Scott Thoms enjoys agriculture as it is a great rewarding way of life. His love for the farm life came early on. As a herd manager Thoms is responsible for the day-to-day activity with the cows.
Scott Thoms - Panel member for The Sustainable and Transparent Farm
Scott Thoms enjoys agriculture as it is a great rewarding way of life. His love for the farm life came early on. “Grandpa and grandma did have milk cows but they sold them when I was very young. I do have a picture in my office of my brother and I and one cow that was kept around when were four and five years old. You could walk up to her anywhere on the farm and milk her into the bucket,” he recalled. After graduating from high school, Thoms took a job off the farm as there were three generations on the Thoms farm. He worked in town and on the farm and would help neighbors farm. I started at Harker’s in ’85 until ’01. That’s when Harker’s started downsizing. Thoms sat at home two weeks and didn’t like that. He had watched Plymouth Dairy get built when driving by periodically. He actually called Plymouth Dairy and asked if they were needing any help. He started Aug. 1, 2001 and have been there ever since. He has worked most of the positions on the dairy farm. As a herd manager Thoms is responsible for the day-to-day activity with the cows. He has to schedule days they will do different things like vet check once a week, cow moves in the barns. He is responsible for ordering vet supplies, working with the nutritionist, meeting with industry folks, lots of daily data entry on programs just for dairy, and working with great herdsmen that take care of the cows. Also, simple things like ordering ear tags for newborn calves, setting up and giving tours and the list goes on and on,” he said. At Plymouth Dairy, he oversees an inventory of a little over 6,900 animals that range from newborn calves, young stock, springers, dry cows and milk cows on different sites. Thoms stresses that in the ag world, education is extremely important. As generations get more and removed from agriculture, many youth and older don’t know where food come from other than a store. Plymouth Dairy started out giving very few tours. As he became more involved with that throughout the years it has gotten very well received with schools of all ages and different groups. He has had the same teachers year after year request a tour of the dairy farm with their class. Always a very positive response. He has received thousands of thank you letters throughout the years and he does read them just to see what the students remember and learned about from the tour. Students from schools in Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Minnesota come to visit Plymouth Dairy Farm. His tours are not limited to school children. Throughout the years he has have given tours to 4-H clubs, nursing homes, Model T clubs, RV clubs, Good Neighbor Bank tours, family reunions, church groups, professional businesses, corporate offices, international guests, and the list goes on, too. Those tours come about by word of mouth, without advertising. Their main focus with tours is to educate the younger generation that a lot have never been to or seen a farm. Some of the other tours given are much enjoyed and can bring back memories and stories shared. Plymouth Dairy is involved with Western Iowa Dairy Alliance (WIDA). WIDA is an organization of dairy producers and industry partners in western Iowa. This group helps educate and participates in events throughout the year. June is Dairy Month and there is a dairy farm in the area that will host an open house to tour, food and games for the kids every year. Thoms and his wife, Tammy have four children. Dustin and his wife Steffy and their children Jocelyn and Jase live in South Dakota. Jeremiah and his wife Christina and their son Marshall live in South Dakota. Tyler lives in Le Mars and Kerstin at home. Kerstin is in 11th grade and is in 4-H and involved in Le Mars FFA and would like to pursue some direction in the ag world after college. Dustin was involved in FFA when he was in high school and does help area farmers where he lives.