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Working hard until the cows come home
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For Chris Wallace, manager of Bricton Farms in Social Circle, the workday begins at 7 a.m. by serving breakfast to more than 300 purebred, registered Black Angus cows, calves and bulls. After that, Wallace and three other workers stay busy, sometimes until well into the night, caring for approximately 1,000 acres of farmland occupied by cattle and hay.

Wallace graduated from Auburn University in 1994 with a degree in animal and dairy sciences and has been pursuing his love of cattle-raising ever since. Bricton Farms, which is owned by C.L. and Joyce Cook, has been managed by Wallace for ten years now.

"I've had commercial cows growing up all my life," Wallace said. "It's all I've been interested in really."

Managing Bricton Farms is a full-time, year-round job for Wallace. In January and April the farm hosts a bull and cow sale, which means putting in extra time to prepare the sale building for holding guests and the sale ring for showing off cattle. From September until the next April, the farm cows birth calves, which means putting in extra time to monitor the births no matter what time of day or night.

Besides taking care of more than 300 cattle, Wallace and his crew grow and cut their own hay, with a good deal of help from Bricton Farms' owner, C.L. Cook. This year alone, the farm has grown, cut and stored approximately 1,800 bales of hay.

It's no easy job managing a cattle farm, but Wallace, who chose that career path years ago, loves it.

"If you're going to do it, you have to love it," he said. "In all hours."