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Straight Up | April 2022

A conversation with everyday Stockmen.

Troy and VeaBea Thomas

Harrold, S.D.

About the Stockman.

"Thomas Ranch was officially started in the early 1900s by Troy’s great-grandfather Harry Thomas. In the 1920s, Troy’s grandfather Alvin Thomas and family, moved to the current location. Cattle have always been part of the operation. Troy’s parents, Harry and Kay, came back to the ranch in 1963 after college. In the 1970s, Thomas Ranch purchased and imported some of the first purebred Simmental cattle into the United States. Troy moved home from college in 1982 and then purebred Charolais and Angus cattle were purchased. Red Angus were next into the purebred herd. Troy and VeaBea took over the reins of Thomas Ranch in 2011. Harry and Kay still live at the ranch and help as needed. Cally and her husband, Clint, and son Tee, live in Oral, S.D., and return to Harrold to help when they can.”

What about the beef cattle industry excites you the most?

"We have more tools than ever to help us improve our cattle genetically and we are finally in a position to receive a premium for the high-quality cattle we strive to produce and raise.”

Your favorite non-farm activity to do in your free time?

"Going to our cabin south of Lead, S.D., to hang out. Even better when joined by family and friends. Seems we never have time to do this though.”

The most important lesson you’ve learned in this business?

"1) A drink doesn’t necessarily solve all your problems.

2) One day at a time.

3) Take the good with the bad.”

Most used tool on your farm and how old is it?

"New Holland TV145 Bi-Directional tractor. It’s a 2005 model.”

Your go-to sorting apparatus?

"Sorting stick, if available.”

What is your least favorite job on the farm?

"Bull sale picture week. This is a long and tiring process. But this year, even with a limited crew we got great pictures in record time. Thanks to all who helped.”

Which animal (any species) has left the greatest impact on you?

"STL Designs Sketch; Reg# 0918071 BD: 04/01/1983, purebred Simmental bull. He was our first national champion and drove us to pursue better genetics in each of the breeds we are involved in.”

Describe your best and worst day.

"Best day: Bull sale day, showcasing our genetics to both new and old customers and friends. Worst day: Blizzards, cold, wet weather during calving.”

Thomas Ranch 50th Annual Production Sale

April 12, 2022 | 1:00pm

At the Thomas Ranch sales facility, north of Harrold, S.D.

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