Growing up I remember constantly changing the career path that I wanted to pursue. I went through thoughts of a plumber, electrician, veterinarian, and police officer. By the time I was in high school, I knew for sure that I wanted to earn the title of United States Marine. After serving in the Marines I pursued none of my childhood careers paths and ended up in a career as an engineer, which was intuitive and challenging on a daily basis, but it just wasn’t fulfilling and became boring year after year.
One year, a friend of mine who grew up upland hunting decided to get back into it and invited me pheasant hunting. I grew up in a city and had no idea what a pheasant was, but I stomped brush with a shotgun through a field with four other guys for eight hours looking for one of these pheasants. It was like being back on patrol in the Marine Corps. After eight hours of walking I stepped over a rock wall and saw movement by my foot.
Once this thing and I made eye contact, it burst into flight and flew away from me.
My friends asked me, "Why didn’t you shoot at it?"
"Shoot at what?!?!" I responded, not knowing what that thing even was.
"The pheasant!" they yelled, disappointed that I had let it get away.
"That was a pheasant?" I responded, "You mean I walked miles through thick brush for the past eight hours and that was the thing I was looking for?"
I told my friend to count me out next year, this was not my idea of fun. At this point he decided to tell me that most people used a dog to bird hunt, and that he would get a dog for next year. Well, the next year came and it only took one point from that dog and I was hooked. Seeing that dog work in the field was amazing to me, and that is how my farming career started.
I wanted to immerse myself in everything that had to do with these dogs instinctive drive and the birds that drove them. The birds now drive me the same way. Farming has been the most fulfilling feeling that I feel everyday. Now looking back as a farmer I have also become a plumber, electrician, veterinarian, and police officer. I wake up earlier, work harder, make less money, and go to bed late, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
Jared McCool Owner and Operator
Steadfast Farms Poultry Processing and Slaughter