Welcome to Tanner Farms.

We have been in the commercial cattle business all of our adult lives and had begun to use Angus bulls to improve the quality of our calf crop. Being so pleased with our first Angus pair we began to invest more heavily in high-quality genetics to produce a better product and began to look for a place to expand our cattle operation...Read More

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The Hitching Post

August 18, 2016

Although the “Big House” isn’t a true antebellum home, she was erected over time with careful planning during the 50’s, her pieces and parts were purchased from the antebellum time period.

Mrs. Gladys Evans would drive down to New Orleans, up to the Delta and Memphis in the 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s to scavenge around for doors, staircases, and moldings to add to her collection for her home.

One of these items she collected and brought home happened to be hitching posts.

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The iron posts themselves came from New Orleans.

The concrete blocks were added later and were used during field trials and other outdoor equine events that they held at the farm.

The mounting blocks on the bottom gave “gentlemen of a certain age” a little help in mounting their horse. If you look closely, the post isn’t in the exact middle of the mounting block.

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This was so that the gentlemen could pull their horse up to the back and it made it easier for them to mount their horse. Also, during field trials, they would string a rope through the rings hanging from the sides which would provide many riders a place to tie their horse.

Field trials were held here on the farm during the 1950’s. Mr. Harrison Evans hosted field trials here for quail. You can still find remnants of the pens dotting the pastures all over the farm.

Once upon a time, even national field trials were held here.

According to Google, a field trial is “a competition for hunting dogs to test their levels of skill and training in retrieving or pointing.” Field trials test your bird dog in all the ways a bird dog is supposed to perform.

Mr. Harrison Evans hunted in England and Scotland and in return their British hunting buddies would travel to Shuqualak to take part in the hunts Mr. Evans would provide.

It has been told to us by the Evans family that Mr. Evans and Curt Gowdy, the great American sportsman and sportscaster, traveled to Scotland together and hunted there.

Both Mr. Gowdy and Mr. Evans passed away years ago. However, it’s pretty amazing to think of a hunting relationship that encompasses a Mississippi man, a sportscasting legend and British sportsmen that would span the Atlantic ocean even in the 1950’s.

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Crunchy Brown Stubble turns lush in a week!

July 25, 2016

This post is an update to the previous post about our Alfalfa farming.

We cut our alfalfa on the Thursday after 4th of July. As you can see in the photo, it was crunchy brown stubble. When we were walking in this field, you could feel it crunch beneath your feet. Dust was coming up in little clouds behind us. There was no life visible and I wondered if anything would ever possibly grow here again.

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But, Dad was able to get an old sprayer that hadn’t been used in over six years, going again just to see how much adequate water would help. It also rained a good bit during the week which made for helpful growing conditions. He checked it the next weekend and it had literally grown about 12 inches in a week!  Today, Tim was able to take a picture for us and as you can see it is 20  inches tall and we are 18 days out from the last cut day.

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I am pretty amazed at what this little plant can do and it has been really fun to watch this crop grow. It’s almost like magic! When we cut this field again, it will be our fourth cutting this year.

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Alfalfa in the South?

July 18, 2016


Fourth of July weekend, we were riding about the farm and I asked Dad to see the alfalfa field. We turned a corner and past two large cedar trees, there opened up a great hidden hill covered in these soft little green plants with purple stocks.

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In order to offer our Angus cattle a high protein and nutritionally dense ration, we’ve often turned to Alfalfa to be a main staple of their dinner plate. In years past, we’ve bought Alfalfa from Illinois and trucked it in. Two years ago, our local seed distributor encouraged us to try a new variety of Alfalfa called Alfagraze.

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We tried it out last year and were very happy with our results.  Alfalfa is totally different than grasses we normally bale. It has a very interesting look. It is actually a little bush with leaves on it instead of a blade of grass with a seed head. When it blooms purple, its time to harvest. Alfalfa is cut and allowed to dry but must be baled while its damp or else the leaves fall off. We have baled it at night or late evening just after the dew has fallen. Getting the “cure” correct on the Alfafa determines your protein content.  It normally is baled into square bales but we didn’t have a square baler. We used our round baler and it has worked just fine. So, if you are looking for an alternative staple, you might consider this for your own farm.

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We are hoping to get four cuttings this year. If you had adequate water, you could cut alfalfa once a month or every twenty eight days. Dad was able to revive an old sprayer and has begun to water this field. Hopefully, it will have a better yield after it receives sufficient water. We collected samples and sent them to Midwest Labs for testing and found our protein content to be around 18%-19%. We were pleased with this as normal national averages for midwestern Alfalfa growers is no more than 25%. It sure beats the pants off of our regular hay which averages about 8%. Even though Alfalfa is a high protein food source, take caution as too much can give your stock scours.

The Alfagraze that we planted will be perennial for about five years. After that time period, your stand of forage will begin to diminish until about the five year mark when it will need to be replanted. To keep your field in full standing, plan to replant about every five years.

 

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Tanner Black Arrow 5407

June 13, 2016

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Here is one of our up and coming bulls that will be available for purchase October 29 at our Pasture Performance Angus Bull Sale! He is 17 months old at the time of this photo and a strapping young man for sure! He is a grandson of Sitz Upward and the son of Whitestone Black Arrow. Black Arrow is one of our herd sires and the highest selling bull ever sold at Whitestone Farms in Virginia.

 

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