At a young age Tom had a strong interest for farming and the Holstein cow. He was blessed with the opportunity to work side by side with, and learn from, one of the best – his dad, Joe Simon. Tom still remembers how excited he felt at a young age when his dad began purchasing registered Holsteins. Tom took an active role in the breeding and sire selection in the family’s steady climb toward a successful herd of registered Holsteins. In 1981 the farm achieved their first homebred Excellent cow. By the end of the decade, cows from Farnear Holsteins were recognized at the state and national level. Tom strives to provide a wide variety of genetics in their current breeding program. Farnear Holsteins has received Grand Champion and Premier Breeder at the state level along with several All-Iowa and Reserve All-Iowa honors throughout the years. This past year Farnear had the privilege of breeding their first 96 point cow as well as winning Grand Champion at 2 National shows. They have bred many popular bulls into A.I. including Delta, Delta Lamda, and Altitude-Red. Today, Tom and his brother Rick are co-owners of Farnear Holsteins.
Tom has extended hospitality at Farnear for many state picnics, 4-H judging workouts and college judging teams. Farnear Holsteins has also hosted many visitors to the farm during Expo week as well as local and foreign visitors throughout the years. Tom has been very active in the local, district, state and national Holstein organizations. He was President and Vice-President of the Iowa Holstein Association as well as member of the Executive and standing committees and has served as a delegate to many National Holstein Conventions. He has assisted in organizing many District 8 Holstein and Iowa Holstein Conventions. In 2014, he was part of the planning committee for the National Holstein Convention that was held in Dubuque and co-chair of the National Sale Committee. Farnear Holsteins also hosted one of the farm tours. He was on the Dairy Foundation Board and served ten years on the Prairie State Select Sires Board. He is a former 4-H leader and stills serves on the Dubuque County 4-H Dairy Committee. It was an honor for Tom to receive the Iowa Holstein Hall of Fame Award in 2017. In his community, he is involved with St. Joseph Parish, Farley. He is the chair of the Cemetery board and a past member of the Parish Council and the Faith Formation board.
He will be married to his wife Shirley 40 years in June. They have four sons, Jeremy and wife Kristin and daughters, Mila and Lucy, Matt and wife Kaci and sons, Bodie and Griffin and daughter Lettie, Mark, and Josh and wife Ashley. He enjoys visiting with family and friends who also share an interest in dairy cattle and above all spending time with his family. Tom likes bowling and watching/attending Iowa and ISU football and basketball games.
Source: Iowa Holstein Association