Family: Wife, Robin
Home: El Dorado Springs, Mo., and Cedar and St. Clair counties in Missouri.
In Town: “Fugate Motors here in El Dorado Springs was started as a Ford dealership by my father, Virgil, and I in 1963 and I’ve been running it on my own since 1967,” Harold said.
Fugate Motors sells vehicles by Ford, Jeep, Dodge, Chrysler and Ram trucks, as well as trailers by Doolittle and Titan, and large round bale truck beds by Cannonball.
In the Country: “I grew up on a farm in Greene County, Mo., in the Walnut Grove area,” Harold said. “I bought my first farm in 1969 and I traded for it on a car deal. That first farm was 240 acres and I traded a pickup for it. I’ve traded for several farms since. I’m just an old trader and will still trade for ‘most anything.’”
Harold currently raises 120 head of Angus cows with their calves on a combined 800 acres on two different farms in Cedar and St. Clair counties. He recently sold off an additional 500 acres. “I like black cows so I just do a basic cow-calf operation, raising Angus cows but I don’t do registered cattle. I just don’t have time for it,” he said. “I was really born into farming and got in to it a little too soon to be able to take advantage of all the modern advantages and equipment that farmers enjoy today. I had an old scoop shovel instead of an auger, for instance, but I didn’t have access to the big equipment that farmers have now.
“Still, when it comes down to it, as the years go by, you go back to your roots and mine were always in farming.”
In the Community: While much of his time still goes into his business and farming, Harold is heavenly involved in El Dorado Springs’ new youth center, his own Church of God Holiness’ recent building addition and his recent acquisition of a vintage church camp, with the help of a business partner.
“At the youth center, I am chairman of the board and was project chairman when we built the building. We have a licensed day care and an after school program, with a 20 station computer lab for older kids to do their homework. Our Friday night program offers a place where young people can just come and hang out and play games, all with adult supervision. It makes a safe haven for kids and they really need that.