McClary Farms is a first-generation cattle farm owned and operated by John Mark and Kayla McClary. When the couple married on September 2, 2018, they had a small goat herd and already knew farming was going to be a family function. John Mark and Kayla reside in Gordo, Alabama which is in Pickens County. John Mark is in maintenance at Noland Lumber in Gordo and Kayla is a first-grade teacher at Gordo Elementary School. In 2018, the family decided to sell the goat herd with a vision of beginning a small cow/calf operation. John Mark spent countless hours and days deciding which way he wanted the farm to go. After researching and putting in a lot of thought, the McClary’s decided that SimAngus cattle would be the best breed to satisfy the goals of the operation, which is to raise and sell quality replacement females both bred and open. Later that year, they attended the Alabama/Mississippi State Simmental Sale and purchased the first animals of their herd. Since purchasing those cattle, McClary farms has joined both the Alabama Simmental Association and American Simmental Association. The Alabama Simmental Association has played a major role in the way the McClary’s market their cattle. Each year the Association has a consignment sale and the McClary’s determine their breeding schedule based around the sale, this way they can consign bred and open heifers. All the cows at McClary farms are AI’d then exposed to a bull. John Mark and the entire family spend months researching and looking for the best bulls to breed to each cow to provide the best genetic match possible. Being a first generation farm has taught the family many lessons, some they had to learn the hard way, but through some trials they have been able to adapt and grow in order to continue to reach their full potential. John Mark says that joining the Alabama Simmental Association has been one of the biggest benefits to their farm. They strongly encourage any new farmer and even generation farms to join. The assistance the Association has given them has helped in many decisions the farm makes. The McClary’s have been able to connect with other farms in the state and many of these have helped them by giving advice and lending a helping hand. One of these influential operations, Gibbs Farms, has been a major help to their farm and the family has become very good friends. One of the best things about farming is all the relationships they have formed with other producers around the state and even the country. The farm plans to continue to grow each year by adding superior females to the herd. Like all farms, each year brings new challenges and difficulties. But the McClary’s say that all the sweat, tears, and blood are worth it. No money could never replace the feeling of happiness when that healthy calf hits the ground and all the hard work seems to finally pay off. The family would like to thank everyone who has helped along the journey. They look forward to the many new friendships they know they will make throughout their years of farming and continuing to enjoy the many friendships they have already made. John Mark and his family are very adamant and truly believe that the best life is one that is lived on the farm.
From everyone at McClary Farms, may Gods blessing be with your family and your farm.