Seeking Additional Knowledge, Experienced Producers Learn From Master Cattleman Course

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Kyle Peveto

For cousins Adam and Jonathan Knight, the cattle business is a part of their heritage.

Their family once ran a dairy farm on hundreds of acres that straddled East Baton Rouge and East Feliciana parishes, and they grew up around beef cattle. Now the Knights both run small cattle operations on those pastures and on leased land adjacent to them.

Even after a lifetime learning from friends and family, the Knights felt a need for more knowledge, so they enrolled in the LSU AgCenter Master Cattleman course and graduated this fall.

“For me, I am fortunate to be around a lot of older people who have cows and have had cows for a long time,” Jonathan said. “One thing I’ve found is everybody will tell you how to do things their way, and none of it is ever the same.”

The Master Cattleman courses added research-based lessons to the advice he had been given.

“The class is a little more centralized on basic knowledge,” he said. “I got explanations on a lot of things that I was always told, ‘This is what you should do.’ You have the data to back it up.’”

Jonathan, a captain in the Zachary Fire Department, raises Hereford cattle to supply replacements and breeding stock for producers that want the Hereford blood lines. Adam, who manages maintenance for a Gulf Coast cemetery management company, raises SimAngus and black baldy cattle with his son and father, and he sells meat under his Cloverdale Farms label.

In Master Cattleman courses, Adam learned more about nutrition and growing forages to efficiently feed his cattle.

“I just wanted to learn as much as I can,” he said. “With the economy now and everything going up, all of us need as much knowledge as we can so we can best utilize our resources.”

They both bale native grasses for hay and plant ryegrass with a mix of clover and vetch for winter forage.

“They said it in the class, and I had a friend of mine who recently passed away who said it, ‘You can’t have good cattle unless you have good food and forage, whether it be grasses or this and that.’ That was the biggest thing I have learned, to produce the best product you possibly can,” Jonathan said.

Both Adam and Jonathan raise cattle because they love raising animals and working their pastures. They both aim to make enough money to continue and maybe retire to tend to cattle full time.

“You don’t do it for the money,” Adam said. “You do it because you enjoy it.”

Kyle Peveto is the editor of Louisiana Agriculture magazine.

This article appeared in the fall 2022 issue of Louisiana Agriculture.

Two men stand in front of black cows.

Cousins Adam and Jonathan Knight both raise cattle near their family’s former dairy farm between Zachary and Slaughter, Louisiana. Photo by Kyle Peveto

12/15/2022 4:56:22 PM
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