The 2022 Missouri Cattleman of the Year is actually a cattle-woman—MFA’s own Teresa Carlson.
The Missouri Cattlemen’s Association presented Carlson with the award at the 55th Annual Missouri Cattle Industry Convention on Jan. 7. Her longtime service to the association includes chairing the Missouri Cattlemen’s Foundation, overseeing scholarships, farm safety training, leadership development and endowments.
“The beef industry is a passion for me,” Carlson said. “If you don’t think producers have a passion for what they’re doing, go out on some farms and see. We raise beef. We are providing a wholesome product that helps feed the world.”
Raised on a farm near Boonville, Mo., Carlson graduated from the University of Missouri in 1983 with a degree in animal science. When her brother returned to the farm full time, that left Carlson looking for a job “in town.”
A few months after graduation, she was hired by MFA Incorporated as the company’s first female in a sales role. She initially served in the position of “livestock and agronomy ag professional” for Vandalia and Louisiana, then moved into the role of area sales manager for Northeast Missouri and finally to her position as Region 2 livestock specialist.
“There wasn’t a place for me to come back home to farm, so MFA gave me an opportunity to work with farmers, which I guess you’d say is the next best thing,” Carlson said. “In the beginning, I wouldn’t say it was easy. It took some adjusting to get used to a female being out in the field. But what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right? To me, my MFA career was everything, and I hope I made a difference for the cattle producers I worked with through the years.”
During her long MFA career, Carlson worked with countless farming operations across Missouri and positively impacted the industry through her involvement with the Missouri Cattlemen’s Association. She has also served on the Missouri Farm Bureau Promotion and Education Committee and as a volunteer for 4-H and FFA, among many other activities in the ag industry and her community.
“I do like to volunteer,” Carlson said. “And MFA was always a major supporter of my involvement with the cattlemen’s association and other organizations. I appreciate that.”
After more than 39 years, Carlson retired from full-time work at MFA on Sept. 9, 2022, to spend more time with her young grandsons, J.R. and Emmett. She continues to work part time at MFA Agri Services in Mexico, where she resides. Her son, Andrew Cauthorn, raises row crops and beef cattle on her farm. She and her daughter, Kaitie Thomas, also do catering and run the Carlson House in Mexico, a guest house and event center.
“I didn’t quite make it to 40 years with MFA, but I wanted the chance to be there for my grandbabies,” Carlson said. “I think I do more work now than before I retired, but I have more freedom to do things I want to do.”
See the video produced by the Cattlemen’s Association to honor Carlson here: mfa.ag/carlson.
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