Mark Sustaire – Winnsboro, Texas
“Ranchers and farmers can’t predict how the day is going to play out, but you just roll with it,” says Mark Sustaire of Sustaire Dairy in Winnsboro, Texas. From dealing with unexpected weather and broken equipment to helping a neighbor farm in a crisis or pulling over on a country road to give a phone interview (for this article!), Mark “rolls with it” every day of the year.
Mark, along with his wife Amy and two young adult children, operates a third-generation dairy business in northeast Texas that also has a small cow/calf herd and additional agricultural products. Mark explains that his grandfather started “dairying” back in the early 1940s, and that the profession was carried on by his dad. “I spent my childhood helping out with farm chores,” elaborates Mark, “and would also earn extra pocket money milking a neighbor’s cows.”
“My own kids had many similar learning experiences and chores growing up. I feel that being together and raising a family in this way, where every member has his or her tasks that are all vital to further the family goal, is one of the many rewards of an agricultural lifestyle,” says Mark. “Today, my son Garrett (26) continues to be involved in the day-to-day operation of Sustaire Farms full time and my daughter Jordan (22) is finishing her degree at Tarleton State University.
While Mark puts in about 60 hours of hard work a week, barring any emergencies or contingencies, he also tries to find time to wind down by camping, hiking and enjoying nature with a small-circle of friends. He’s also served on the Pickton-Pine Forest Volunteer Fire Department for more than 20 years. “In a small community, you really make a connection with friends, families and other nearby farms, ranches and businesses,” says Mark. “Being able to give back and help when needed has really meant a lot to me.”
Agricultural Leadership: I have represented the dairy industry on the Texas Beef Council since 2018 and served on the beef resources committee. I was nominated by my dairy cooperative, Dairy Farmers of America, for this position. I will also be representing Texas on the Cattlemen’s Beef Board and was nominated by the Texas Association of Dairymen, where I also represent Dairy Farmers of America.
Favorite Dairy Product: I definitely like strawberry ice cream!
Cooking Beef: My favorite beef cut is a Ribeye. I either prepare it on the grill or in a smoker to be seared later. I’m very picky about cooking beef and have my “rules.” Pay attention to what you’re doing, use a quick-read thermometer to test for doneness (the “feel” check has never worked well for me), and wrap in foil to rest meat before eating.
Favorite Local Spots to Eat Out: College Street Burgers & Fries and Slaughter’s BBQ Oasis – both are nearby in Sulphur Springs.
Archived Texas Cattle Rancher Profiles:
September 2021 – Zach Yanta
August 2021 – Jason Cleere
July 2021- Bill Wight
June 2021 – Neil Dudley
May 2021 – Kelley Sullivan Georgiades
April 2021 – Stahlman Family
March 2021 – Ryan Moorhouse
February 2021 – Dawn Leen
January 2021 – Brad Hastings
November/December 2020 – Monica Minzenmayer
October 2020 – Brandi Richards
September 2020 – Jim Bret Campbell
August 2020 – Marsha Shoemaker
July 2020 – Robert Hale
June 2020 – Ellen Tom
May 2020 – Courtney Stefan
April 2020 – Tim & Gayle Foster
March 2020 – Erin Wickersham
February 2020 – Angela & Albert Myres
January 2020 – Jimmy Holub
November & December 2019 – Nate Wolf
October 2019 – Jake and Caitlin Richards
September 2019 – Austin Brown III
August 2019 – Tana Autrey
July 2019 – Ron and Debbie Gill
June 2019 – Coleman Locke
May 2019 – Pat McDowell
April 2019 – Janna Stubbs
March 2019 – Tyson Hann
February 2019 – Amanda Dyer
January 2019 – Tommy Perkins