Generations of the Imgarten family have been involved in Oklahoma agriculture, and today, Tom and Jane Imgarten are continuing the family tradition on family land that stretches from Red Rock to Pawnee.
“I put my first wheat crop in at 14 years old, and it got completely hailed out,” Tom said. “Fifty-four years later, here I am still doing it.”
Tom and Jane have experienced all the challenges Oklahoma can throw at farmers and ranchers from droughts to flooding and from high commodity prices to high input prices. Raising cattle and growing wheat, soybeans and alfalfa is the lifeblood of the family and serve as the foundation that drives them to carry on the selfless tradition of producing food.
“My dad was born on this place, and it is actually my grandad’s place,” Tom said. “My whole family has been farmers and ranchers all of their lives.”
The rows of crops and pastures of cattle are just one aspect of why the family continues the work started by generations past.
“To be with the cows and take care of them, it is so relaxing,” Jane said. “I am not saying you do not have bad days, but you know you are helping feed the world at the end of the day.”
The Imgartens have a commercial cow/calf and stocker cattle operation at their home base near Red Rock, but their parcels of land are spread out over 50 miles from one side to the other. The passion for agriculture has been instilled in Tom and Jane’s children, Jerri and Wilton, as well.
“We farm alongside our son, Wilton,” Jane said. “It makes me happy that we are able to carry it on, to be out here in the country, to take care of the land and to pass it on to future generations in a better way than what we found it.”
Wilton and his wife, Becca, with their children, Kinsley and Landon, work with Tom and Jane to ensure the farm and ranch can be passed on for generations to come.
“It is the togetherness and carrying on the tradition – and you can always depend on your family,” Jane said. “Family is very important.”
Spending many hours a day together on the family’s operation requires cooperation of everyone involved, and the family does just that.
Tom and Jane’s grandchildren have the opportunity to grow up learning about agriculture while building a lifelong bond with the land and the livestock that generations before them have built.
One day, Tom and Jane hope to pass on their farm and ranch to their children and their grandchildren, just like their families did for them.
“Family means everything, and I sure hope they are proud of it,” Tom said.