|Tommy Thompson of Andalusia is a first-generation farmer who started out with 15 acres and a tractor and planters borrowed from his high school ag teacher.
Basil W. "Tommy" Thompson III
Andalusia, Covington County
Alfa Member Since:
Current Office or Board:
Board of Directors, Chairman of the County Poultry Committee, State Poultry Committee, Executive Committee, Cotton and Peanut County Commodity Committee
Previous Office(s) or Board:
Board of Directors for 22 years, President of the county federation for 6 years, V-President of the county federation for 7 years, and Young Farmers Chairman for several years.
Other Farming Activities:
Secretary of the Covington County Gin and Board of Director on the Autauga Quality Cotton Association
"We operate a family farm run by myself, my wife and one of my sons," says Tommy. "Our farm consists of about 1,800 acres row crop, 1,350 acres cotton and 450 acres peanuts, 250-head cow/calf operation, 200 acres hay cutting operation and six breeder hen houses that produce more than 50,000 eggs per day when in peak production."
What I Like Most About Agriculture:
"I like the freedom to be my own boss," says Tommy. "This way, I can achieve what the major concern for the day is, not what someone else thinks. Also, I like having my family there to help. I like the challenges that farming has. Being confronted with a problem whether it be equipment or weather issues, sitting down and figuring out what steps to take and coming up with a solution that will work, is one of the greatest accomplishments a farmer can have."
The Biggest Challenge Farmers Face:
"Rising input cost, environmental issue and government regulations are the three major obstacles that we as farmers are facing today," he says. "Our voice is the only way a farmer can improve these factors in our farming operation.
I Am Proudest Of:
"My greatest accomplishment began when I was just 16 years old, a junior in high school," says Tommy. "I began my career as a farmer on a 15-acre rented farm with a tractor and planters borrowed from my agricultural teacher. No one in my family farmed and I had no background in farming. I am proud to be a first-generation farmer."
"I met my now wife, Dorothy Curry Thompson, at a growers meeting," recalls Tommy. " At the time she was the manager of a local fertilizer company. We have been married 11 years. I have three sons -- Wes 33, Rick 31, and Russ, 29. Wes has one daughter, Taylor (13) and Russ has a daughter, Madison (7)."
"We have been attending Hopewell Baptist Church and hope to be able to go on our first mission trip to Jacmel, Haiti this year," says Tommy.
"I starting attending the local junior college in town after high school seeking a business degree," Tommy says. "Only after a few semesters did I realize that my heart was in farming and not business.
A Good Day/Bad Day Is...
"A good day is when you wake up realizing that, without God, there is no way you can accomplish what you set out to do," says Tommy. "A bad day is when you try to do things on your own and there is one thing after another that goes wrong."
You May Not Know:
"For me, work is my hobby," says Tommy. "Being able to take a piece of machinery apart and repairing it or taking an old piece of machinery and modifying it is as close to a hobby as it gets."