28 Oct Jarrod Creasy
Persistence Pays Off
The farming & entrepreneurial ventures of Jarrod Creasy.
It’s with a sense of self-assuredness that Jarrod talks about the plans he made for being an entrepreneur and first generation cattle rancher with his wife. The only catch? He didn’t own land and he hadn’t even asked his future wife on a date, but he knew what was in his heart and in his passion. Through persistence, hard work, networking, education and more persistence, Jarrod & Becca Creasy are the proud owners of 920 Cattle and Company in southeast Georgia. But that’s not all. This ranching power couple have gone above and beyond in creating a multi-faceted entrepreneurial agriculture adventure.
All throughout his youth and high school, Jarrod was an active member of agriculture, involved in both FFA and 4-H through raising and showing animals. Jarrod was also big in sports, an advocate of the team aspect that sports provides. Through the youth programs and sports, a strong value of caring for more than just yourself, whether it was livestock or teammates was instilled.
Originally, “like most agriculture kids,” Jarrod says with a laugh, he thought about being a veterinarian. After taking some courses his junior year, it turned the tables for him away from the veterinarian programs because, simply, “it wasn’t for me.”
His other big interest in agriculture was row crops which had always been in his blood and that is the route that he decided to pursue.
As he left for college, he was haunted with the “wisdom” of his father and those who farmed in their small community of southeast Georgia: Cattle is not a way you can make a living in southeast Georgia.
Becoming An Entrepreneur
“A lot of people have the dream, some resolve to make it happen, and few figure out the steps.” ~ Tim Hammerich, AgGrad Host
Sitting on a self-propelled hay cutter in the middle of a 150-acre field in Texas, Jarrod made the promise to himself that he was going to be a first generation farmer and rancher. At the time he knew his now wife Becca, but they weren’t married – in fact, they weren’t even dating yet, but he knew that it was going to work.
The Steps to Building a Business
“Quite frankly,” says Jarrod with a laugh, “we are still trying to figure out those steps.”
- Analyze your options.
Whatever your interest, make sure to analyze the different options. Know where you have the network, connections, expertise, education, etc for those options and what the reality of each of those facets.
- Leverage your connections.
Work hard on creating your connections and then utilize those connections and resources as a form of leverage to making the option you choose a reality.
- Secure financing.
Jarrod and Becca didn’t have the assets or the capitol available to do any of what they wanted to do. They were newlyweds, doing custom work, and didn’t have a whole lot of money – just debt from college and a wedding.
They went out, beating the bushes, keeping in mind that they only needed one “yes!”
- Persistence pays off.
There are a lot of steps you have to go through and about “a hundred no’s” before you get the one yes you need. You’ll learn a lot about the connections that you have and the connections that you’ll be able to make in the process.
- Surround yourself with the best people possible.
It doesn’t have to be five powerful people. The Creasy’s believe in making the number of people who surround you as high as possible.
Founded in 2014 to breed registered Brangus and Angus cattle, the Creasy’s goals of being cattle ranchers came true after persistence paid off and they were able to owner-finance land to start their cattle company. Raising their own cattle had been the dream but, after the first year of buying hay, they realized real quick that there was an opportunity for them to not only save money but to make money.
Commercial Hay Production
They had previously done some custom haying, but the opportunity to use those skills on a larger level became the next entrepreneurial venture for the Creasy’s. By growing, harvesting and baling their own quality hay, straw hay, mulch, etc. they could save money in their cattle operation by also making money selling the extra product. They were also approached by a client from their haying company for another business adventure.
When the first hay company called and asked if they could do some fencing for them, they thought, “sure, we’ve got the equipment!” The next thing they knew, the Creasy’s had a couple crews working year around, depending on the season, and doing everything from commercial fencing to agriculture fencing to residential fencing.
The newest entrepreneurial venture and one that they are extremely excited about is their new Farm-to-Table opportunity. As one of a handful of farms in the southeast with the capabilities to control everything from farm to plate, 920 Cattle and Company was able to purchase a 1950’s butcher facility. At the facility, they do custom work for pork, lamb, goat and wild game.
A big win for the business was when they were able to move from state inspected facility to a USDA inspected facility. They can now ship anywhere internationally to whoever is willing to give it a try.
A challenging industry with an exciting opportunity, they are not just the voice of the cattle industry but also for the meat industry, the production industry, and the grain industry. They grow all their own feed and forages, making them the backbone, the face, the seller and the maker; they are all of it.
“It is really neat to have those conversations with people [at the Savannah farmers markets who are] so far removed from agriculture – it is an awesome ability to see their reactions,” says Jarred.
“Diversity is key for a first generation agriculture business.”
~ Jarrod Creasy
Creating Your Own Luck
“I am not scared of being told ‘no,’” says Jarrod. Spending time working for different people and different environments gave Jarrod the ability to gauge people, their personalities and their environmental factors that impact decisions.
Having an awesome business plan, confidence, and a business model that you have looked through every nook and cranny of also adds to the building of that luck. You need to show people why they should take a chance on you. You must have all your “T’s” crossed and “i’s” dotted – be prepared to tell an investor more or less everything that you don’t want to have to tell them.
Keep in mind that the first five years of business are the toughest, be ready to tell and share your story, and follow along with the young Creasy family and all of their entrepreneurial ventures at 920cattle.com and on social media.
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