Jim Reid returns to the cattle industry after his retirement from the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

“I’ve had cattle since I was 12,” Jim Reid of Richland, Mo., recalled. “My dad let me have cattle on his place.”

Reid’s father Alfred made time to raise cattle in addition to his job as a carpenter.

“When I was a kid, dad had milk cows, and we milked all the time, but it was just hand milking,” Reid added.

The Missouri native has used rented land in addition to the 145 acres he calls home to raise a variety of beef cattle. Currently, his herd consists of 32 head, including a 2-year-old black Angus bull.

Reid and his wife Rebecca have led busy lives, raising six children while Rebecca worked fulltime at a local farm and home store.

Someone who enjoys meeting people, Rebecca talks about retiring, but husband Jim doesn’t think it will be any time soon. The couple made time for farming, despite having jobs in the community.

“At one time I had 84 head, which was way more then I could take care of and work out,” he said.

When the land he rented was sold, Jim downsized.

“We had to cut our herd way back,” he recalled.

Jim has worked a variety of jobs, from professional truck driver to store manager. His last full-time job off the farm involved six months of training at the Highway Patrol Academy in Jefferson City, Mo., before embarking on a career with Missouri State Highway Patrol that involved his being stationed in both Pulaski and Laclede counties, and resulted in being given many service awards. His career ended with his retirement in July 2012.

Jim bought the farm in 1989. Since retiring from the patrol, he has stayed busy with home improvement projects, and tending his stock. The cattle are sold at Mid-Missouri Stockyards in Lebanon, Mo. When cattle are sold depends on their weight.

“Around 500 pounds, the calves bring more money than they do at any other time,” Jim said. “I usually try to catch them somewhere between 450 and 500.”

Reid feeds range cubes and occasionally a 16 percent dairy feed, a sweet feed, to his animals.

The herd grazes on red top, Orchardgrass, Timothy and fescue, and the farm yields enough grass that Jim usually doesn’t have to buy hay.

He plans to gradually produce only black Angus, as they seem to bring better prices when sold. A son, Daniel, helps run the farm when time permits, and Jim is appreciative of the help.

Jim’s affection for his livestock was obvious when a trip was taken to the pasture to see the herd. The heifers and bull gathered around, used to being in close contact with him.

“I enjoy just watching them,” he said.

Jim’s long history with cattle brings good memories. Annabel, a Charolais heifer became a pet, and her granddaughter lives on the farm today.

Jim wants to continue to improve his herd, and he doesn’t regret retiring from being a patrolmen and turning into a cattleman.

“(The cattle) are calming. They take the stress out of life,” he said with a smile.


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