Joe’s youth was shaped by experiences in both beef and dairy judging and exhibiting livestock. He learned the business from his father, and now, 55 years after purchasing his first Hereford calf, he manages the seedstock division of his family’s fourth-generation farm in central Mississippi — Waggoner Cattle Co. LLC. The family farm consists of a 150-head Hereford herd, 150-head Angus herd, a commercial herd and timber production.
The purebred cattle are marketed regionally in the Southeast with partnerships for bull development and sales in Kansas while females are marketed private treaty. Joe works to improve herd genetics and performance through participation in the Mississippi Beef Cattle Improvement Association (MBCIA), AHA Whole Herd TPR and genomic testing.
Joe’s father also influenced his decision to obtain degrees in civil engineering and law. In 1976 Joe and his wife, Allison, founded a civil engineering and management business in Jackson, Miss. For the last 40 years, growing this firm and expanding the family cattle business have formed Joe’s professional career.
Joe joined the American Polled Hereford Association in 1964 and became a member of the AHA following the merger of the polled and horned organizations. He has served as president, secretary and a board member of the Mississippi Polled Hereford Association and has sponsored field days at the farm.
He is a member of the MBCIA, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the Beef Improvement Federation. Joe is also involved in chambers of commerce, economic development districts, state and national bar associations, the Society of International Business Fellows, the National Society of Professional Engineers, the American Council of Engineering Companies and Habitat for Humanity. Joe and Allison have two grown daughters — Alex Ayres and Olivia Claire.