Junior Tuten wears many hats, a cowboy hat being just one. He is a cattleman, co-owner of a limited liability company, an investor, a rancher, a farmer, a husband, a father and a grandfather. He has been in the cattle business full-time since the 1980’s and has turned his cattle business into a family business.
Junior’s son Gary was raised in cattle farming, with his sons Chris and Matt and daughter Jennifer, following in his footsteps. As the Tuten family has grown, so has their business, moving into three counties; Madison, Jefferson and Brooks, with a total of four companies under the umbrella of Blackwater Investors, LLC.
The four businesses keep all the Tuten’s busy. Between the four entities, there are jobs of fertilizing, harvesting hay, repairing fences, feeding cattle, spraying pastures, mowing, birthing calves and if that’s not enough, they also grow cotton and peanuts.
When asked if every Tuten in the family worked the farm, Junior said, “No,” but jokingly added, “All us Tutens can survive only because we have a wife, or friend, in town working.” Chris’s wife Shaughnessy, is already helping on the farm, and will be doing even more after finishing her veterinary internship, causing Chris to proudly say, “We’ll then have our own personal vet.” And when asked if his own kids would become cattle farmers, his quick reply guarantees the family business will continue, “That’s the plan.”