Sharon Benigar finds new opportunity in every struggle

Sharon Medina Benigar moved to Osceola, Mo., from Coosbay, Ore., in 1980. She was a young, single mother with three children. Sharon moved here to find the life she had always dreamed of, but she found more than expected.
Sharon isn’t afraid to take a leap of faith to get where she wants, that’s pretty evident. She will also work hard to get what she wants. She started out waiting tables and did so for years and as a result met a lot of wonderful people. She worked at the local hang out, the “Bus Station,” in Osceola. Sharon managed to make enough for her and her family to live and rent a house. She eventually managed to buy horses for her and the kids and got them involved in the saddle club and involved with a lot of the family activities that go along with the small community. Sharon said, “I miss those ice cream socials and would like to see them reinstituted for the families.”
Sharon said when she moved to the old farm house where her property is now she thought it just doesn’t get any better than this. By that time she had accumulated several horses and did a lot of trail riding.
Eventually, she went to work for Martin Dairy for a year and a half. There she learned to milk dairy cows and it was her job to care for and raise the bottle calves. She fell in love and knew she had to raise some cattle for herself. Sharon put the word out that she wouldn’t mind owning bottle calves and in February of 1996 bought her first calf, Alice, a Simmental/Hereford cross, at the sale barn for $50. Sharon didn’t know how she was going to get her home but one of her neighbors was there and smiled and said sure, “they’d get Alice home for her.” Sharon said, “It’s been like that all along. People here are always willing to help each other.” It works both ways and she loves the sense of community that goes with living in a small town. Everybody knows each other and comes together when tragedy strikes. She loves that kind of environment for herself and her children. She never felt alone or without family but felt like she’d been adopted into a bigger family.
Word spread and one-by-one bottle calves started coming from this direction and another and slowly over time she began to build her herd. Many of the cows on her farm had been with her for 14 to 16 years. Over the last few years some have now passed.
In 1990 she was able to purchase the house and 19 acres where she had been renting, that was a giant step for Sharon. Ten years later she was able to purchase the remaining 89 acres.
Sharon’s story is one of patience and determination. She was willing to slowly work toward her goals. Sharon wanted to own a farm and run cattle. She knew she would have to do it little by little and she managed to do it. Sharon said, “Starting to own cattle at 42 didn’t deter me one bit because I was still accomplishing my goals.”
Investing in fresh stock, Sharon purchased nine Red Angus cows over the last few years to add to her herd. It was the first cattle purchased since the bottle calves. She went with Red Angus because she has seen far less problems with horse flies than with black cows.
Sharon’s life changed a little bit about 4 1/2 years ago when she met Charlie Benigar. A mutual friend called Sharon because Charlie needed a housekeeper. Sharon cleaned Charlie’s house for a while before things turned serious for them.
Sharon has lots of plans for her retirement. She is eager to learn more about soil, hay and grazing and wouldn’t mind expanding her herd once she has time to do so. Right now she only feels comfortable running 20 to 25 cow/calf pairs with one bull. She feels with her working full time that is about all she can handle.
Sharon thanks God every day for the wonderful life she has on her farm. She knows now it doesn’t get any better than this. She loves Missouri and the beauty of her farm and the animals is just more than she could have imagined. She feels truly blessed.


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