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University of Minnesota Extension

Lake of the Woods County Farm Family

Thompson family

Dean and Tillie purchased the original farm in 1998 and began it as a poultry hatchery and eventually transitioned into a Registered Black Angus Seedstock operation. After adding additional acreage, they purchased the farm Dean grew up on, Rainy River Farms, after his father's passing. Their son, Zachary, who will be a senior this fall in high school, is also actively involved in Thompson Farms, running his own custom combining business along with his cattle.

Today, the Thompsons run about 50 registered cow/calf pairs, extensively using artificial insemination and embryo transfer, on 1,000 acres of owned and rented land. The family also has a small fold of Miniature Scottish Highland cattle, which everyone adores. In addition, they raise small grains and hay, and custom bale about 3,000 bales annually.

Dean, Tillie and Zach all participate in the day-to-day operations, and are responsible for all the blood, sweat, and tears on the farm.

The Thompsons are on the Lake of the Woods School's World’s Best Workforce Education Advisory Council, the Kelliher FFA Alumni Advisory Council, and are Lake of the Woods County Fair and 4-H volunteers. The Thompsons are active members of the American Angus Association, Minnesota Angus Association, and the Minnesota State Cattlemen's Association.

Dean served on the Northwestern Stockman's Association as a director and past secretary/treasurer. Dean is also a University of Minnesota Red River Valley Emerging Leaders program liaison, the county Extension committee’s vice chair for Lake of the Woods County, and director for the Pitt Community Church.

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