JULY RANCHER SPOTLIGHT: FALLING TIMBER FARM
Missouri sees lots of travelers during the summer. Some are heading to enjoy the Mark Twain National Forest, others to see the Presidential Library of “Give’em Hell” Harry S. Truman (worth the admission), or maybe it’s the arches in St. Louis that beckon you to view. But, whatever it is that entices you to the great state of Missouri, make sure you take the time to visit Falling Timber Farms in Warren County. There nestled in the rolling hills just north of the Missouri River is the pride of Glenn and Yvonne Ridder. Falling Timber Farms is named after the creek that runs through it, and was settled by Glenn’s ancestors from Germany in the 1850’s. Today the farm has been in the family for over 100 years and for over thirty years the Ridder’s have pioneered and made lasting contributions to the Polled Hereford Breed.
Glenn and Yvonne farmed with Glenn’s parents until Glenn’s father passed away in 1970. At that time, the farm raised beef cattle, hogs, and row crops. In 1975, the Ridder’s began replacing their commercial Hereford cows with groups of performance tested Polled Hereford heifers and bulls. With Yvonne’s background of being raised on registered Hampshire Sheep and registered Shorthorn cattle operation, the transition to registered Herefords was an easy move for them.
Falling Timber Farms is still family owned and operated today. Currently, they have over 200 head of registered Hereford cows, and the primary operation is cow-calf. However, they are also diversified by raising some registered Angus cattle- also a commercial herd that utilizes embryo transfer, in addition to raising corn, soybeans, wheat, and alfalfa hay crops. Falling Timber Farms has a small feedlot where they feed out about 90 head of cattle a year. Glenn handles the day to day operations, and Yvonne manages the books and all the registration activity. In addition, John (Glenn and Yvonne’s son) with his wife Heidi Ridder and their two children manage the genetics, artificial insemination, sales, marketing and communications. Jeremy Couch oversees farming operations and coordinates all the planting, harvesting, purchasing, and selling. Becky ( Glenn and Yvonne’s daughter) and her husband Jason Mott along with their two sons also keep registered Herefords in the family by operating Osage Valley Farm in Columbia, Missouri. In addition, Falling Timber Farms sells VitaFerm cattle and mineral feed products, and John Ridder is the sales representative for Genex.
Glenn says that the commercial Herefords his parents raised milked well, were easy to handle, and weaned good size calves. Glenn also says, “Herefords have so many quality traits to offer, it is hard to choose just one. Their efficiency and docility can’t be overlooked, but the one that is priceless is their ability to bond with children. They are capable of teaching the kids so much and giving them a sense of pride and confidence of being able to accomplish so many things, whether it’s daily chores or taking a lap around the show ring.” We at CHB agree Glenn, the experiences families and children get from raising and working livestock are what makes the back-bone of a well defined individual. Thanks for making that point!
Falling Timber Farm has a deep past steeped in producing the highest quality beef possible by raising the best cattle and continuing to cull hard. The intent of continuing the family operation and passing it down to the next generation is proven by their dedication to taking good care of the land and their cattle, and producing a safe, wholesome, nutritious product for consumer families to enjoy. They, like a lot of family farms, fear that commercial development, housing, and growing population will make it very difficult to farm their area in the future. However, Glenn says, “Our biggest enjoyment of working on the farm is to wake up each day and thank God for what he has provided us to take care of while we are here.” Amen to that Mr. Ridder!
If you’d like to see about purchasing some of their great cattle you can attend their annual bull sale where they offer 40-50 head of bulls. The sale is held at the farm on the third Saturday of March every year. The farm also consigns females to the Missouri Opportunity Sale that is held the first Saturday of December in Sedalia, and bulls to the Northeast Missouri Performance Tested Bull Sale in Palmyra, Missouri.
Enjoy the summer and take care from all of us at CHB,