Meet the Future Monday: AB Brandon of Rutherford County, Tennessee
This week’s Meet the Future Monday understands the true value of family farming. As the fifth generation to be raised on the original homeplace, AB Brandon of Rutherford County, Tennessee, is just as passionate as his dad about raising quality cattle. Read our Q&A with AB to learn more about his aspirations in the cattle industry!
Q: Describe your operation.
A:I live on a farm adjacent to the original homeplace that dates back 5 generations. We raise a closed commercial herd of Angus-Influenced cows. I own a small herd of Registered Angus cows and bulls. Some of the bulls produced from my herd are used as clean-up bulls after we artificially inseminate the commercial herd.
Q: What have you enjoyed most about growing up on the farm?
A:Growing up on a farm means spending a lot of time with your family. We are an extremely close family. My grandparents built their house where the original house stood, my uncle purchased land across the creek and we live beside him. I love being able to step out my backdoor and see cows grazing and their calves by their sides.
Q: Who has been your biggest role model in pursuing your farming aspirations?
A:My mentor has been my Dad. My dad has taught me how to raise healthy, productive cattle. I have watched how passionate he is about raising cattle. When we vaccinate our herd, he has taught me to be calm and caring. He has introduced me to other cattle producers that have shared a world of information with me. He has shown me what true dedication really is, which has been a really valuable lesson.
Q: What are you most passionate about in your business?
A:I am most passionate about watching our herd grow and improving its performance. Raising cattle gives me an understanding that helps me promote agriculture. I have a true hands on experience, which helps me when I need to answer people’s questions. I want people to understand that we are rewarded with healthy animals because of our hard work and dedication.
Q: What are some of the greatest challenges that you face as a young farmer?
A:One of my greatest challenges as a young farmer is managing time. Sometimes, we plan around my schedule to vaccinate or move cattle. When my dad has a work day, I come home from school and help my grandfather catch up with feeding. Another challenge is not being able to drive. It will be nice when I am able to go get feed or a part from the part store.
Q: Where do you see yourself and your operation in 10 years?
A:In 10 years, I should have graduated from college with an agriculture degree and be working somewhere Ag related. I hopefully will have improved and increased my registered Angus herd. Also, I hope that technology has improved for faster and more reliable internet access for the farmer.
Q: How will you continue to improve and grow your operation?
A:I will continue to improve my operation by using artificial insemination. By choosing proven genetics, my herd should produce offsprings of replacement heifers and profitable bulls. My will keep most or all of the heifers and use or sale the bulls.
Q: How do you intend to leave your footprint on the beef industry in Tennessee?
A:I intend to leave a positive footprint on the beef industry in Tennessee by becoming a mentor to someone younger. I want to teach people that we treat our cows like they would treat their children. I want people to know they can come to me to find out the truth about agriculture.
Q: What could the existing farmers do most to help future farmers such as yourself?
A:Existing farmers can help us by practicing good land stewardship. They can keep helping us promote the quality of the Tennessee Beef Cow.
Q: What is your favorite beef dish?
A:My favorite beef dish is a slow, smoked beef brisket eaten at my grandparents’ house with all the family at the table.