Bartons promote ag education, cattle industry
Garrett and Megan Barton, in partnership with Jeff and Tatum Berry, own and operate Classic Cattle Company. The operation sells Angus cattle, as well as show steers and heifers for 4-H and FFA members.
Currently based in Casper, Classic Cattle Company sells 80 to 100 show cattle to California, Wyoming, Iowa and Texas each year.
Interest in agriculture
Garrett and Megan both grew up in the San Diego, Calif. area, and were not directly involved in agriculture until Garrett was accidentally signed up for agricultural biology, rather than traditional biology his freshman year of high school.
In the first day of class, Garrett’s ag teacher introduced him to a student who raised and sold hogs to other students in the FFA program.
“I joined FFA, bought two hogs to show at the county fair and kept them at the school farm,” explained Garrett. “I liked showing, and I decided the next year I wanted to show cattle.”
However, neither Garrett nor his family knew anyone who raised cattle. Garrett’s dad, a pilot at the time, knew another pilot who flew Advantage Cattle Services semen sales representatives across the country. He gave the Bartons Jeff Berry’s phone number.
“I purchased a steer from Jeff, and he shipped the steer all the way to central California in the jail house of a bull wagon,” said Garrett. “This steer won my county fair, and I was hooked.”
In the next year, Garrett’s senior year of high school, he purchased two steers and a heifer from Jeff and traveled to Wyoming to pick them up directly from Cheyenne.
“At the time, Jeff was coaching the livestock judging team at Laramie County Community College (LCCC), and he gave me a tour while we were there. I didn’t have any plans for college, and Jeff talked me into judging for LCCC even though I had no experience.”
Garrett and Megan both graduated from LCCC and moved to Laramie to complete their education at the University of Wyoming (UW).
Starting a cattle business
Garrett judged on the livestock judging team at UW and started selling show steers in college. The Bartons bought cattle shortly after graduating from UW in May 2019.
“Shortly after graduation, Megan accepted the ag teaching position at Natrona County High School in Casper, and I found a job working for the Eastgate Ranch,” said Garrett, who noted the Classic Cattle Company was previously rooted in Cheyenne.
Classic Cattle Company utilizes embryo transfer technology to produce solid show cattle. Garrett has a small herd of donor and recipient cows, and puts embryos in a few recipient herds around the state of Wyoming.
“We’re a little different from other producers because there is a lot of services that come with purchasing show cattle from us,” explained Garrett. “There is a strong camaraderie between our show cattle customers which almost acts like our own 4-H club. We clip steers together and support each other at shows.”
“This atmosphere is something we strive to create,” Garrett continued. “It is really important to make sure people stay friends and remember why we show cattle – to develop kids into good leaders and responsible adults.”
“We sell good show steers, and I would like to say customers buy from us because we have good cattle, but its more than that,” Garrett laughed. “It’s a lot about family and I love the industry. I can’t wait until Megan and I’s daughter Tensley can start showing.”
Classic Cattle Company has steers available each fall starting in August, and will hold an embryo and semen sale on Feb. 28, which is available on steerbidder.com.
Averi Hales is the editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to firstname.lastname@example.org.