SHILOH COMMUNITY — Cody and Meg Harrington met several years ago on the rodeo circuit. Early in his rodeo days, Cody rode bulls, then changed to team roping. Meg was a barrel racer.
Although rodeo is still a part of their lives, they now spend most of their free time tending to their small cow/calf operation of about 15 head on 20 acres they own in Grant County. They call their operation the Shack Creek Cattle Co. Their land is part of a larger family operation that encompasses about 160 acres.
Cody said, laughing, that there are so many Harringtons who live in this part of Grant County that people often refer to it as “Harringtonville.”
Cody and Meg Harrington are the 2017 Grant County Farm Family of the Year.
“We’re pretty excited about it,” Cody said, when asked about the recognition. “We feel pretty honored. We certainly weren’t expecting it.”
Meg said: “We are simple people.”
Cody added: “We put a lot of hard work into it.
“We try to be good stewards of the land. We have big ideas for the future. We want to retire with as many cows as we can get. We’re looking to expand. We’re not near done.”
Cody and Meg raise mainly SimAngus cattle, a cross between Simmental and Angus. They also have some Angus cattle and commercial heifers. They plan to register their SimAngus heifers.
“They are all grass-fed. We worked pretty hard to put this herd together. They are all [artificial-insemination] bred now,” Cody said.
“We currently sell freezer beef marketed to the local public. As a certified Beef Quality Assurance Producer (certified by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association), we take pride in the health and humane handling of our cattle and believe this is something our customers find a real value in,” he said.
“[We] would like to increase our acreage so we can hold back more heifers and keep bettering our genetics. Part of our land was once timber, and we have converted it over to pasture. There was not any cross-
fencing, so we use portable electric fence to rotate the cattle around the pasture,” Cody said.
“We have a goal to expand by purchasing more land to run cattle on. We have a current offer on some land that would bring our total acreage up to 93 acres. We are also looking for more land to lease,” he said.
“We believe in taking care of our land and making sure it is there to last us. When we first started on our place, there were several resource concerns. We started with some erosion issues in a gully running through the east portion of the field,” Cody said. “We filled in the gully, widened the bottom to spread the water out and planted grass to try and halt further erosion. We also do nutrient management on our farm, as well as rotational grazing of our cattle.”
Meg said she and Cody built their own house.
“We finished it last year,” she said, smiling. “Friends and family helped.”
The Harringtons also have three horses on their farm.
“We rodeo with them and use them to catch cows, often other people’s cows,” Meg said, laughing. “We don’t rodeo too much now; we just go to jackpots in the area, especially the arena in Sheridan. We help run the books and help support our local competitors.
“However, Cody won third place in team roping back in March at the U.S. Team Roping Championships in Tunica, Mississippi. He won a belt buckle.”
Cody and Meg both grew up on cattle farms.
“I have been around cattle for as long as I have lived, I guess,” Cody said. “My grandpa and dad have always had cattle, and I can remember going out with my dad when I was little to put out hay or break water, so raising cattle is just something I was born into.”
Cody, 28, is a son of Raymond and Teresa Harrington and a grandson of Roy and Audrey Harrington, all of Sheridan. Cody has one brother, Matt Harrington, also of Sheridan.
Cody has a full-time job off the farm. He is a resource specialist with the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission in Little Rock.
He graduated from Sheridan High School in 2007 and from Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia in 2012 with a degree in agriculture business. He was a member of 4-H in high school, participating mainly in shooting sports. He was a member of the rodeo team in college.
Meg, 29, grew up in Bedford, Indiana, a daughter of Lisa Jean and Alan Norman. She has a younger sister, Mary Endris, and an older sister, Amy Stevens, who both live in Bedford.
Meg also works off the farm. She is a territory sales manager for Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Heath U.S.
“We promote beef-cattle products to beef producers,” she said. “I travel a lot. I work the entire state of Arkansas. I visit local feed stores and veterinarians.”
Meg showed cattle when she was growing up.
“I was ate up with it as a kid,” she said, laughing.
“I was in 4-H and FFA for about 10 years. I graduated from Bedford [Indiana] North Lawrence High School and from Purdue University in 2009 with a degree in veterinary technology,” she said.
“I worked in veterinary practices for about seven years. My goal was to work in the veterinary pharmacist business. That’s what I do now, … plus I work with cattle,” she said. “I’ve got the best of both worlds. … I work with veterinarians and cattle.”
Cody and Meg have been married four years. They are both members of the Grant County Cattlemen’s Association and Heaven’s Trail Cowboy Church.
Additionally, Cody is a member of the Soil and Water Conservation Society.
Meg is also a member of the Arkansas Cattlemen’s Association’s Young Cattlemen’s Leadership Class of 2017 and the National Cattleman’s Beef Association. She served as president of the Arkansas Veterinary Technician Association in 2016-17.
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