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Biography of Richard McConnell

Richard grew up on a dairy farm near Republic, Missouri. After several years of both residential and heavy construction, he served three and one half years with Peace Corps in Honduras, Central America. In 1980 he graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with his B.S. in Agriculture Education. He received his Masters in Ag Ed in 1983 and taught Vocational Agriculture for 13 years in Odessa, Missouri.

Richard drives some calves in.

In 1993 Richard bought a farm in Polk County, Missouri where he runs beef cattle. He has fine tuned his management intensive grazing system of 14 - 16 paddocks with fescue, switchgrass, eastern gama grass, Red River Crabgrass, Legend Lespedeza, and a wide variety of native plants that grow well on his farm. Wanting to reduce input costs, he is near achieving his goal of year around grazing without feeding hay. Using stockmanship, he is able to manage his herd to utilize forages ready for harvest, sustain herd health, and make a profit.

In 1997 Richard started working for the Polk County Soil and Water Conservation District as a watershed project manager. Today he works this "day job" part-time as a Soil and Water Technician. He works with landowners to promote sustainable agriculture, conservation practices, and a healthier environment using rotational grazing, stockmanship, soil productivity, and resources management.

Although he had previously read and agreed with Bud Williams’ work on stockmanship, Richard didn’t start integrating it into his life and work until he met Tina in 2002. Richard attended his first Bud Williams Stockmanship School in Bowie, Texas in February 2003. After many more Stockmanship Schools and experience working a variety of animals in different situations, Richard and Tina feel they are able to help others with this much improved method of handling livestock as well as assist in other areas of ranching Richard’s been working with landowners on for many years.

Biography of Tina Williams

Tina was born in northern California and lived on various ranches through the area with her parents, Bud and Eunice Williams. As an adult, she lived in California, Oregon, and Alaska before moving to Missouri in 1982. From 1990 through 2000 she lived and worked on a farm between Stockton and Bolivar with cattle, hair sheep, dairy goats, pastured hogs, and four children.

Tina works from home doing a variety of computer-based jobs including editing newsletters and, more recently, designing and maintaining web pages for clients ranging from midwifery organizations to ranches to car lots.

Much like a corny country music song, they met in 2002 when Richard needed a web page done for his Soil and Water Conservation District. From that chance meeting, they fell in love and finally married. They share many interests including education and stockmanship, and feel that continuing the work Bud and Eunice started is an excellent way to combine their skills and make a difference in the livestock world.

Richard and Tina have presented stockmanship schools from Saskatchewan to Louisiana and from California to West Virginia. See the photo gallary for photos from various talks.

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