Meet the Member BJ Billingsley
story by Michele Toberer Nineteen-year-old BJ Billingsley has been a member of the Arkansas Cowboys Association for four years, competing as a tie-down roper. BJ […]
story by Lindsay Whelchel
The rodeo and Western way of life is, no doubt, tied to the rural way of life. In the Arkansas Cowboys Association that tie is being celebrated by one of the ACA’s premier sponsors, Hirsch Feed and Farm Supply, located in West Plains, Mo.
“We have a lot of customers that participate in rodeos,” said John Williams, owner of the West Plains location. He added, “that’s a big part of our business. Most people involved in the sport of rodeo also have farms or some type of a rural-urban lifestyle. We may not cater so much to the rodeo people as far as a huge selection of tack and saddles, but we do have supplements and feed. All of [the rodeo people] have a small rural enterprise, whether it be a farm or a small hobby farm or just a couple of horses. That’s basically our customer base, so we feel like we need to support it.”
The West Plains store opened 11 years ago and is the second location for Hirsch. John’s partners began the business in 1974.
The business carries the role of being a “complete farm supply,” John described. They offer everything from tack, clothing, parts, feed, tractors, hay equipment and more. “About everything you need for around the farm or home,” he said.
John has 47 employees at the company. He’s not a rodeo competitor himself, but he does own cattle and sees the opportunity to sponsor the ACA as integral to Hirsch’s mission to positively impact the community.
“We try to sponsor anything that will help our community and our customer base, whether it’s kids at the fair or a Boys and Girls Club, or the university, anything to do with high school. Anything that can improve our community, we feel like we need to support it because the community supports us.”
That community certainly includes rodeo cowboys and cowgirls, as well as rodeo fans, enjoying all that the ACA has to offer the geographic area, and the ACA would like to thank Hirsch for all that they do to keep the sport flourishing.
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