left: John Paul Visosky '01 with a cow; right: cows in a field
From Football To Farming
John Paul Visosky ’01 runs family cattle and grass farm in Virginia

John Paul Visosky ’01 was an NCAA Division III All-America linebacker with the Trinity Tigers football team. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Trinity University in marketing and international business.

Now, he and his wife of 18 years, the former Mollie Long ’04 (English major), are co-owners of a 4,800-acre farm in Madison and Culpepper Counties, Virginia, near Shenandoah National Park. The name of their business is Locust Dale Cattle Company, and they will sometimes have 600 head of cattle on 1,500 acres of the property. 

“To say I didn’t think my life would turn out like it did is an understatement,” Visosky says.

“After we graduated college, my wife’s family had a farm up here. She asked me about once a year, ‘Hey, why don’t move to Virginia, and I was always, ‘No, no, no.’ One year, she said, ‘How about moving up to the farm?’ and I said sure, let’s try it.

“We moved up here in August 2008, and we started brainstorming and writing mini-business plans. I started a hunting operation, which I still run. My wife started a food distribution business (The Fresh Link) with local farmers. Then, we had children, and that put a hiatus on that business. I read a book (Storey’s Guide to Raising Beef Cattle), bought some cows, and the rest is history!” 

The Visoskys have two sons, Henry (age 11) and Miles (age 6).

The Virginia property was in existence since before the Civil War, and the house they lived in was built in 1848. They renovated another house and moved a few years after arriving in the Commonwealth.

After graduating from Trinity, Visosky worked in the claims department for State Farm Insurance in San Antonio. The couple lived in Monte Vista, near the Trinity campus. He then became an insurance agent at State Farm for four years before starting his career in agriculture.

Visosky describes himself as a “grass farmer.” As a matter of fact, they cut between 200 to 300 acres of hay each year. Corn and soybeans are grown on the farm, and the row crop is leased to a local farmer.

Cows graze in the sunset on John Paul Visosky's family-run cattle and grass farm in Virginia.

As to the cattle, the Visoskys have 300 to 350 brood cows (mommas) that they “calve out” each year. They background the calves—a phase of growing weaned calves to a certain weight before they enter the feedlot for finishing—and also buy other calves to add to their stock.

They usually sell calves twice per year, often at the local auction barns of Senterfitt Livestock Company, run by Virginia Cattle Company and Madison Livestock Exchange.

“We run a heavy rotational grazing program,” Visosky explains. “The farming around here is a little different than in Texas, where they range cattle across large ranches. Here in Virginia, we get a lot of rain, so we rotate the cattle from pasture to pasture every two to four days. This time of year, you also have to check for health problems.”

On the gridiron, Visosky was a standout linebacker for the Tigers from 1997 to 2000, earning All-America accolades during his final season. He was also named the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) Player of the Year in 2000. Visosky was a teammate of 10th-year Trinity Head Coach Jerheme Urban ’03, also an All-American and nine-year National Football League veteran. Trinity advanced to the NCAA playoffs during each year of Visosky’s playing days and made the semifinals in 1998 and 1999. The Tigers also captured the SCAC Championship during the four-year span.

He joined the Tigers team out of Flour Bluff (Texas) High School. Visosky mentioned his former coaches—longtime head Coach Steve Mohr and assistant Roland Rodriguez—as being influential during his time as a Trinitonian.

“Coach Mohr, without a doubt,” Visosky says. “There were a lot of life lessons and funny quotes I remember to this day. Coach Rodriguez is the reason I wound up at Trinity in the first place. I would never have gone to Trinity without his insistence I give it a look.”

In addition to football and studying marketing and international business, Visosky was a proud member of the Bengal Lancers fraternity.

“My Trinity professors improved my critical thinking skills,” Visosky says. “It didn’t matter if it was a religion elective class, a business class, finance, etc. They wanted you to observe the subject or problem, analyze it, and evaluate and explain your decision-making process. It’s a skill we use daily on the farm when running our businesses.”

Visosky may be reached at johnpaulvisosky@gmail.com. Information about the Locust Dale Cattle Company is located on Facebook.

James Hill ’76, more famously known as Trinity's public address "Voice of the Tigers," retired in 2020 as Trinity’s assistant sports information director.

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