|Excellence in All They Do|
Running Purebreds in the Timberland
Nestled in the rolling hills and surrounded by pines near the small community of Crossville in Lamar County is Freeman Forestry. Owner William "Bill" Freeman has been involved in the commercial cattle business since the early 1980s and then progressed to purebred cattle in the 1990s, running them on the timberland that was his grandparents’ farm. Freeman related that the soil of the forestland was greatly improved by grazing cattle because of the natural fertilizer; hence the name of the farm was changed in 2008 to Timberland Cattle. At this time, the focus of the farm’s genetic base was narrowed to two registered breeds: Angus and Sim-Angus. To expand the herd, Bill traveled the Southeast purchasing foundation seedstock from the region’s elite cattle producers. This ability to buy genetics instead of growing into the business has enabled Timberland to rapidly move forward.
In his quest for genetic excellence, Freeman enlisted the help of friends, Sam Wiggins, retired Pickens County Extension agent who is also a beef cattle specialist, and Wayne Robinson, retired Lamar County Extension agent. Both men have a world of knowledge and expertise in multiple fields and are relied on heavily for their wisdom. Wiggins is currently consulting on the direction of Timberland genetics program, while Robinson gives guidance in other areas of farm operation as well.
Timberland Cattle Manager Thomas Pennington, Lamar County native, heads up a carefully-engineered artificial insemination (AI) program utilizing sires carefully matched to Angus and black Simmental females to produce new generations of bulls and females excelling in the best genetic traits of both breeds. Sires used in the AI program must have gentle dispositions, proven weanling and yearling growth genetics, and superior marbling genetics to produce the high-quality beef consumers around the world demand.
Commercial cattlemen can rest assured these cattle will work in your operation. With the genetics of two breeds, customers can choose bulls that will give them optimum levels of hybrid vigor in their calf crop. Breeding for cutting-edge, balanced, trait selection excellence, Timberland avoids single-trait selection to offer the whole genetic package in their bull and female offerings. The success of their customers is Timberland’s number one goal and motivation.
Timberland offers their customers who use Timberland bulls help in marketing their calves if they so desire. Information collected from animals sent to feedlots provides valuable data to be used as tools in animal selection by the farm. Commercial heifers can also be marketed in one or both female sales the farm has in the spring or fall. These female sales as well as a bull sale are held at the Cullman Stockyard for now. Down the road these sales will be hosted on site at the headquarters in Crossville, but for now Freeman is very pleased with the results in Cullman.
People are the backbone of any operation and Freeman is very proud of the employees he has working for him at Timberland Cattle. They make for a very smooth-running operation and are committed to the goals motivating them.
Thomas Pennington, manager, is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the farm and enjoys every minute doing what he loves.
Ross Hudson and Kyle Baker are the cowboys and assist with all the duties ensuring a successful operation from fence repair to feeding and working cattle.
Melissa McDaniel is the secretary for the operation and is very adept. She maintains the farm’s website, does the paperwork and makes sure information flows in the right direction.
Excellence in all that they do is a way of life at Timberland Cattle, the farm and forestry operation has been chosen by the Alabama Forestry Planning Committee as "Treasure Forest Landowner" and also as "Conservationist of the Year" by the Lamar County Chapter of the AWF.
Freeman currently serves on the Lamar County Soil and Water Board Committee and volunteers his time in service to the local chapter of the Cattleman’s Association.
Freeman is a loyal customer of Fayette Farmers Co-op and relies on Manager Lance Ezelle and his crew to provide the supplies and information he needs in the operation of his farm. Your local Co-op is ready and willing to help you in whatever your agriculture endeavor may be from rabbits to beef cattle and beyond.
Don Linker is an outside salesman for AFC.