SPGCA Board of Directors
Teddy Gentry, President
Teddy Gentry, bass player for the county music group Alabama, was born and raised on Lookout Mountain in Fort Payne, Alabama. He, and his wife, Linda, have two children, five grandchildren, and one great grandchild. After receiving his first check from RCA records in 1980 for $61,000, he purchased 60 acres from his grandfather, which he called Bent Tree Farms.
Teddy started the South Poll breed in 1989 when he got the idea to genetically combine the best traits of our maternal Bos Taurus breeds to form a more heat tolerant animal that would work for his cattle operation. The South Poll is a four way cross of Hereford, Red Angus, Senepol, and Barzona. He wanted an animal with a gentle disposition and would produce tender beef on grass.
Greg Judy, Vice President
Greg and Jan Judy of Clark, Missouri run a grazing operation on 1620 acres of leased and owned land. Greg and Jan went from near bankruptcy in 1999 to paying off a 200 acre farm and house in 3 years with custom grazing on leased land and are completely debt free today. Today they own 4 farms and lease 12 farms. Planned grazing is used to graze cow/calf pairs, bred heifers, bulls, and stockers. They own a 350 head grass genetic South Poll cow herd, hair sheep flock, graze pastured pigs and pastured layers.
Greg has written two books on ranching practices, “No Risk Ranching” and “Comeback Farms.”
Greg has given numerous talks and schools all over the US, New Zealand & Canada teaching the benefits of planned grazing, leasing land, multi-species grazing & custom grazing. Greg quit his off farm job in 2009 and is now a full time rancher. The Judy’s website is: greenpasturesfarm.net.
Judy Freeman, Treasurer
Bio Coming Soon!
Josh Erickson, Board Member
Bio Coming Soon!
Damon Folmar, Board Member
Damon was born in Birmingham, AL and grew up in Columbiana, AL where he currently resides. Purchasing his first calf for a 4-H project in 1973 he’s almost always had cattle grazing on his family property ever since. In 4-H he was part of both Dairy & Livestock judging teams that won at the state and placed in regional and national competition. He has shown dairy cattle for over 40 years and served as assistant herdsman to the purebred registered Jersey herd – My-T-Fine Jerseys in Boaz, AL in the 80’s. In the last decade he began to concentrate on learning about regenerative agriculture, finishing beef cattle on grass and got introduced to the South Poll and grazing bloodlines of other breeds (primarily black and red Angus and Hereford). This led to taking on consulting projects throughout the southeast where he sourced cattle, consulted on cattle health and developed into a full time job for one client where he managed the livestock on a 5000 acre farm in Perry County, AL for 2 years. Since leaving the farm he has concentrated on continuing work in the grass fed cattle field as well as the auction/liquidation/appraisal (livestock farm equipment and personal property) business as part of Pearce & Associates. Damon has traveled to over 40 states on sales/marketing, or livestock/ag consulting projects. Married for 30 years with 3 children Damon is a resident of Columbiana, AL. He is currently the administrator of both the Facebook groups: Grass Fed Genetics & Classifieds and the South Poll Cattle Forum.
He attended the University of Montevallo and entered the world of business by joining his family’s manufacturing business and cattle/agriculture industry after that. He met his wife, Fran in high school and they have been married for over 30 years with 3 children and 1 grand-child.
Tim Gillis, Board Member
Bio Coming Soon!
Mike Harris, Board Member
Bio Coming Soon!
Dave Roberts, Board Member
Dave Roberts was born and raised in Illinois. He got his first calves when he was 10 years old for his 4-H and FFA projects. He had a registered and commercial Hereford bull at the time.
He attended Spoon River College and Western Illinois University where he was on the livestock judging team, member of Alpha Gamma, Sigma Agriculture Fraternity. After college, he married Jenny. Jenny continued her education and Dave took a job at Williams Farms as herdsman for their Polled Hereford herd. Dave and Jenny had cows of their own and acquired property along the way. During this period, Dave served on Western Illinois Hereford board as director and president. He was also director and president of the Illinois Polled Hereford Association. Dave served as beef superintendent of Hancock County Fair, was on Hancock County Beef Board, and these terms as township trustee.
The Williams passed on and Dave and Jenny moved to Alabama in 1998. Since then Dave has had the honor of working with Teddy Gentry and his South Poll cattle. He also worked for Tennessee River Music, Genex Corporation, and Lookout Mountain Genetics.
Dave and Jenny have three children who have all grown up and became involved in agriculture in one way or another. Sean is in meat products development for Tyson Foods and their subsidiaries. Sara and her husband have a farm in which they have cows, hogs, and have put up some grain bins. Jamie farms and raises grass and forage seed here in Alabama. Jenny is the director of Religious Education at church, but is soon to retire. Our family has a partnership operation in Illinois where they raise South Polls and Herefords.
Bruce Shanks, Board Member
Bruce was raised on a diversified livestock farm which included commercial cattle, sheep, and goats in Southeast Missouri. He received a B.S. in Animal Science from Missouri State University and a M.S. in Animal Science/Animal Breeding from Montana State University. Shortly after, Bruce earned a Ph.D. in Animal Science/Meat Science from South Dakota State University. He has worked on and managed or owned farms and ranches in Missouri, Montana, and South Dakota.
Currently, Dr. Shanks is an associate professor of Animal Science in the Department of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences at Lincoln University, in Jefferson City, Missouri. His primary responsibility is teaching classes including introduction to animal science, sheep and goat production, beef production, animal breeding and genetics, pastures and forages, meat science, and reproductive physiology. Additionally, he also conducts applied research in various areas of beef, goat, and sheep production with emphasis on multi-species grazing and sustainable, low-input livestock production.
Bruce and his wife, Sunshine, and their two sons, Paul and Cameron own and operate Sassafras Valley Ranch in Belle, MO where they raise livestock under a managed-intensive grazing system on 300 owned and 900 leased acres. Currently, they run 275 registered South Poll cows and have a flock of 150 Katahdin hair sheep and 50 commercial Kiko goats. Additionally, they buy/finish/market 500-1,000 stocker lambs and goat kids annually. The focus of their farming operation centers on a sustainable, cost-sensitive, grass-based approach to livestock production.
In addition to the SPGCA board, Bruce also currently serves on the Missouri Forage and Grasslands Council Board, Mid-Missouri Grazing Committee, Maries RII FFA Advisory Board, and the Belle Fair Board. He is also affiliated with the American Society of Animal Science, Katahdin Hair Sheep International, and the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture.
Andy Sumners, Board Member
Andy has raised south poll cattle since 2006. Andy and his dad Stanley have approximately 100 registered South Poll momma cows. He is married to Misty Sumners and they have 2 children, Noah,12 years old and Maggie, 10 years old. They are members of Beulah Baptist Church in Boaz Alabama. Andy is the Marshall County Cattlemen’s Association secretary/treasurer. He also coaches his sons baseball team. Andy has 2 broiler poultry houses that are 66×600 in size. Each house holds approximately 60,000 birds.