Gilmore Livestock: POWER of Connection
When the sun peeks between the mountains each morning in Agri-Ready Designated Washington County, it finds Brandi Gilmore on horseback checking the cattle of the family business, Gilmore Livestock. Brandi lives and works on her family’s farm near Caledonia where they have a cow-calf operation, a feed lot, and raise quality breeding stock. Five hundred mama cows and hundreds of feeder cattle greet Brandi every day on her morning ride. Cattle are among the top three contributing agriculture industries in Washington County for value-added products, economic output, and jobs according to a 2021 economic contribution study.
The Gilmore Family relocated their farming roots to Washington County in 1995. Brandi’s dad brought with him cattle from the “Traveler” bloodline, a famous angus bull. Gilmore Livestock continues the “Traveler” legacy today by producing high quality bulls with a more traditional, deep, long body style. While the breeding bulls are the pride and joy of the operation and have brought statewide recognition to the farm, the very best heifers of each year’s calf crop are also marketed and utilized as breeding stock. Remaining calves find their place as part of the feeder operation. Cattle order buyers seek loads of cattle that are consistent in size for finishing yards; Gilmore Livestock fulfills these types of orders with cattle from their feed lot. “Every acre is for hooves” as the farm brings in all the hay and feed the cattle need to grow and thrive.
A smile came across Brandi’s face as she described the “old ways” things are done on their family farm. “We check cattle each day on horseback. We do not use four wheelers or side-by-sides. All the cattle are worked, sorted, and loaded from horseback. All the cattle are fed from the back of the feed truck each morning. None of our equipment is new, we repair it. We keep and raise bottle calves and care for our animals individually. We put these extra efforts into our business every day and those efforts hold up the bottom line of our operation,” Brandi said.
With their hands-on approach, it is not surprising that the Gilmore family is so connected to their land and cattle. Their willingness to invest in quality and be attentive to the details of their cattle have helped Gilmore Livestock build an extensive network and strong relationships in the cattle industry. Brandi credits her dad for instilling a craving for the work of the farm in her.
“I love the cow-calf operation. I think you have to love it to enjoy it and survive the lows between successes. I look forward to continuing the family legacy. But some day my brother and I would really like to buy some newer tractors,” Brandi said.
Brandi works full-time as a part of Gilmore Livestock with her parents, Larry and Stephanie Gilmore, her brother Jack, and her husband Scott Crites and his young sons Jett and Jace. The family are members of Missouri Cattlemen’s Association and Missouri Farm Bureau, which are partners of Missouri Farmers Care.