Farm Feature Friday: McBride Angus of Coffee County, Tennessee
Q&A by TCA Spring Intern, Abagayle Morton
This week’s Farm Feature Friday highlights McBride Angus Farms of Beech Grove, Tennessee. Matthew McBride is a young full-time cattle producer making great headway in expanding his cattle operation. Matthew shares the history of his operation as well as his farm knowledge in the Q & A below.
How long has your family been involved in raising cattle? Tell us about how it got started.
We got started in 2002 as a show heifer project and in 2004 we purchased 10 cow/calf pairs from my uncle in Iowa. In 2012, we decided to move toward and have since become a seedstock operation.
We are family owned and operated consisting of Mark, Matthew and Amanda McBride.
Tell us about your farm today (breed of cattle, what are you proud of, etc.)
We are 100% Registered Angus. We have a fall calving herd that we start calving the last week of August through October. We bred 105 females this past fall utilizing artificial genetics. 40 of those females were implanted with an Embryo from Donor cows in our herd that we have identified as superior. This allows us to replicate the traits we desire through recipient cows we trust to raise a great calf, but in the chance the embryo isn’t received the recipients still can produce us a natural calf that is highly marketable.
We primarily market through private treaty but look to have our first production sale in the spring of 2020.
What was your favorite part about growing up on the farm?
I thank my parents for giving me that opportunity to grow up on a hobby farm because it showed me every aspect of animal care, nutrition, management and marketing on a learning level. It is truly an honor to now be able to do what I love full-time. Sometimes I have to pinch myself.
What have been some of the trials you or your family has had to overcome?
Farming on any level isn’t easy, but our biggest trial is striving to be self-sufficient in a world where incomes aren’t promised to go up, but expenses always do. Proper management is a daily must.
What is one thing you wish more people knew about life on the farm?
That animal welfare and soil health and maintenance are not just things we do out of moral obligations. It is mandatory not only for the next generation but simply for the next year. We on the farm can’t survive doing what we love without taking extremely good care of our animals and land.
What does it mean to you to be able to work with your family every day?
It means the absolute world to me. Without my dad Mark or my wife Amanda, this living dream wouldn’t be possible. It is truly a blessing to see the potential of McBride Angus being passed down for generations to come.
Do you have any advice for young Tennessee cattle producers about the business?
Be patient. It may take 5 years of planning to see your breeding goals come to fruition. Find your path in this industry, everyone is full of ideas, but what works for you may not work for others.
What is your favorite beef dish?
Is there anything else you can share with us?
It costs just as much money to raise a poor cow as it does a good one. Don’t be afraid to cull the bad ones or buy the good ones.