Century Farms recognized

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MU Extension Ag Instructor Eric Meusch, left, and Texas County Commissioner John Casey, right, presented Roy and Shellie Ogden and their family 
with their Century Farm certificate for their farm in Licking.

Century Farm Whetstine.jpg

MU Extension

The 2020 Texas County Century Farm recipients were recognized Saturday, Aug. 1, at the Texas County Fair. MU Extension Ag Instructor Eric Meusch,  along with Texas County Commissioner John Casey, presented the 2020 certificates to Roy and Shellie Ogden of Licking and James, Jeff, Jonathan and Justin Whetstine of Cabool. These latest additions bring the total to 70 certified Century Farms in Texas County. Since 1976 over 9,500 Missouri Century Farms have been recognized.
The Ogden family farm began as 120 acres and was purchased in 1920 by their great-grandfather, William Arthur Ogden. The Ogden family came from England and settled in Virginia for a time, then moved to Tennessee and later to Illinois. William migrated to Missouri from Illinois. One branch of the Ogden family settled in Missouri and another continued on to Texas.  
Carlos, the son of William, eventually took over the farm in the 1930s. He married, however his first wife passed away. He then remarried and raised four children on the farm. The family farmhouse, garage, border fence and chicken house that he built for his second bride was built from sandstone, much of it obtained from the farm. The buildings, built in 1935, still stand and Roy and his family still live in the original farmhouse. During his lifetime, Carlos raised various crops, such as corn and hay, as well as dairy cattle. Carlos’ son, Bill, purchased the farm in the ‘60s and continued to grow an assortment of crops, but changed the cattle operation from dairy cattle to beef cattle when regulations changed regarding the handling of milk. By this time, the acreage had increased to 320 acres.  This fourth generation property is located to the north of Pigeon Creek, east of Licking, and is now primarily a beef cattle operation.
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The Whetstine family farm, in the Elk Creek/Simmons area, 
was also recognized as a Century Farm by Meusch and Casey.
Elmer Whetstine and his family moved from north Missouri shortly after the Civil War. They homesteaded on the Piney River, west of Elk Creek and south of Simmons. In 1909, the family moved up the Piney to land that was more favorable for farming. They purchased a farm from another homesteading family whose patriarch had been struck and killed by lightning. To this day, the Whetstine family resides on and cares for this land. Elmer’s son, Everett, used to say he “never did make enough money to leave.”
Elmer began the farm with the original 160 acres and Everett added more acreage. Later his son, Joe, added still more acreage in order to raise enough forage to feed 200 head of mature cows and another 200 head of replacement heifers.
The Whetstine family continually looked for new, more effective methods of farming. Elmer and Everett produced and sold milk to dairy cooperative Producers Creamery when it opened in 1928. After World War II, the family constructed a new milking parlor. They were among the first in the area to install a bulk milk tank, moving away from using 10-gallon cans.
In 1960, Everett’s son Joe and his wife Carol graduated from Missouri University, now the University of Missouri in Columbia. They returned to work on the farm with Everett and Joe’s brother, Tim. In 1962, they used the latest technology and equipment available at the time to open a groundbreaking, fully integrated operation that included milking, feeding, housing, feed storage and waste removal for 200 head of cows. It was the first of its kind in the Midwest. The family also hauled their milk to the creamery in their own truck. This facility was in operation until 1995.
In the 1970s, Everett divided the land between Joe and Tim. In 1983, Joe and Carol formed a family corporation to manage their farm with their four sons, James, Jeff, Jonathan and Justin. Changes in the dairy industry, like historically low milk prices and high grain prices, made it impossible to generate enough income to continue dairy farming. In 1995, the family sold the milk cows to a dairy in New Mexico and transitioned the farm to raising beef cattle. In 2006, the family corporation dissolved and ownership of the property was divided between the four sons, who now care for the farm with their families.



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