Town & Country
Name: David Yarnell
In Town: David is a sales rep for the MFA in Republic, Mo. He handles livestock, farm supply, animal health and feed. He spends much of his time working with the Health Track program.
In the Country: David used to ride bulls, and thanks to a rodeo scholarship, he graduated from the University of Missouri. Originally from Versailles, Mo., he and his family have developed a herd of rodeo stock. "Twenty of those is like running 250 cows. We don't dock their horns, we don't tip them, because it might devalue them," he said. "And they are mean."
Family: Wife, Tiffany; Mother, Kimmie Meinershagen
What does raising rodeo stock entail?
"We sell the heifers out of the calf crop every year. But we keep all the bulls 'til they're two and a half years old. I have to teach them how to eat next to each other, how to be penned together, how to load and how to leave the arena, all that in two and a half years or before they cripple themselves," he said. But he doesn't teach them to buck. "We'll put them with a dummy, which is a 30 lb. box that sits on their back with the girth, latigo and a hook under the box. We have a remote, and when they kick over their head and spin, you throw that box off with the remote. Some bulls it will take two or three trips with the dummy and they're ready. Some bulls it will take twice that many."
How do you manage having a farm in Versailles?
"Three out of four weekends I'll be up there. Friday after work through late Sunday night. And I'll have a specific item I've got to get accomplished that weekend. Like I'll be planting Marshall rye for the bulls this winter."
What was your best bull?
"That was 038 "Twitch." He went to five of the Built Ford Tough PBR series."
Why have you stayed involved in agriculture?
"When I stand over a bull and put a dummy on him and flank him and he does good, and I know he was born here, you're proud. Like a proud parent or something."