Town & Country
Family: Wife, Lisa, five grown children, and daughter Madison, age 13
Hometown: Lebanon, Mo.
In Town: Eric Cooley has served the children of Missouri in his 28 years in education, beginning in Potosi, Mo., where he spent 10 years as a physical education teacher and his last two years there were as an assistant principal.
He has spent the last 20 years in school administration, including the past nine years as the superintendent of the Stoutland School District.
In the Country: Eric and his wife, Lisa, own and operate two title and escrow companies, one in Lebanon, Mo., and one in St. Robert, Mo., and own 250 head of commercial cows on 1,240 acres in Laclede County.
“We have mostly Black Angus, with a few Red Angus and black baldies mixed in,” Eric explained. “Primarily, we buy young and sell them as bred, but we also sell cow-calf pairs. I have 92 pairs at the moment. I sell some at the Interstate Regional Stockyards at Cuba, Mo., at their special cow sales, but we also sell off the farm. Our buyers can come out and pick out just what they want in terms of 3 to 4 year olds or 5 to 6 year old pairs. We also have 65 cows that we calve out each year and sell those calves. We do both spring and fall calving.”
In addition, for the past three years, from late January to early April, the Cooleys have contracted with local dairy farmers to raise more than 3,000 bottle calves.
“We pick up 60 to 80 bottle calves at a time and feed morning and night, with the help of a couple of full-time and part-time workers.
Eric, who grew up around Summersville, Mo., didn’t grow up farming, but he said he could always find a summer job, hauling hay or doing other farm work.
“Today, we spend our evenings and weekends on the farm, but after a day of answering phones and dealing with people, working with the cows is truly relaxing,” he said.