Rolla cattle farmers, local horse auction honored for agricultural achievement

As a cattle farmer, Bob Thompson said he is “living the dream” but never figured that part of that dream would be to win the Governor’s Award for Agricultural Achievement.

“I feel very honored and I never in a million years thought this would happen and I sure feel humble knowing the company that has won this award,” he said Friday afternoon after his cattle farm, the Glengrove Farm southwest of Rolla, was honored.

Bob and his wife Gretchen Thompson have been in the farming business for 40 years “and we enjoy it, it’s our love.”

The Glengrove Farm, located off of County Road 4010 just south of Highway F in Phelps County, which has been a family farm since 1903, was one of three area farms to be recognized by the governor and Missouri Department of Agriculture (MDA).

Gov. Jay Nixon and Dr. Jon Hagler, MDA director, presented the award to the Thompsons. The award honors outstanding farmers, growers and processors for their work with agricultural commodities and their communities.

“It’s great to see a very, very superior operation here,” Nixon said. “The quality you see right here at Glengrove Farm is another reason why Missouri’s economy is moving forward ... it was especially impressive to look at some of that hay from the CRP (Conservation Reserve Program) land in north Missouri.”

Bob Thompson noted that when the state pushed to release the CRP ground so that farmers could use it to get hay, it showed that the state understands the importance of agriculture.

“They have stepped up when water was needed and this has been a very difficult time for us to manage through in the cattle industry,” Bob Thompson said.

“Through the latest technology and old-fashioned hard work, the folks here continue a proud legacy of raising cattle, raising healthy, quality beef and obviously helping lead this team are Bob and Gretchen Thompson,” the governor said.

“What you see today with Bob and Gretchen, they are part of a very, very incredible class this year of folks who have not only invested in their particular operation but also embrace science and technology for the future.

Bob Thompson said one of the goals of Glengrove Farm is trying to improve animal genetics in beef industry and “identify the very best genetics so that our customers can use their genetics to improve their value and bottom line. Our industry is still about producing safe and quality of food.”

Bob Thompson also said he and his family are passionate about youth. “We spend a fair amount of time and resources, and have for many years, supporting 4-H and FFA.
Glengrove Farm, a 160-acre farm, is home to more than 40 cows and calves, along with a half dozen performance tested bulls.

Bob and Gretchen Thompson began performance testing bulls through the University of Missouri in 1975, shortly after bringing Hereford cattle to the farm. They both have served on the Missouri Hereford Association Board. Bob is currently a member of the Missouri State Fair Foundation Board of Directors and has volunteered with the UM College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources on the 2000-2009 For All We Call Mizzou campaign to endow scholarships for students in the college and pursuing careers in agriculture.

According to Nixon, of Missouri’s approximate 108,000 farms, about 52,000 have livestock on them. Nixon said Missouri is second only to Texas in the number of cattle.

Additionally, the governor presented agricultural achievement awards on Friday to Terry and Myrna Geiler, of the Rolla Horse Auction in St. James, and Otto Williams, of the WW Cedar Company in Vienna.

“Agriculture has always been, and will always be, the heart of Missouri’s economy,” Nixon said. “Missouri farmers not only feed the world, they create jobs, support their communities and our economy. The farmers, ranchers and producers of Missouri are moving our state forward through innovation and are creating new opportunities for our future.”