Thomas Ranch donates heifer to give back to Black Hills Stock Show and youth
The Black Hills Stock Show has been part of the Thomas Ranch in terms of showing and their herd history, and, in the spirit of giving back, they have donated a heifer for the first time to the Cattleman’s Family Legacy. Colton Michalek, the recipient of the heifer, is ecstatic to add one of the Thomas Ranch’s fine heifers to his herd and show her at the Western Junior Show.
“I would hope he would go on with that heifer—she’ll be a purebred—and keep her calves, and either continue to build a herd or sell calves out of that heifer and help him with his education,” VeaBea Thomas said.
Troy and VeaBea Thomas were honored with Stockmen of the Year at last year’s Black Hills Stock Show. “We have participated in showing cattle and selling cattle since stock show’s beginning,” VeaBea said. “Troy’s dad was stockman of the year in 2002, and the stock show has been a big part of our life forever, since before we were even married. For everything the stock show has done for us, we need to give back.”
Thomas Ranch’s stock boasts registered Angus, Simmental, Red Angus, and Charolais cattle, and the latter has done especially well in show pens over the last several years.
“We have done a lot with exhibiting Charolais at national shows and state shows,” Cally Kindred said. “We’ve had some sires the last several years that have done really well and been really popular; they’ve helped our program a lot.”
Cally returned to the ranch after graduating from Kansas State and marrying her husband Clint. She focuses primarily on readying and marketing show cattle, and Clint focuses on the horse program, as well as calving, feeding, and herd health.
“We don’t take our Angus and Simmental out to show as much,” Cally said. “We do at the Black Hills Stock Show to promote our bull sale; we are more focused on our commercial program with them. We like crossing the Simmental and Angus to get added growth and power. Those bulls have been popular for us.”
Over the years at the Black Hills Stock Show, Thomas Ranch has captured many wins, including Hubbard Feed Supreme Row Champions eight times. Their sire TR Mr Fire Water has been awarded Sire of the Year by the American International Charolais Association a consecutive five years, and their cow, Thomas’ Ms Impressive has been honored as Show Dam of the Year by the same association from 2010 to 2014.
Just last year, at the South Dakota State Fair, the Thomases captured Supreme Champion Bull and raised the Supreme Champion Female, both Charolais. At the Wisconsin State Fair, Paige Gaffney won Champion Charolais Heifer with her heifer purchased from the April 2018 Fall-Born Online Sale. Corbin Hunt grabbed champion title at the East Texas State Fair and State Fair of Texas with his Charolais heifer purchased at the same sale as Gaffney’s. Daxton Behmer won Champion Charolais Heifer at the Nebraska State Fair with his heifer purchased from the 2017 private treaty calf sale.
The Thomas Ranch has sales throughout the year, including its Annual Private Treaty Heifer and Steer Sale the third Wednesday in September, the Fall Born Online Sale the first Tuesday in April, and the Annual Bull Sale and Replacement Heifer Sale the second Tuesday in April.
Troy and VeaBea have both been very involved in promoting beef; Troy has served as the South Dakota Angus Associate president and a director for the American International Charolais Association. VeaBea is the current president of the South Dakota Beef Breeds Council and sits on the the South Dakota Beef Industry Council.
As the third and fourth generations on the Thomas Ranch, Troy and VeaBea and Clint and Cally run more than 800 mother cows and sell nearly half that many bulls in their annual sale. The first generation of Thomas Ranch, Alvin and Gebe Thomas, established the ranch in 1931 near Medicine Creek in Harrold in central South Dakota on 320 acres. The second generation, Harry and Kay Thomas, expanded the ranch and helped develop it into an even greater enterprise. Troy and VeaBea have been on the ranch for about 30 years now, and continue to focus on growing and expanding as well. It now stands at 5,000 acres deeded and 5,000 acres leased, allowing the family to also raise corn, soybeans, wheat, alfalfa, sorghum and sunflowers.
Since joining the family, Clint has helped strengthen an already-fine registered Quarter Horse program. Clint and Cally both rodeo, and Cally has qualified twice for Badlands Circuit Finals, winning year end award in 2015. Clint and Cally will split their time between both their parents’ ranches this summer; Clint’s family ranches near Oral, South Dakota.