Matthew Hayes was raised in Winters, CA, a small farming community between Sacramento and the Napa Valley. Combined with his three siblings, he raised and exhibited all the major meat animal species. Raising livestock sparked his interest in livestock judging, and he was a member of the Winters FFA Livestock Judging Team that was named the 2004 National Champion Team, and he was awarded the National Champion High Individual. After a junior college judging career at San Joaquin Delta College in Stockton, CA, he decided to pursue a degree in Agriculture Education at CSU, Fresno (Fresno State).
After completing his bachelor’s degree in 2010 and shortly after moving back to Northern California, he was hired at Superior Farms in Dixon, CA, where he is currently a lamb buyer. His duties include procuring livestock for the non-traditional market channel, mainly on the west coast. These include light weight lambs, mutton and meat goats. He and his wife, Emmalee, also operate M&E Livestock. They run a small flock of registered Southdown ewes as well as a small herd of Boer does, with their main focus for both species on producing high quality wether type animals. Their main market being 4-H and FFA projects.