It’s safe to say Jacob Megehee has never met a stranger in his life. It’s also safe to say that if you don’t personally know Megehee, then you know someone who does.
He’s a colorful character, to say the least – a walking definition of an extrovert personality type. And whether he’s bowing his head in prayer to talk to God like he’s catching up with a good friend over a cup of coffee or going out of his way to make sure a newcomer to an event feels comfortable, there’s one way to sum up Megehee: Sincere.
The seasoned cattlemen has seen a thing or two in his day, from leaving the Vietnam jungle with five purple hearts, to being married to his best friend for 51 years.
“I’m a magnet for bullets,” he chuckles as he revealed scars from four gunshots and a hit from shrapnel. “God put me on Earth for some reason, but I’m not sure why.”
And while Megehee has retired from is ag economist position from Mississippi State University, the cow-calf and stocker operator from Macon, Miss., is far from hanging up his hat on industry involvement. As a past president of the Mississippi Cattlemen’s Association and Cattlemen’s Beef Board member, the current National Cattlemen’s Beef Association nominating committee member will stay involved for his love of the industry and most of all, his love for the people.
“Cattle people are good people,” he says.
- Recall an “oops” moment that actually turned into a valuable lesson. Tell us about it.
This is a tough one! Maybe when I was in the 5th grade, and my wife was in the 4th, and I met her!
I grew up on a dairy farm in southern Mississippi, where we also raised beef cattle, sheep and hogs. When I went into the army, I was stationed in Germany after flight school. When we went on leave, we could fly, so I flew all over the region and got to see dairy farms across Austria and Germany. Martha would tell me, “You can look at dairy cows, touch dairy cows, but you can’t raise them!” She was a beef girl and luckily a smart woman to get me in the beef business.
- Where was the best steak you ate? Is there a story behind that?
In August of 1968, I got on a plane to come back to the United States from Vietnam. I had the world behind me, and we were served hot 8oz steaks – as many as we could eat, with frozen napkins. That was the best steak I ever had.
- What is your proudest accomplishment?
Being the father to three wonderful children – two daughters and a son. They’ve given me five wonderful grandchildren – four granddaughters and a grandson.
- If you could talk to one person you normally wouldn’t have the chance to talk to, who would it be?
I would like to sit down and talk to Mr. Obama if he would listen to me. I’d like to talk to him about the future of our country and the freedom of our country.
- In 10 years I will…
In 10 years, I still hope to be in the cattle business and an advocate for the beef industry, just like I’ve tried to do all my life.