Raising the bar

Posted: March 22, 2023
Codie Clark and his wife, Kristin, and their children, Emmie and Mason, live on the family farm, Clark Cattle Co., near Sharon, Tennessee.
Codie Clark and his wife, Kristin, and their children, Emmie and Mason, live on the family farm, Clark Cattle Co., near Sharon, Tennessee.

Technology keeps Clark Cattle Co. moo-ving

Farming nowadays isn’t quite the same as it was decades ago when John Clark’s forefathers worked the land. Today, John is the sixth generation of the Clark family living on and farming the land a few miles from Sharon, Tennessee.

John retired from banking industry in 2016 after a 40-year career, and he and his wife, Jane, wanted to continue with a small cow-calf operation. As John neared retirement, his youngest son, Codie, wanted to work on the farm, and the family expanded operations and renamed the place Clark Cattle Co.

Now, they have other employees, Will Vernon,  George Mesimer and Zachary Forsythe, who work with Codie full time raising more more than 200 cows, calves and bulls and growing hay for feed.

The early years

John and Jane met when he was a student at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She grew up in Knoxville, and John grew up in Madison County, Tennessee, about 50 miles from the family farm.

The couple moved to Sharon for his job and to live on the farm. John’s retirement provided an opportunity to expand the farm, and he works with the other employees. He also works part time at the University of Tennessee at Martin as the interim director UTM’s Chair of Excellence in Banking.

High-tech farming

Technology has made a big difference in production and Clark Cattle Co.’s success.

With the expanded operations, the family built a farm office equipped with state-of-the-art technology that helps track all aspects of the operation.

The Clarks use Cattle Max, a software that organizes all the cattle and farm records in one place. It’s cloud-based, and records are accessible via a computer in the office or on a smart phone app.

“We can organize all the records for our cattle in one place, and it helps us work smarter,” Will says.

With the technology, the Clarks can run reports compiling several years of production information to see where they need to make changes or improvements. “Years ago we used pencil and paper,” John says. “Now, not only is it much easier, but it’s more efficient and helps operations run more smoothly.”

For John and Jane, along with other family members living on the farm, WK&T’s fast and reliable internet service keeps more than just farm operations connected. Jane uses it to do payroll and employee reports on her computer at home. “We stream our TVs, plus we run our security cameras,” Codie says. “We haven’t had any issues, and having that level of security gives us peace of mind. We rely heavily on the internet every day.”

Content provided with permission by WK&T.