Farmer of the Month-James Farms

January 03, 2019

By Robin Gregg

I had the amazing opportunity to sit down with Monroe County's Farmer, Larry James, today, Thursday, January 3. We shared laughs and tears during our time together on the James Farms. I've known Larry and his family for several years. It was a honor to spotlight James Farms.

Larry is the second James generation to farm on their property which is located off Route F on County Road 277. Larry's Dad, Paul, started the farm just four years shy of 100 years ago. Larry and his late wife, Helen, who was married in 1960, ran the farm and live in the house Paul built. Larry and Helen had two sons, Ronald and Rick, who also live on the same gravel road as Larry and run the farm. They all live within a mile of each other.

"I am pretty lucky to be so close to my sons and to be able to live down the road from each other; is quite a blessing, Everything is green around here, you won't see anything but, John Deere." said Larry.

The James Farms have approximately 2500 acres of crop land in which they raise corn and soybeans. Between the three of them, they have around 300 plus head of Maine-Anjou cattle.

"It's a totally different world we farm in from when I started farming as a young boy to where we are today," said Larry. "Back in the 1960's we didn't spray anything and everything is sprayed now; we started with moldboard plowing and today, nobody plows anything; no-till is the biggest change in soybeans; we had to cultivate weeds with a tractor and today the tractors and equipment are computerized, they just about could farm themselves!" said Larry.

As I continued to discuss farming with Larry, cattle came up in our conversation. In the 50's and 60's, cows were smaller, mid 70's, the bigger breeds/exotic cattle and limousins were popular; when the 80's came, large cattle was the item to have, but, Larry got them too big and had to moderate back to more of an economical weight which is 1200-1500 pound cow today.

"Farming is extremely rough, as I always say, the 80's are back," said Larry.

Larry explained the breeding process he takes in his cattle and it seems to be working for the James Farm. Larry experienced with the drug "Lutalyse" in the 1970's, which is a shot given to cows to sacrinize their cycles. Larry didn't receive must results, they were fair with this procedure. Since then, the James Farms has added a "CIDR" (Controlled Internal Drug Release), which is a T shaped intravaginal progesterone insert.

"I insert the CIDR and a shot of GNRH (Gonadotropin Releasing Hormone) and wait seven days. After this process, I pull out the CIDR and give a shot of Lutalyse, in 36-48 hours the cows will be in heat. This has been the most effective method," said Larry.

Larry watches the cows after this process for about 72 hours to see their response time. AI (Artificial Insemination) with cow semen is scheduled approximately two weeks following. The entire process per cow is $12.00/CIDR plus three shots of Lutalyse are $6-$8. Semen ranges from $25-$100/cow and this comes in a four inch straw with two cc units. James Farms breeds around 75-100 cows a year.

Every month the Monroe County Appeal will be spotlighting a Monroe County Farmer. If you or know of anyone who would be a great candidate, please let us know.

LaRue Ins