With his wife Nancy and son Kevin, Bob Cary has operated a dairy farm near Canton, Missouri since 1958. He started “Sunemeadow” Grade “A” Dairy with registered Guernsey cattle in 1966, rep
lacing them with Holsteins in later years. Cary continued operations with son Kevin until 2010, and still continues to raise dairy heifers on the farm.
The Sunemeadow prefix of Cary’s Guernsey cattle is well known throughout Missouri and the Midwest. Their cattle were exhibited at the Missouri State Fair for 19 years. They also exhibited at National Guernsey shows, the World Dairy Expo, the North American Dairy Show, the Ozark Empire Fair, the Illinois State Fair and many regional and local shows. Sunemeadow Farm bred three animals nominated for All-American and exhibited a heifer that was a unanimous choice for All-American Junior Yearling in 1972. Early-on, even when it was an inconvenience, Cary started using artificial breeding to improve quality of his cattle.
As a young man Bob Cary exhibited his Guernsey cow with the Missouri State Junior Herd at the National Guernsey Show in Waterloo, Iowa. His 4-H experiences created his love for dairying and a passion for showing his cattle. This likely led to his volunteer contributions of calves to outstanding members of the Lewis County 4-H, for which he served as dairy project leader for over ten years, as well as on the 4-H Council. Additionally, he was on the Youth Committee of the Missouri Guernsey Association.
Cary and his son Kevin held practice sessions for judging and showing dairy cattle at their farm for both 4-H and FFA members. Farm tours, including visits to the milking parlor, were conducted for students at many different school levels and in differing organizational groups. He was one of the original organizers of the Lewis County Agricultural Fair and served on the Fair Board for 27 years, including seven years as president.
In leadership roles, Bob Cary has served on the Corporate Board for Prairie Farms Dairy (35 years), Missouri State Milk Board, Johne’s Advisory Committee of the Missouri Department of Agriculture, Missouri Guernsey Association Youth Committee, advisory committee of the Missouri State Fair, American Dairy Association board, and as Honorary Director of the National Milk Producer’s Federation.
Honors previously received by Cary include Outstanding Lewis County 4-H Project Leader, Honor Role of the University of Missouri Extension Leaders, Lewis County Farm Bureau Farmer’s Friend Award, Honorary FFA Degree from Highland High School FFA Chapter, Canton Chamber of Commerce Service Award, and dedication of the Lewis County Fair Book.
Robert Cary was nominated by his granddaughters Laura and Leanne Cary with endorsements by Margie Frankenbach Hillmann, Lu Ann Butler Briscoe, Edward L. Mullins, Gene Wiseman, and the Missouri Guernsey Breeder’s Association.