Town & Country
Family: Wife, Tina; Sons, Dalton, 19, and Dylan, 14; and daughter, Jyme, 12.
Hometown: Mountainburg, Ark.
In Town: “I have been at Mountainburg High School for 27 years serving as the only ag teacher and the FFA advisor. Being advisor means working far beyond normal teaching days. I often stay late, have evening meetings, work weekends, as well as summers. In the summer, I mostly advise students on best practices with their animals and help them prepare for the county fair and other showing opportunities. Times are different now because only a little over half of my students are rural which requires adaptations for those without access to animal raising accommodations. My involvement with FFA as a young person offered opportunities and guidance that were invaluable in my life and central in my decision to become an ag teacher. It’s my way of giving back what was given to me. I recently started working 10 to 25 hours a week at Atwood’s in Alma in the gun department. My wife, Tina, drives a school bus and works for a health insurance company in Barling, Ark., as a receptionist.
In the Country: “Tina and I own 44 acres outside of town where we raise piglets as show animals for our children and for others. I AI the sows in the spring. This means I don’t need to keep a boar and the process is simpler than with cattle, especially determining when an animal comes into heat. I have a sled/barn with a penned area for pigs. I use an expensive, high-quality MoorMan’s feed for the sows just before they are ready to farrow. A typical litter is seven piglets. I use a Hampshire cross because they have a stylish eye appeal supported by good muscling and structure. We sell the piglets cheap enough for 4-H and FFA kids to show. At this time, my land is mostly wooded with oak being the dominant tree species making it ideal for both harvesting lumber and for deer hunting.”
Future: “My plan is to begin clearing the land and developing pasture as a first step into making the land a fully functional farm. Next will come purchasing a starter commercial Angus/Hereford cross herd, which I believe sells well in the commercial market. Whenever I’m out, Tina is always with me and will be an equal partner in building our future.”