Boyd is building a working facility at his beef cattle farm that saves labor while also improving worker and animal safety. He is installing the new equipment, including a head gate, squeeze chute, attached palpation cage and scales, under shelter for all-weather access.
The working facility allows Boyd to properly vaccinate and precondition calves as well as improve genetics of his cattle through artificial insemination. “Having this equipment will enable us to be better positioned in the cattle industry for many more years to come,” he said.
Boyd has farmed since 1960—practically all his life—and he is eager to see his family’s farming tradition continue. The working farm helps ensure that the charming rural character of Beech Mountain remains intact. His son Justin, 28, is involved with the farm and has developed an interest in improving the herd with artificial insemination.
“As we have transitioned from tobacco, we would like to be an example of how passion, proper tools, and the use of technology can greatly affect the ability of farms to adapt to the changing demands of the agriculture industry,” Boyd said. “We see the growing demand for quality American beef as an opportunity to build up our farm for future generations.”
The working facility allows Boyd to produce high quality heifers and calculate the Expected Progeny Differences (EPD) for replacement heifers. “A replacement heifer that is highly efficient and has good mother EPDs is an area of the cattle the business that is showing great potential for the next several years,” he said.
Most of Boyd’s cattle are sold through local stockyards. He is exploring selling preconditioned feeder calves as well as high quality heifers in the future.