This 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.
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?
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.