IMBODEN — Josh and Jack Brand of the Double J Cattle Ranch in Imboden have been named the 2020 Lawrence County Farm Family of the Year.
The Brands have been ranching for 16 years, and have 500 head of cattle. They also operate Brand Custom-Hauling, LLC, in Bono.
Jack's wife, Helen, and Josh's wife, Heather, are also involved in the operation, along with Josh's nephew, Braden.
Starting with 200 acres of owned land, the operation now includes 1,120 acres of owned land and an additional 1,000 acres of rented land.
“Double J is a second generation family farm that started as a hobby and has grown exponentially,” Josh said.
The Brands raise hay on 1,000 acres and have added 10 acres of corn to be ground and used for livestock feed. They plan to expand their corn crop, which is harvested using an antique McCormick one-row corn picker.
They market their livestock through the local sale barn, and their plans for the future include increasing the size of their herd.
Josh said some goals for the operation are to raise and breed the best cattle the industry has to offer, to continuously cull the herd to keep it full of fertile and problem-free cattle and to limit the breeding and calving season to 90 days or less.
The Brands also raise hogs, currently having eight sows, and chickens, with approximately 75 Cinnamon Queens and Rhode Island Reds.
Josh also raises beagles, border collies and blood hounds, a project he enjoys doing with daughters, Natalie, nine, and Nicole, six.
“He and the girls love to hunt rabbits and train their border collies to work their cattle,” Heather said.
The Brands are members of Pleasant Grove Missionary Baptist Church at Annieville.
They are also active in the Arkansas Cattleman’s Association, the American Angus Association, The American Hereford Association and the American Brachman Breeders Association.