The Robthom Farm, located near Springfield, Missouri, hosts a prominent herd of Holstein dairy cattle. The farm is operated by Janice Ling and her family who continue to develop outstanding animals as they build on breeding accomplished over several generations. Achievements include: numerous classifications as Excellent, a world record in milk production, nominations as All-American, and bulls that excel in the AI industry.
The farm received the Elite Breeder award at the National Holstein Convention in 2013. This is one of the most prestigious awards given by the association. The Elite status of Robthom Farm derives from years of contributions by family members, and that tradition continues as Janice Ling is assisted by her husband, Alton Ling, her brother, Mark Thompson, and her children Eric, Monica and Kelsey, as well as grandchildren.
From very humble beginnings, they have bred and developed a premier herd. It is most evident that this is not a one-dimensional herd. They feature show winners, high producers, outstanding type and long-lived brood cows. Robthom Farm has accomplished what many milk producers dream about.
When Robert Thomson, Sr., was married in 1920, his father, Frank, gave him a registered Holstein cow to begin his dairy herd. In 1933, the Robthom prefix was reserved for the farm’s name. Then in 1937 Robert’s son, Bud (Robert, Jr.), was given a heifer calf named Robthom Bess Segis. She became the foundation for the future. In 1950, Bud Thomson married Mariann. They started farming at the current location with Bud’s twelve cows and three bred heifers.
Breeding in the Robthom herd has produced more than seventy cows with a lifetime production of over 200,000 pounds of milk. In 1993, Robthom Suzet Paddy (3E-95) produced a world record of 59,300 lb. milk containing 2,297 lb. fat and 1,925 lb. protein. At her peak, Suzette produced >200 lb./day. A true example of Robthom’s breeding and development, Suzette traces back to Bud’s first heifer, Bess Segis.
Robthom cattle are well known in the show ring and at the tops of classification lists. They have shown numerous Grand Champions at the Missouri State Fair, Ozark Empire Fair, and Southern National. In addition, Robthom Patty Royal, a homebred on both the paternal and maternal side, was the 1982 All-American Sr. 2-Year Old. The farm has bred over 250 animals that were classified Excellent, and following their 2013 classification, the farm had a herd BAA of 109.2.
In the late 1980’s, a young cow, Robthom Ivory Mark (2E-94 and an All-American 5-year old), was mated with To-Mar Blackstar. The resulting bull calf, Robthom Integrity, was sold to Select Sires. Integrity became a very popular bull. An Integrity daughter, Robthom Georgia Integrity, continued the family success when her son, Robthom Moscow, joined the Select Sires lineup in the early 2000’s. Overall, the Robthom herd has bred eleven Gold Medal Sires.
The Thomson family knows how to breed cows that last and produce. They have been recognized with the Progressive Breeder Registry (PBR) Award from Holstein USA for 57 years. The herd has bred and developed 118 Gold Medal Dams and 80 Dams of Merit.
In 2012, the Missouri Holstein Association published a Missouri Holstein History book featuring elite cows and bulls produced in Missouri. Robthom Farm is prominent in the book. Whether it is high scoring cows, 200,000 lb. producers, Gold Medal Dams or high profile animals, Robthom Farm is at the top of the list of history making animals in Missouri.
The produce of Robthom Farm has greatly elevated the qualities of Holsteins in Missouri and nationwide. Their bull, Robthom Integrity, ensured that the highly valued Robthom genetics will appear in future pedigrees of thousands of dairy cattle everywhere.
In recent years Janice Ling has led in additions of high performance Jersey cows to the herd. Alton and Janice purchased Meadow Winds Starlet in 2008 as a calf. She was later named Reserve Grand Champion at the Missouri State Fair in 2012 and 2013 and classified EX-93. Her daughter, Robthom Starry Exclamation, EX-91, was Grand Champion at the Missouri State Fair in 2014. Janice Ling also purchased Hawk Pond Rosecrans Maddie in March 2013. She was later sold and went All-American Sr. 2 that same year. Maddie’s daughter Moonlight, who is at Robthom, was Jr. Champion at the Missouri State Fair and Jr. Champion and Supreme Jr. Champion at the Arkansas State Fair in 2014. Robthom currently has three Excellent and three Very Good Jerseys in the milking herd, along with five heifers.