• Hometown: Kansas, Okla.
• Family: Husband Troy, daughters Lindsey and Hannah, and son Tristan
In Town: Jessica Thompson has been an educator for more than 20 years, with 19 years in the Kansas, Okla., school district. Jessica began teaching at the Epic Charter Schools, an Oklahoma-based online and in-person K-12 school, three years ago.
“I teach everything,” Jessica said with a laugh. “In my core group, I teach third- and fourth-grade reading, but anyone, K-12, who needs my help, we log in together, and I help them with their curriculum. It’s interesting because if you’re teaching one thing, you can get bored. I enjoy it.”
In the Country: The Thompson family has had an Angus herd for several years and have recently expanded the herd.
Cattle are kept at two farms, one consisting of 40 acres owned in partnership with family members, and a 103-acre farm known as Twin Springs, which Jessica and Troy purchased from her grandparents, Gene and Zella Longcrier.
“The cattle are from registered stock, but we just haven’t kept up with it the last couple of years,” Jessica said of their cow/calf pairs. “What we have been doing, because we have a bull here (at the Twin Springs location) and a bull there, is swap the heifers we retain and take them to the other bull when they got old enough to breed. When we started, we just had 15 cows, then I became a partner with my grandma (Zella), and now we are at about 40 pairs.”
Steers and unretained heifers are sold at a local livestock market. The Thompsons have sold a couple of bulls to fellow breeders over the years but do not plan to move into bull development.
First-calf heifers typically have calves by the age of 2, and Jessica said the use of low birthweight bulls has reduced any calving issues.
Jessica and her family also maintain nine beehives, selling the honey they harvest.
Jessica’s grandfather Gene once raised racehorses but opted to start raising cattle, but the love for horses remains strong in the family, as they train and ride horses for pleasure and competition. Daughters Lindsey and Hannah both run barrels, and Lindsey, Jessica said, also competes in rodeo queen events, earning Miss Rodeo of the Ozarks and Siloam Springs Rodeo Queen titles.
For Jessica, the best time of year to be on the farm is during calving season.
“I just love seeing the calves,” she said.