Since 1938, the descendants of V. H. Coley have bred and raised Hereford cattle with inherent industry relevance.
V.H. Coley started a family farm in 1910 raising Duroc hogs along with his sons, Clyde and Dee. In 1938, the Coleys purchased their first Hereford heifers for $75 each. Later, Clyde and Dee succeeded to ownership and proceeded to build a registered Hereford operation which became a leader in the Southeast. The Coleys held successful production sales from 1952 through 1978. The brothers also provided a valuable merchandising service through sale management. They received the Middle Tennessee Green Pasture award and Beef Cattle Improvement award from their home state many times in the 1960s.They were leaders in the state association and helped organize the Tennessee junior association, hosting its first field day.
In 1976, Dee’s son Jim graduated from the University of Tennessee and started his own herd based on select females from the family farm. Following the death of Dee, the farm held its dispersal sale in 1978. After managing farms in Tennessee, Kentucky, and Georgia, Jim and his family moved to Castalian Springs, Tennessee in 1986. During that time Coley Herefords continued to grow, but now with different expectations. Jim worked full-time for the Farmers Co-op in Sumner, Wilson, and Trousdale/Macon counties in addition to running the farm. Being a part-time farmer stressed the importance of breeding problem-free cattle. From late Fall to mid-Spring Jim didn’t see his cattle in the daylight except on weekends. After retiring from Tennessee Farmers Cooperative, Jim and Kay moved back to Coleytown just outside of Lafayette in 2018. This move returned Coley Herefords to the same farm where it all started. Even now that Jim is a full time farmer, his cattle need to calve unassisted, give plenty of milk from a problem-free udder, maintain themselves on fescue, re-breed A.I. and be easy to handle. When asked how his breeding program is doing toward those goals, Jim said “These calves show we are getting closer to reaching some of our goals. We look forward for our customers to know that the only thing more dependable than our cattle will be the people who raise them.”
Over the years, the Coley Herefords family has grown. Jim married Kay Vess in 1980. They have two children, Denise and Michael. In 2005 Denise married Wesley Skelton, and they now live with their children, Hannah-Kate, Micaiah, Sarah Grace, and Noah in Cleveland, Tennessee. The Skeltons raise a herd of commercial beef cattle, with a growing number of Herefords, of course. In 2016 Michael married Erin Hardin, and they live outside of Mt. Juliet, Tennessee.
If we can assist you in making your beef operation more profitable with Hereford genetics backed by generations of integrity and real world relevance, give us a call.