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Good for the Goose(neck)

Three lucky Tennessee cattlemen win new trailers in Co-op giveaway
Story and photos by Chris Villines 9/29/2017


At his farm near Maryville, Gary Estes sits on the back of the 20-foot Gooseneck cattle trailer he received as a winner in the Co-op “Great Trailer Giveaway.” The part-time farmer and home security company owner, along with, from left, neighbor/farm helper John Hubbs and AgCentral Farmers Cooperative Maryville Store Manager Alex Anderson listen as Tennessee Farmers Cooperative Animal Health Sales Specialist Matt Crisp explains some of the features and benefits of Gary’s new trailer.
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We’ve all been there — entering our name in a prize drawing with as much optimism of a winning outcome as a fly trapped in a spider’s web.

But when one beats the odds and hears the sweet words, “You’ve won!” the feeling of exhilaration is off the charts. That’s the case for three Co-op customers who each recently took home a Gooseneck-brand cattle trailer in Co-op’s “Great Trailer Giveaway.”

This contest, which ran from Aug. 1, 2016, through July 31, 2017, awarded prize recipients — one per each Tennessee Farmers Cooperative feed mill area — with a 20-foot Gooseneck trailer. Each participant in the sweepstakes automatically received one entry for each bag of qualifying Co-op Cattle Mineral purchased. The trailer giveaway followed up last year’s successful “Load of Bull Sweepstakes.”

“Two years ago, we thought it would create some excitement among producers who purchase Co-op Cattle Mineral to hold a sweepstakes where the prize would be something beneficial to their business,” explains John Houston, TFC Feed and Animal Health Department sales manager. “The first year’s bull sweepstakes was so successful that we decided to continue the program with the cattle trailer giveaway this year. It’s created a lot of excitement among producers who purchase Co-op Cattle Mineral for their herds. We sincerely appreciate the trust they place in our products and congratulate the trailer winners.”

The three lucky Gooseneck trailer recipients were Joseph Boyd of Paris (Jackson Feed Mill), Todd Mainord of Cookeville (LaVergne Feed Mill), and Gary Estes of Maryville (Tenco Feed Mill). Following is a glimpse into their respective cattle operations as well as their reactions upon learning they had won:

Joseph Boyd

Joseph says he was happy and stunned at the same time when he received the good news about the trailer.

“I’ve never won anything before,” he admits. “I was proud to get it; it’s a fine trailer.”

The Henry Farmers Cooperative customer began farming full-time in the early 1990s, purchasing 25 acres of local land and establishing a cow/calf operation. Before his agricultural venture, Joseph worked at an area manufacturing plant, Celotex, and in construction.

“At my peak, I was running 70-plus head of commercial cows,” says Joseph, who lives in Paris with his wife of 52 years, Savana. “I’m semi-retired now, so I’ve scaled down to about 25 head. The wife and I still enjoy messing with cattle — we can hear the calves bawl from our house. She’ll go with me sometimes when I bush hog and just enjoy sitting and watching the herd. She has all the calves named.”

Joseph’s “farming bug” has rubbed off on other members of his family. Grandsons Dillon Madden, 23, and his brothers Cole, 22, and Tyler, 21, help their grandfather when not devoting time to their college studies. The siblings are the sons of the Boyds’ daughter, Tanya, and son-in-law, Tommy.

“Several years ago, I gave each of the grandsons a heifer for Christmas,” Joseph says. “Every year since, they’ve made some extra spending money from selling their calves.”

Joseph also credits Tommy for providing assistance around the farm when not tending to a full-time trucking career and a cattle herd of his own. In fact, Joseph has a specific, selfless plan in mind to thank his son-in-law for helping:

“He’s been thinking about buying a trailer for the last few years but hasn’t done it yet. I have a good trailer that I’ve owned for several years, so I think I’ll give this new one to him.”

Todd Mainord

Todd received the call about his trailer win while out of town on a family vacation and on the date of his and wife Annabel’s 25th wedding anniversary. Suffice it to say, it was a day he’ll never forget.

“I couldn’t believe it,” says Todd, a member of both Overton Pickett and Putnam Farmers Cooperatives. “I was so ecstatic because I didn’t have a trailer of my own. A buddy of mine I do a lot of farming with has a 16-footer, and I had always just used his. I thought the person winning the trailer would be somebody who buys tons of mineral, not a small-time farmer like me.”

For the past 18 years, the Putnam County native has balanced running his primarily commercial Angus cow/calf herd with a full-time career as a system supervisor with the City of Cookeville Gas Department. His farming operation consists of 25 mama cows, hay, and pasture on some 100 owned and leased acres.

“Here at the house, I’ve got right at 30 acres where I precondition all of my steers and heifers,” Todd says. “I’ll bring in a calving ease bull and get them bred, keep them here until they calve, and then move them over to my other farm and run cows down there until it’s time to wean.”

An important part of his herd’s development, Todd stresses, is their intake of Co-op Cattle Mineral. He rotates between Co-op Supreme (#678), Foundation Hi Mag (#675), and, during fly control season, Supreme IGR (#96622).

“I use the Co-op Mineral pretty much year round,” says Todd, an Advanced Master Beef Producer who has made ample use of the Tennessee Agricultural Enhancement Program. “My cattle do real well on it. They’re slicked off, and they produce with no problems. I’m happy with it.”

With juggling farm work and duties at the Gas Department, Todd stresses he’s more than pleased that he now has the 20-foot Gooseneck to help him maximize his time efficiency around the farm.

“It’s so good to know I’ve got a trailer of my own to be able to move my cattle when I want to,” he says. “I don’t have to borrow one anymore. This trailer will do me for the rest of my life. It’s such a blessing.”

Gary Estes

For 40 years, Gary has made it his mission to help others feel safer as part-owner of Maryville home security company Continental Protection. Now, thanks to winning a new Gooseneck trailer, he can have better peace of mind when transporting his cattle.

“I couldn’t believe the good fortune that had fallen my way,” says Gary, who earned a spot in the sweepstakes by virtue of purchasing Co-op Supreme Hi-Mag Cattle Mineral (#638) from AgCentral Farmers Cooperative’s Maryville store. “If I needed anything for my farm, a new cattle trailer was it. I had an old 12-footer, but now with the 20-foot trailer I’ll be able to haul way more cattle at one time. And with the different compartments, it’s safer to haul them, too.”

On 63 acres he and wife Teresa own and lease in rural Blount County, Gary says he tries to always keep some 20 cows and calves on hand.

“Black commercial cattle make up a lot of the herd; I have a few mixed breed head, too,” he says. “I try to use a different bull every year.”

The animal lineup at the Estes farm extends beyond cattle, however.

“I’ve always liked having a few goats around,” explains Gary. “There’s everything here from miniature donkeys to horses that belong to some friends of mine.”

Gary says he considers it a “real blessing” to be able to help others in need, and with that in mind he found an alternate way to put the new trailer to use not long after receiving it — transporting cases of water and other supplies to a drop-off point for their ultimate delivery to those affected by Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Louisiana and Hurricane Irma in Florida.

“When Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005, we loaded the trailer I had then with groceries and went down there 11 times,” says Gary. “So, I didn’t give it a second thought to help with these hurricanes. Right now, you can’t buy a bottle of water from the middle of Florida on down. I’ve traveled all over East Tennessee picking up water and supplies and take them to Rio Revolution Church in Maryville, where they’re shipped.

“The timing couldn’t have worked out better to have this new trailer, and I’m amazed that I was blessed enough to win it.”

As advertised on the next page of this Cooperator, a follow-up contest to the trailer giveaway has already been launched. With “The Great Tractor Giveaway,” a grand-prize winner will receive a John Deere 5055E Utility Tractor with a H240 loader, while one person in each of the state’s divisions will win a 165-bushel Tarter Creep Feeder.

Like the previous two contests, participants automatically receive one entry into the “Great Tractor Giveaway” for each bag of qualifying Co-op Cattle Mineral purchased. See the ad for complete details.

For more information about Co-op’s complete lineup of cattle mineral products, visit with the professionals at your local Co-op.

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