Town and Country
Name: Jim Fish
In The Country: Jim has a small farm where he keeps anywhere from five to 15 registered polled Herefords. Focusing on quality over quantity, he breeds for eye pigment, a dark red color and keeping birth weights in the low 70s. He has used bulls from the Bellis and Journagen bloodlines, and he said all his animals can be traced back to one registered bull. He line breeds his animals to bring a consistent look to his calves.
In Town: Jim is a purchasing manager at Edge Supply, Plumbing Fixtures and Supplies, in Springfield, Mo. He deals with decorative plumbing products and works in the company’s show room. He’s been in the plumbing business almost 15 years.
Family: Wife, Elisa, three daughters, Julie, 25, Christy, 17 and Emme, 7.
How do you stay viable as a small purebred producer?
“I market the calves as show heifers and commercial bulls. My thing on marketing cattle, I like to have a value-added approach. I halter break and hand feed all the bulls so they’re gentle, and I offer deliveries.”
How does your job in town relate to work at the farm?
“I have a slogan here at the store and at the farm. ‘Sell a quality product at a fair price.’ It costs as much to raise a good animal as a poor animal,” Jim explained. He said he tries to produce the best product possible for other producers. “The majority of my bulls go to people with Black Angus cattle.”
What do you say to young people wanting to get into the purebred business?
“Concentrate on a high quality product. Make the best use of forage you’ve got. If you’re new to the business find a mentor. People are always willing to help. The No. 1 way to add value to another producer’s operation is to offer them a high-quality animal. The second way is to make performance records available to people. You have to distinguish yourself from the average.”
By OFN Staff