Profile: Louisiana Cattle Rancher

Profile: Louisiana Cattle Rancher

Posted: Updated:

May 17, 2016

Story provided by This Week in Louisiana Agriculture

One Louisiana parish has seen an economic shift, with ranching bringing in as much money as the timber industry. This Week in Louisiana Agriculture's Karl Wiggers introduces us to one of the farmer's who has played a part in the transition.

A few miles from the Logansport, Joey Register works his cattle on horseback. However, what is happening now is a lifetime in the making for Register.

“I always always, always knew that I wanted to farm when I grew up," says Register.  "I had a desire, and my brother the same — if we played in the backyard in the dirt, we were building little farms in the dirt.”

From those humble beginnings, Joey Register and his brother Craig, now farm together around 400 head of beef cattle.  Today, they’re using their dogs to move some cattle to the working pens, where they’ll tag and vaccinate this year’s calves.

The register brothers also put their dogs to work for some of their neighbors.

“We’re on routine maintenance with them," says Register. "We do their spring and fall calf work for them. You know, worming cows, castrating, vaccinating the bull calves.”

These dogs play a major role in the work here on the farm. But off of the farm, Register’s dogs have another purpose.

“Wild hog hunting — man we love it," explains Register.  "Swine eradication is what i try to sound professional with it. We do a lot of that. We’ll vest them up, try to protect them the best we can from getting cut up by the boar hogs.”

Then it is off to the woods where Register, his friends, and his four-legged hunters chase after these wild hogs. In recent years, they have become a major issue for farmers across the state. And while its a rush and a fun time for Joey and his dogs, at the end of the day, his goal remains to help his neighbors.

[notes:joey register//register brother farms]  :07
“you know, there’s way way too many. We’re trying to help the farmers. We try to eradicate them as much as we can by any means as we can.”

Register’s desire to help his neighbors and his drive to be a successful farmer both stem from his growing up on a dairy, seeing first-hand the hard times that come with life on a farm.

“I saw struggles," Register remembers. "I saw serious struggles, cause you didn’t have the government just throwing money — you made do with what you had. I said ‘I’m gonna make this thing work.’”

Knowing these struggles, Register was ready for the life of a farmer as soon as he finished high-school.

“I had several cows milking in the barn that I worked at," says Register.  "And I went to the FSA officer and said, ‘I wanna buy this dairy farm.’ he said, ‘You’re too young. Sell your cows; go to college.’ he said, ‘I ain’t doing it.’ I had a business plan worked up. I was eighteen. He said, ‘I’ll see you back one day.’

"When I got out and come back and got the opportunity to buy the chicken farm, I went back to him. And he said, ‘You were my very first denial.’ he said, ‘I know exactly who you are.’ he said, ‘You went to college, didn’t ya?’ I said, ‘Yes, sir.’ He said, ‘Get ready to work.’”

And from those chicken houses to the cow pen, through good times and bad, Register lives his dream doing what he loves.

Register also brings the farm to the table, by welcoming his entire community to his backyard each year to share the blessings of the farm with those around him.

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