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Green named livestockman of the year

by: Photo By Susan Matheny - Tom Green was recently named the Jefferson County Livestockman of the Year. Pictured from left, the Green's son and his wife, Sammee and Tony Green, who are partners in the feedlot business with Tom and Susie Green.


   Madras rancher and feedlot owner Tom Green was honored as the 2004 Livestockman of the Year at the Jefferson County Livestock Association's annual banquet, held Jan. 15, at Sonny's Restaurant in Madras.
   The presentation was made by Chuck Johnson, last year's Livestockman of the Year, who outlined Green's background and accomplishments.
   Green, who was born in 1956, has roots in Jefferson County that go back to 1897. His early childhood was spent on the family's dairy on Agency Plains, where he learned to milk cows and became interested in feeding cattle.
   In 1964, the family moved to town, but while he was in high school they lived near the fairgrounds, where Green worked during the summer helping Jay Binder and Sonny Bain prepare for the fair.
   He was also very active in 4-H and FFA and showed many steers at the Jefferson County Fair and the Wheat League in The Dalles.
   His numerous animal projects, including feeding steers, riding horses and training his German shorthair dog, were financed through several after-school and summer jobs. He worked for different farmers changing pipe, chopping mint and ran a mint still for Ben Evick and Larry Dowers.
   He also guided fishermen on the Deschutes River when jet sleds were legal. Another summer job was helping the Bain family with their rodeos, which led to another lifelong interest.
   After graduating from Madras High School in 1974 (the third generation of Green's to do so) Green worked at Bob Alley's feedlot in Culver.
   The next year, he worked at the Oregon Feedlot, located east of Madras, and oversaw the health of 6,000 head of cattle. In the spring of 1976, he started working at the Central Oregon Auction Yard for Paul Schoen as a yardman.
   After several years of Schoen's and Chuck Simmelink's tutoring, Green moved up to the position of field representative and traveled to the Paulina-Post area and all around The Dalles, buying and selling cattle.
   In December 1981, Green married Susie Weigand. He continued to work for the auction yard until the fall of 1982, when he leased Raburn's feedlot on Dogwood Lane.
   He fed a few hundred head of calves, getting them ready to sell, and ran 400 head of mother cows on Hay Creek Ranch. In March 1983, the Green's son Tony was born.
   Tom and Susie purchased the feedlot in 1985, moved there and started feeding cattle full-time. To get ideas on ways to improve his feedlot facilities, Green traveled around and looked at feedlots all over the Midwest.
   In 1995, they sold the feedlot and purchased 300 acres of farmland to start a full-time hay operation. With more time on his hands during the winter, Green began raising quarter horses and bucking horses. He also fed about 100 head of mother cows and leased a valley pasture to summer 300 head of cattle.
   After fighting the hay market, Green wanted the challenge of another feedlot, as well as a place to market his hay. Many sleepless nights were spent drawing out his plans to build a topnotch facility in the Northwest.
   In 2003, he started the process of getting all the permits in order to build the feedlot behind the auction yard. Then in July 2004, after many obstacles and learning a lot about politics, the first posts were set in the ground.
   By September, the first pens were completed and cattle started coming in. The facility is now fully built.
   The new Green Cattle Feedlot is a family-owned and operated business, with Tom, Susie, their son Tony, and daughter-in-law Sammee all being partners in this new venture.