Young Cattlemen Series: 1st session explores financial side of cattle operations

Tuesday, December 5, 2017
The students in the Young Cattlemen Series of Carroll County met for their first session on Tuesday, Nov. 28, in the Carroll Electric Community Room.
Photo by Tavi Ellis/Carroll County News

A successful cattle operation involves more than just the cattle.

The Young Cattlemen Series of Carroll County explored the resources and finances involved in cattle operations on Tuesday, Nov. 28, in the Carroll Electric Community Room.

County extension agent Olivia Foster and district conservationist Kristin Whittmore welcomed students to the first session of the four-part series, and Foster kicked things off by discussing the resources available through the University of Arkansas Extension Service.

Whittmore and Joe Fancher, water quality technician for the Carroll County Conservation District (CCCD), then talked about their work with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and CCCD respectively, noting that both organizations are valuable assets for local cattlemen.

The Young Cattlemen Series also featured guest speakers from local banks and financial services to help the students account for the financial side of their cattle operations.

County executive director Scott Fancher and farm loan officer Kelly Bolinger spoke about their work with the Farm Service Agency.

Charlie McConnell, senior vice president and chief lending officer, and Brad Matlock, vice president and branch manager, spoke about their work with Farm Credit Services of Wester Arkansas, which aims to enrich rural life by providing high-quality lending and financial services that meed the needs of rural western Arkansas farmers, ranchers and rural homeowners.

Don Foster, assistant vice president and loan officer of

Anstaff Bank, talked with the students about cash flow and loans for their cattle operations. He asked how many of them figure up a “break-even sheet” before requesting a loan.

“If you walk into the bank or a lending institute with a break-even sheet figured out already,” he said, “and say ‘This is what I want to do,’ then you already have one foot in the door. It shows that you spent some time figuring stuff out and you have a plan for everything.”

Don Foster encouraged them to start filling out break-even sheets before going to the bank or lending institutions.

“If you take anything away from this, guys, then fill these break-even sheets out,” he said, “and I promise you it will make a big difference.”

Lunch was sponsored by Anstaff Bank. After lunch, Alechia Meador, a certified public accountant (CPA), discussed taxes with the students. Marcus Creasy later spoke about being an agent with the Sliveus Insurance Group, and Bob Sorensen of Superior Livestock discussed the livestock markets, which are constantly changing.

Olivia Foster and Kristin Whittmore then debriefed the students and made closing remarks for the first session of the Young Cattlemen Series. Whittmore encouraged the students to network with each other.

“It’s important to remember that you all can be resources to each other,” she said.

Clayton Whittmore, who runs a registered Simmental and Angus operation, said he signed up for the series to network with the other cattlemen.

“I want to see what’s working in their operations,” he said. “I think that’s always a good opportunity in fields like this. I’m also looking forward to learning more about herd health and the nutritional side of it.”

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