Taylor’s Fatted Calf

Havana, Arkansas

Taylor’s Fatted Calf

Havana, Arkansas

Taylor Made from Start to Finish

Down a dusty dirt road in Havana, Arkansas, lies Taylor’s Fatted Calf – a local butcher shop built by and for the community.

Nick and Jamie Taylor, the owners of Taylor’s Fatted Calf and Rafter T, Inc., have not always farmed. They both grew up around agriculture, but neither planned to continue the family tradition. Jamie’s father and grandfather raised poultry, and she intended to get out as soon as possible.

“I grew up on a farm,” Jamie said. “I did not want to do chickens. I did two years in college before deciding I didn't want to be a teacher. I worked at the Natural Resources Conservation Service as a water quality tech, and I fell in love with grass.”

After her grandfather fell ill, Jamie found herself back on the farm again, and this time, she saw the appeal.

They soon found that Jamie’s passion for grass and forages would help them take their cattle operation to the next level. In 2012, Nick joined Jamie, and they devoted everything to farming.

Humble Beginnings

Farm Credit of Western Arkansas has played an important role in the Taylors’ farming history. They received their first loan with Farm Credit around 2004 and have been members since.

In 2015, Lora Briggs joined Farm Credit as a loan officer, and she found the Taylors were just as much a resource to her as she was to them.

“It’s really nice when you walk into a new job as a loan officer and your customers sell you Farm Credit,” Lora said. “I feel like Nick and Jamie are the model customers. They know their business.”

Beyond providing lending opportunities, the Taylors have found the mentorship and agriculture expertise at Farm Credit to be a valuable resource as they built their operation.

“If you don't know, that is a very great tool. We've been farming since 2000, and I still use this tool,” Nick said. “I ask what are the numbers? What are your thoughts? We trust them to help us make those decisions together.”

Lora was also involved when the Taylors made one of their biggest decisions yet: building a meat processing facility.

Taylor’s Fatted Calf

Jamie Taylor had a dream of building a meat processing facility for years, but COVID-19 spurred the couple to turn their dreams into reality. When they contacted their local butcher shop to see when they could bring in their cattle to be processed, they found they hadn’t been scheduled after their last visit. The wait was two years.

Soon after, the Taylors began construction on what would become Taylor’s Fatted Calf.

“This has been a community effort,” Jamie said. “We have had people swing by, spend a few hours helping build. We've had neighbors who would come in after work and spend six, seven hours and help throw up some metal. It's been a loving community that has helped us get it built because they could see the need also.”

This article was originally published by Farm Credit of Western Arkansas.