Troy Hogsett of Willow Springs, Missouri is the manager of engineering at Howell-Oregon Electric Cooperative. He raises cattle on 450 acres in Howell County. Photo by Stephanie Beltz-Price.
Photo by Stephanie Beltz-Price

Hometown: Willow Springs, Mo.

Family: Two adult daughters in Kansas City, Mo.

In Town: Troy is the manager of engineering at Howell-Oregon Electric Cooperative (HOEC). He’s been with the cooperative for 23 years. 

“I interviewed in the area for a similar job and learned of the opening here,” said Troy. “I was in the process of gaining my professional license in Missouri, which is a four- to- five-year process, and HOEC was willing to work with me.” 

Troy graduated from Kansas State in 1994 with a degree in electrical engineering and worked in Kansas at a cooperative for five years.

In his role at HOEC, it is his responsibility to oversee the electrical system to make sure everything works correctly. 

“We look to find the weak spots and fix them before they become a bigger issue,” Troy explained. “We want to make sure the system works when it is 102 degrees and when it is negative two degrees. If it works well during the extremes, it will usually be good the rest of the time.”

In the Country: Troy runs about 70 Angus-based momma cows, using registered Angus bulls on his cow herd for market calves. He started growing his herd in Missouri when he moved in 2000. “I brought a few cows with me and have been able to raise replacement females throughout the years,” he said. 

He raises cattle on 450 acres in Howell County. “I raise a small amount of hay, but have to buy most of it,” he explained. “That is probably the biggest challenge for me — to find hay priced right that I can get to the farm. As with many of the input costs on farms, hay prices continue to increase and it is hard to make a living on a farm, which is one of the reasons I’ve always had a job in town.” 

Troy considers himself a “flashlight farmer.” 

“Of course, now it would be a headlamp, but we work during the day and then farm at night and on the weekends,” he added. “For too many small producers we just can’t pay the bills without another job off the farm. Small producers must want to do this – they must have a reason to put on the headlamp and farm.”

For Troy it is his way of life — pride in land ownership and watching the herd grow. 

“Knowing that you had a hand in that; set a goal and achieved it, is something I am proud to be part of,” he added. “Sometimes it seems like I’m just working to put out the biggest fire, but I am looking forward to retirement and being able to have the farm that I can be extremely proud of,” he said. “I want to have the place that is neat as a pin and hopefully in retirement I’ll have more time to make that happen,” he chuckled.


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