Family: Wife of 44 years, Karen; two children, daughter, Tara Berning, and son-in-law, Josh, and one son, Shawn Boultinghouse, and daughter-in-law, Cassie; a granddaughter, Michaela Hicks, and her husband, Wade; three grandsons, Kade Collins, Grady and Griffin Crews.
Hometown: El Dorado Springs, Mo.
Town: Don has served as Northern Cedar County Commissioner for the past five years. He began his first, four-year term as commissioner in 2013. He was re-elected in 2016 for a second term. Prior to being elected as commissioner, he worked for the Missouri Department of Transportation for 36 years.
Don’s duties include overseeing the budget, roads and bridges for the county.
In the Country: Don has been a livestock man since he was a young boy. He grew up with cattle and he started raising and showing Duroc hogs when he was 13. He was a competitive showman, exhibiting at area fairs.
“FFA had a big impact on me. I served as president of the EL Dorado Springs FFA Chapter my senior year. I received my State Farmer Degree my junior year, and competed on several state qualifying judging teams,” he remarked.
Don still raises show pigs, beef cattle and bales 500 to 600 bales of hay every summer.
He owns 10 Yorkshire/Hampshire crossbred sows that he AIs to farrow twice a year, once in January and again in the summer. The January pigs are sold to 4-H and FFA members in Cedar and Vernon counties. He raises 35 to 40 show pigs per year.
“I don’t try to make money at it. I try to stay reasonable on cost when I sell the pigs to the kids,” Don said.
He started his beef operation with 10 Angus cows and one Charolais bull. Over the last 30 years, he has built his herd to 100 head of spring and fall calving cows. He purchases his bulls, but raises all of his replacement heifers.
The breed influence of his herd has changed over the years. He switched from using Charolais bulls to Maine Anjou bulls to produce show calves for his kids and grandkids to exhibit. Now, he is using Angus and Balancer bulls in an effort to transition his herd to be predominately black-hided.
Don is active in a variety of organizations. He is the vice president of the Cedar County Cattlemen’s Association and Cedar County Farm Bureau. He serves on the Land O’ Lakes Youth Fair Board, West Central Community Action Agency and Kaysinger Basin. He is a member of the El Dorado Springs Missionary Baptist Church.