Name: Rick Melson
In Town: Rick is the controller at Bryant Plastics. He handles all the financial affairs for the three divisions of the company, Bryant Plastics, Bryant Freight and Bryant Brokerage. Bryant Plastics is in Gainesville, Mo., and they make sewer drain pipes from ground up plastic, in all sizes, shapes and colors. Previously, Rick sold real estate.
In The Country: Rick and his wife, Mary Ann, have a cattle operation with 20 crossbred cattle. The primary focus of their farming operation in Mtn. Home, Ark., is breeding for club calf influence. His three children showed from youth until leaving for college, and now that all the kids are away at school, Rick and Mary Ann still raise calves for kids to buy and show. “We expect some very good, show quality calves to be available for viewing come July or August of this year,” Rick said.
Family: Wife, Mary Ann, Children, John, Jeffrey and Kristen.
What exactly is a club calf, and how did you get interested in them?
“Most of our calves are Angus influenced, with some Maine Anjou. We cross to club calf sires and we’re trying to target that club calf type. Color is black, and that is usually very important, although they can be any color. They are long-bodied, square hipped, have adequate bone structure, and they need to grow out good.
“We started showing with our kids when our oldest was nine. We began with Angus, then began looking and observing what other breeders had. Then we started breeding for that type of body too.”
Rick said they were pleased with the type of calves they began to see coming from their herd, and knew they were accomplishing their goals when their kids began to excel in the show ring.
Where would you like to see your breeding program go in the future?
“We would like to, first, increase the numbers of our cattle, but increase while improving quality. Each year we weed out the calves that don’t suit our specifics, and we feel we’ve now got some very good cattle. We’d probably like to expand our market further, but one thing that we feel sets us apart from other breeders is we don’t try to take advantage of people on price. We want the common kid to be able to show our calves and not have to take out a huge loan they will spend years paying back.”
By OFN Staff