It All Started With a Lohn
Nestled below the Brady Mountains in McCulloch County, surrounded by rolling wheat fields, sits Lohn, Texas, a tight-knit rural community where the number of cattle outweigh the 100 or so residents.
Local farmer, rancher and real estate broker Doug Hemphill is one of those residents.
Home Is Where the Heart Is
Upon graduation from Tarleton State University in 1987, Doug, a Lohn native and fifth-generation farmer and rancher, moved to South Texas to do what so many do — embark on a journey to see what the world had to offer outside of his hometown. A year later, the gig was up. He missed the familiarity of his hometown, the open blue skies of McCulloch County and the calming sight of cattle grazing in a wheat field.
“I wasn’t happy down South,” says Doug. “So my dad offered to bring me back to work for our family farm as a partner.”
Doug eagerly accepted the offer from his dad, Jerell. He returned to the Lohn Valley and family farm in 1988 to start the partnership.
“We’ve been partners from the beginning, and that’s how it’ll always be,” Doug says. “None of this would have been possible without my dad.”
Today, the father-son duo runs a commercial cow-calf operation, and they also grow hay, wheat and cotton.
Doug married Tammy, a Brady, Texas, native in 1989, and the couple had two daughters, Courtney, now 24, and Kristen, now 17.
Farm Credit in the Family
The Hemphill family is not new to Farm Credit.
Jerell served as an outside director for the Farm Credit System’s former FLBA of Coleman and showed his son the value of financing with Farm Credit.
“When it came time to purchase land of my own I thought, ‘Why go anywhere else?’” says Doug. “One of the main reasons I went to Farm Credit was because of the patronage program.”
With his father’s guidance and the help of Central Texas Farm Credit, Doug saw Hemphill Farms flourish.
“Not only has Central Texas Farm Credit been very beneficial to me from a farming and ranching standpoint,” says Doug, “but as a realtor I get to see firsthand the benefits [of doing business with a cooperative] that many others receive as they make their first big purchase and begin to see their dream of owning their own farm or ranch become a reality.”
“I Pledge My Hands to Larger Service…”
In addition to managing his farming and ranching operation, Doug is an associate broker with Texas Prime Country Real Estate in Brady. Real estate has been the perfect fit,” says Doug.
In addition to his real estate endeavors, he serves on the boards of Lohn Independent School District and the McCulloch County Farm Bureau, and is an adult leader and rifle coach for the McCulloch County 4-H Club. He believes in giving back to his community and serving others, a trait he has passed on to his daughters, who have developed a similar drive and formed their own unique paths.
Courtney graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in animal science in 2015 and a master’s degree in animal science in May 2017, both from Texas A&M University. She will continue her education at Kansas State University this fall, where she will pursue a Ph.D. in grain science and management.
Courtney credits 4-H for shaping her life up to this point.
“It’s where it all started for her,” says Doug. “Agriculture is her passion.”
Kristen is a testament to 4-H’s claim that there is something for everyone in the organization. An active competitor in shooting sports, she has won numerous awards and qualified twice for the Junior
Olympics in air rifle and small-bore rifle. She plans to shoot at the collegiate level and has had top shooting program schools like Texas Christian University, the University of Mississippi, West Virginia University and the U.S. Air Force Academy express interest in her joining their elite programs.
Passion, Community and Stewardship
Participation in 4-H empowered both sisters with lifetime leadership skills and instilled them with passion, a sense of community and stewardship — three attributes that the Hemphill and Central Texas Farm Credit families have in common.
“I cannot say enough about the staff at the Central Texas office,” says Doug. “Their professionalism is second to none, and you can just tell that they are committed to providing you the best product with the best customer service possible. They want you to be successful because your success adds to their success.”