I grew up in a small town outside of Owensboro Kentucky, on Hayden Farms. I was born into Agriculture and have a passion for animals and barrel racing. Like most family farms in the area we started small, with about 50 head of commercial cattle and 15-20 acres of tobacco. As my little brother and I got older we began expanding the cattle heard with ups and downs along the way. Looking into the future we saw the tobacco industry becoming more and more unstable and knew that we needed to become more diversified. We later constructed 4 poultry houses with the capacity of 25,000 birds each and became contract growers for Perdue Farms.
In 2002 when the tobacco buyout hit we opted to stop raising commercial tobacco. As a highly energized teenager I wanted to “raise” something to make some extra money to get ready for college, (and my horses of course) this is when “Dave’s Produce” hit the market. The first year I had about 2 acres of a variety of vegetables and sold in the farmers market. In subsequent years I grew to about 5 acres, with the help of our county extension agents, and made a nice little business for myself.
Finally it was time for College! I moved to the booming metropolis of Murray Kentucky, the home of Murray State University and became a Racer! Majoring in Animal Science I gained loads of industry and classroom experience. After my junior year I still felt like something was missing. I decided to participate in the National Student Exchange program. I chose to attend Oklahoma State University to take classes that weren’t offered at Murray State, and the barrel racing was good in Oklahoma. It was here at OSU that I took my first meat class and it was then that I knew what I needed to do. Get a Masters in meat science at Oklahoma State University.
I had two great years at OSU filled with friendships and great opportunities. OSU changed my outlook on life and drove me to succeed in everything I do. through my experiences at OSU I landed a job with Wolf-Tec Inc, as an Applications Specialist working in the meat processing industry. All of these experiences have inspired me to become a leader and advocate for the Ag industry. This industry has been my life and will continue to be until the day I die.