the 34thAnnual Tennessee Cattlemen’s Convention and Trade Show in Murfreesboro on Jan. 25.

 The Heifer Initiative focuses on cost-sharing of beef cattle for youth. First place winners of each age division are awarded $2,000 and belt buckle sponsored by the University of Tennessee Animal Science, and the second place winners are awarded $1,000. This money is to be put towards the purchase of a beef heifer of their choice from a Tennessee Cattlemen’s Association member within one year of receiving the funds. There are three age divisions: Youth, Junior High, and Senior High.

“Farm Credit Mid America has once again helped support the future of our industry by providing six heifer scholarships for deserving young cattlemen in Tennessee,” said Charles Hord, TCA Executive Vice President. “These heifers will be shown and then become the foundation for a new cattlemen’s herd. Congratulations to our winners.”

Rose Mary Johns of Williamson County won first place in the Youth Division and Jake Ozburn of Bedford County won second place. Mary Carter Shirley of White County won first place in the Junior High Division and Tyler Burks of Wilson County won second place. Lena Sims of Humphreys County won first place in the Senior High Division and Jacqueline King of McMinn County won second place.

RoseMary Johns, youth winner from Williamson County said, “I can’t thank the Tennessee Cattlemen’s Association enough for choosing me as a 2019 Heifer Scholarship winner. I am so excited to purchase a new Shorthorn show heifer, support a Tennessee cattle farmer, and continue to be a positive influence on the beef industry in my great state. Next year is going to be exciting showing my new girl and wearing my awesome new belt buckle.”

“The heifer initiative is a program that has a direct impact on a youth across Tennessee in the beef industry and is a natural fit for Farm Credit funding,” said Shane Williams, Senior Financial Officer for Farm Credit Mid America. “We realize cattle operations are an expensive business and this program allows a child to grow their beef herd or even buy that first show heifer. We are proud to be a partner in a program that not only promotes the beef industry but more importantly focuses on youth development and our future leaders.”

Lena Sims, senior high winner from Humphreys County said, “I am so thankful for this opportunity that the Tennessee Cattlemen’s Association has provided me and many other youth across the state. I hope to do my best in show rings across the state with the heifer I purchase at the other end of the halter and by my side.”

The application for the 2020 Beef Heifer Initiative Scholarship will be available in the fall of 2019.

TCA was founded in 1985 and has more than 7,000 members from across the state and the southeast. The organization works to provide the cattlemen of Tennessee with an organization through which they may function collectively to protect their interests and work toward the solution of cattle industry problems and to build the necessary goodwill that will bring both governmental esteem and recognition to the industry. 

 

Meet the Future Monday: 2018 Tennessee’s Top Tier Winners

MURFREESBORO, TN—The Tennessee Cattlemen’s Association (TCA) recognized nearly 30 youth members for their success in the first year of the Tennessee’s Top Tier point circuit. The winners were recognized at the Alltech/Kubota Youth Awards Banquet during the 34th Annual Tennessee Cattlemen’s Convention and Trade Show in Murfreesboro on Jan. 25.

The Tennessee’s Top Tier program was created by TCA to increase youth involvement at cattle shows across the state and to create more opportunities for agriculture youth to be recognized. The program has been widely successful in its first year.

“We started the Tennessee’s Top Tier program with merely the intention to encourage involvement at cattle shows across the state and reward youth in the cattle industry,” said Melinda Perkins, TCA Director of Youth Programs and Outreach. “The response we have received from the exhibitors and others has been phenomenal.”

Participants can receive points in three areas which includes a heifer, steer, and showmanship division. To receive points, exhibitors must be youth members of the Tennessee Cattlemen’s Association.

“I believe the Tennessee Top Tier program has had a positive impact on the involvement of youth exhibiting cattle,” said Samantha Roberts, Top Tier winner. “I have witnessed a great amount of youth participation this past year compared to other years.”

The following were the top five winners in each division, listed from first to fifth. Top five heifer exhibitors: Dylan Inman, Decatur County; Samantha Roberts, McMinn County; Kayla Jackson, Wilson County; Kabry Tinin, Lawrence County; Morgan Riley, Williamson County. Top five steer exhibitors: Murray Perkins, Henry County; Wyatt Haley, Williamson County; Samantha Roberts, McMinn County; Parker Saum, McNairy County; Kendra Cornelius, McMinn County. Top five Senior Plus Showmen: Kayla Jackson, Wilson County; Morgan Lehnert, Lawrence County; Chas Rowlett, Gibson County; Emily Ivey, Loudon County. Top five Senior Showmen: Murray Perkins, Henry County; Dylan Inman, Decatur County; Samantha Roberts, McMinn County; Grant Funderburk, Decatur County; Shelley Rowlett, Weakley County. Top five Junior High Showmen: Morgan Riley, Williamson County; Lila Sims, Humphreys County; Foster Wingler, Rutherford County; Maggie Lamon, Giles County; Kendra Cornelius, McMinn County. Top five Junior Showmen: Kabry Tinin, Lawrence County; Mary Carter Shirley, White County; Kylie Cornelius, McMinn County; Avery Rowlett, Wayne County; Evan Jackson, Benton County. IMG_6631-2

“The Top Tier program was a great addition to the Tennessee Cattlemen’s youth program. It attracted more people to the shows and really increased the competition,” said Morgan Riley, Top Tier winner. “It was also nice to be rewarded for all the hard work we put in throughout the whole year. It showed that hard work truly does pay off.”

Year two of Tennessee’s Top Tier program is now underway. Rules and a full list of shows on the points circuit can be found online at, tncattle.org/youth.

TCA is committed to the future of the beef cattle industry in Tennessee.

PHOTOS can be downloaded here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmA7Czzv

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

dockery mfm insta

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

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!

 

Agenda for Insta

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

 

Reminder: Upcoming Dec. 15 Deadline for Several TCA Awards

Saturday, December 15th is a big day for those wishing to apply or be nominated for several annual awards from the Tennessee Cattlemen’s Association, including both adult and youth awards. For a list of the applications due on the 15th, see below.

TCA (adult) Award Nomination Forms– Know someone that has excelled in the field of cattle production, education or youth development? We hope you will consider nominating them for one of our Tennessee Cattlemen’s Association’s annual awards. We recognize FFA, 4-H and adult agriculture work as well as a Distinguished Service award. Awards are presented during the luncheon at TCA Convention on Friday, January 25th. Click here for the nomination forms.

  • Outstanding Work in FFA Beef Program
  • Outstanding Work in 4-H Beef Program
  • Jim Neel Outstanding Work in Beef Cattle Adult Area
  • John Bartee Distinguished Service Award
  • Emmitt Rawls Outstanding Stocker Producer
  • Clyde Lane Outstanding Cow-calf Producer
  • Business Person of the Year
  • TCA Outstanding Youth Award

TCA (youth) Award Applications—There are several new opportunities for TCA youth members to take advantage of. See below for award nomination forms, scholarship applications, and applications for leadership within the TCYA.

  • Farm Credit Mid America/TCA Youth Beef Heifer Initiative Scholarship
  • TCA Outstanding Youth Award
  • Tennessee Cattlemen’s Youth Association Ambassador

Please feel free to reach out to our office with any questions or concerns that you may have. Don’t forget to submit your paperwork by December 15th!

Meet the Future Monday: Ben Hansen of Robertson County, Tennessee

Hansen Insta MFMAs a new-comer to farming, Ben Hansen as learned everything about this way of life from scratch and gained a simple, yet sound appreciation for farming and raising cattle. Read our Q&A with Ben Hansen on Robertson County, Tennessee to learn more about this week’s Meet the Future Monday and the plans that he has for the future of his operation.

Describe your operation.

We only have 26 acres so when we decided to breed cows my parents thought it was best to go with quality rather than quantity. We purchased 8 recip cows then bought embryos that’s how we started our herd.

What have you enjoyed most about being on a farm?

I love the space and being able to ride around on my four-wheeler motorbike.

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

My parents; we were new to farming a few years back and they taught me that hard work pays off and to have an open mind when learning new things.

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

I think it’s very important to work with your cattle while they are young. It is so much easier to do what you have to do with them if they are used to being around you. We can easily get our cows up by calling them with a bucket of feed.

What are some of your greatest challenges that you face as a young farmer?

It can be very difficult to stay involved in the farm during football season or when things at school get busy. Also, kids that are not involved in farming often don’t understand what you must do and they think it’s stupid.

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

I really want to go to college and study engineering. I want to stay involved in the farm and hopefully during my studies I can find ways to help improve our breeding program. One day when I have a family I hope that my kids get to experience working with cattle and how it teaches you responsibility and hard work

How will you continue to improve and grow your operation?Hansen3

They are a lot of clinics out there to help young farmers and I think it’s important to go to them. Things are always changing and technology is becoming a big part of farming I think my generation can use this as an advantage to change how things are done.

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

I would like our farm to have a reputation for providing quality breeding cattle. By learning how to read EPDs and understanding how to combine genetics we can breed quality cattle in Tennessee.

What could the existing farmers do most to help future farmers such as yourself?Hansen4

I think today’s farmers are doing a great job helping kids like me become involved in farming, by teaching us work ethics and setting examples for how to run a successful business.  The incentives out there for scholarships are great as well. I think work experience on farms would be a great way to help us learn more on how different farms operate.

What is your favourite beef dish?

I love steak!!