Over the next month we will be highlighting all six of our senior board candidates. Three new board members will be elected from the pool of candidates at the AHA Educational Forum and Annual Meeting at the end of October.
Falling Timber Farm (FTF) is a diversified family farm owned by Glenn, Yvonne, John and Heidi Ridder. The family grows corn, soybeans, wheat and alfalfa hay as well as raises cattle. FTF maintains about 220 registered Hereford cows, 70-80 Hereford herd bull prospects, a registered Angus herd, a commercial herd and steers for its feedlot every year. FTF sells 40 bulls and 40 females at its annual sale held the third Saturday in March. Bulls and bred heifers are also sold off the farm in the fall via private treaty.
The home farm has been in the Ridder family since the mid-1800s. John’s grandparents had commercial Herefords, but his parents, Glenn and Yvonne, decided to make the transition to registered cattle in the mid-1970s.
When he was in college, John encouraged his dad to use whole-herd AI programs as well as ET. He also suggested the family save sires from top, proven cow lines to increase predictability. Since then, the FTF herd has grown in quality and quantity. After graduating from the University of Missouri in 2000 with a degree in agriculture, John took a job in ag sales, where he learned a lot about communications and management. After several years, the opportunity came for him to work on the family farm.
John implemented his sales training to set up FTF as a mineral dealer for BioZyme, selling VitaFerm products. He is also an independent sales representative for GENEX. In 2017 FTF was ranked in the top five dealers in the country for both VitaFerm and GENEX sales. John has always been willing to help people and enjoys seeing people succeed. He firmly believes the products he sells help customers achieve their goals.
FTF strives to produce cattle that excel in their environment. Producing animals with moderate birth weights that calve unassisted is very important to the farm. FTF also puts considerable selection pressure on growth traits, udder quality, carcass traits, feet and slick hair coats. Its primary marketing goal is to produce problem-free performance bulls and replacement females for the Midwestern cattleman. FTF cattle have been sold all over the country from Florida to Washington state, and they have all worked well in those environments.
John is a member of the AHA and the Missouri Hereford Association (MHA). He is a past president of the MHA, has served on its board of directors and was a delegate for the AHA Annual Meeting for many years. He has attended Hereford activities such as the Hereford Young Guns Conference, the Hereford Genetic Summit, the Annual Missouri Hereford Tour and, of course, many registered Hereford sales over the years. FTF had the pleasure of hosting the Missouri Hereford Tour on Sept. 8, 2018. FTF has participated in the National Reference Sire Program and was honored when FTF Prime Product 226Z was chosen as the reference sire at Olsen Ranch this past year.
John is also a member of the Missouri Cattlemen’s Association, the Warren County Cattlemen’s Association, the Missouri Angus Association, the American Angus Association and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. He has served as chairman of the Missouri Beef Industry Council board of directors. He is also a past delegate to the NCBA Federation of State Beef Councils and always enjoys attending NCBA conventions. John currently volunteers as a 4-H beef leader and is a Washington FFA Alumni Chapter board member.
John enjoys watching his kids, Madi and Ben, play sports and show cattle at the local fairs. The Ridder family attends New Life Church in Washington, Mo.