Hometown: Lebanon, Mo.
Family: Husband Glenn; daughter Baleigh (20); and son Brody (17)
In Town: Jennifer Raef is a lifelong resident of Laclede County, Mo., and is currently serving her first term as the county recorder of deeds.
“I am very honored to fill the shoes of the previous recorder (Lynn Stowe) who held the office for 32 years,” Jennifer said. “I really enjoy visiting with people when they come into the office, and I get to make my rounds when I go to the title offices and banks. I love community service and serving Laclede County.”
In the Country: Jennifer was raised on a family farm near Eldridge, Mo., where her family raised cattle, horses and mules.
“My parents, Eddie and Peggy Thompson, and grandparents, Roy and Lavon Thompson, farmed together and I love being outside, working cows, feeding baby calves, just all aspects of the farm. I can’t imagine my life being any different. When I met Glenn, he had the same interests and grew up the same way, so we’ve raised our kids that way.They have a love for a farm just like we do.”
She met Glenn while showing steers at the Laclede County Fair and their children remain highly involved in the fair, both as leaders on the fair board and department chairs. The Raef children have shown hogs or steers at the fair since they were toddlers.
“We raised our kids at the fair,” Jennifer said. “It’s just a tradition for us and having the ability to do that and pass on the love for it is important.”
The Raefs have a registered Simmental and commercial Red Angus herd with Glenn’s parents, Donnie and Kay Raef. They currently have about 40 head. The family utilizes both AI and natural cover breeding programs, doing the AI work themselves. They are doing some crossbreeding and are evaluating what direction they want to take their herd at this point.
For fun, the Raefs bring a little history back to life with their Rafter R Chuckwagon.
“We have gone to the national competition in Texas and to Oklahoma,” Jennifer said. “We got a chuckwagon 20-some years ago and we love to cook, so we started getting into competitions. It’s not just your cooking that you’re judged on, but the quality of your wagon, how old it is, how historically correct it is. We’ve done really well. It’s more about visiting with people who have the same loves; we’ve gotten to build a lot of long-lasting friendships.”