Beginning in 1957 from scratch without inherited land or money, Larry and Alice Purdom, assisted by daughters Teresa and Rhonda, developed one of the most outstanding Holstein dairy herds in Missouri. Their Indianhills Holsteins won numerous production and show awards in both the state and nation. In 1964 Larry had his first Grand Champion cow at the Missouri State Fair. This was repeated again in 1966, 1976, 1977, and 1978. Numerous other champions were recognized at the Ozark Empire Fair, the Missouri Dairyman’s Institute, and the Southern National shows, the latter in 1988.
Indianhills Senator Flame (EX-92-GM), who was bred by Larry, was named All-Missouri two year old bull at the Missouri State Fair in 1968. He was son of the first 4E cow in Missouri. After service in the Neal Short Herd, the bull was placed in the Carnation Genetics AI stud in 1972. From there his semen improved many herds throughout the nation. The bull sired two animals that were nominated All-American Gets-of-Sire–Fredmar Sir Fobes Triune, was named Honorable Mention All-American. Furthermore, in a single herd he sired 13 daughters rated Excellent.
In the show ring the Purdom herd had thirty-five All-Missouri winners. One nominator wrote, “Larry and his family played by the rules in the show ring, and their cows legitimately won with only normal fitting and udder bagging before the show. No one ever wondered whether their animals would look less like winners after the show.”
Because of the continued success of his breeding stock and his personal influence, Purdom led in positioning Missouri Holsteins as among the best. By providing bulls for families on small farms in Southwest Missouri and Northwest Arkansas, he assisted in improving herds where artificial insemination was not practicable. By opening the Indianhills herd to visitors, the Purdoms championed the Holstein breed to other dairymen.
Daughter Teresa’s “Beth” cow stood among the very top of show cows in the Midwest. Her accomplishments earned three honors in the Junior All-American event. Teresa was a member of the 1978 Purdy FFA Dairy Cattle Judging Team which won the National FFA contest. Together, Teresa and her sister Rhonda showed five animals winning Reserve or Honorable Mention All-American status.
In addition to serving as Chairman of the Missouri Dairy Association, Larry Purdom serves on the DFA Corporate Board and as Chair of the Ozark Region of the Southeast Council. He has served several terms as chair of DFA’s Political Action Committee which seeks congressional support in the interests of dairy farmers. He has also served on the National Dairy Board and both division and corporate boards of the Midwest Dairy Association.
The principal nominator of Larry Purdom was the Missouri Dairy Association.