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  • Miranda Reiman, Angus Media

The Pratts: One Marriage, Two Kids, Three Moves and the Cow Herd That Pays Their Way

Jason and Paige Pratt Join The Angus Conversation

Jason and Paige Pratt (right) and their family operate Pratt Cattle Co. near Akins, Va., with Jason’s parents C.W. and Shirley (left).

Life isn’t always a direct line from A to B, and Jason and Paige Pratt, Atkins, Va., say they’ve found the blessings — and lessons — in the journey. The path that took them from the Appalachian foothills to the Kansas prairie and back again is full of wisdom that has gotten them to where they’re at today: working with their kids alongside Jason’s parents, C.W. and Shirley, selling Angus bulls at two sales a year.   

“When you're young and you’re coming out of college and you have a lot of goals and things that you want to accomplish, you’re kind of ‘full steam ahead,’” Jason said, noting that can be at odds with a more cautious generation. “You hear that saying: the older you get, the more you realize that you don't know, and that is true.” 

The Pratts joined The Angus Conversation to talk about farm transitions, the type of cows they want and how they built their customer base. After moving the cow herd halfway across the country and back to Jason’s home farm, the couple says they’ve found a steady rhythm in their operation now. 

“If I could offer advice as well to the younger and older generation alike, it's to work hard on those relationships and don’t let business get in the way, but at the same time understand that this is a business,” Paige noted. “Realize that usually when business is good, family is good, because business allows you to be able to grow together and find success together.” 

With an ag economics background, Jason says they scrutinize every part of the operation for profit and loss, and that’s allowed them to capitalize on opportunities as they’ve come.    

“When you want to do this full-time, you’ve pretty much got to figure out how to make this work,” Jasons said.  

Disposition and fertility top their list of “must haves,” and every animal has to pay their own way. 

“We don’t make a single excuse for a cow,” Paige said.  

Part of their long-term strategy for ensuring profitability includes being involved in ag organizations so they have input into policy issues.  

“Let's just face it as cattle producers, we are a very small minority of people nowadays ... and so as people are making decisions for us in our state capitals as well as on a national level, we have to have a voice and be part of that,” Jason said.  

To hear the full episode, “The Pratts: One Marriage, Two Kids, Three Moves and the Cow Herd That Pays Their Way,” search for The Angus Conversation anywhere you get your podcasts, or follow this direct link.  


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