Hollis Osborne started Top Notch Farms in 1959 as a chicken layer operation in southwest Missouri. Read how he and his successor, grandson Jared Osborne, have capitalized on changing economics and markets by diversifying their business portfolio.
Hollis and Nina Osborne purchase a small feed store in southwest Missouri in 1954 with their cash savings and a loan totaling $10,000. In 1959, Hollis establishes Top Notch Farms as a chicken layer business.
With their four children, Hollis and Nina expand their operation to include chickens, cattle and crops. Top Notch Farms becomes the largest laying operation in Missouri with 10 houses holding 7,000 chickens.
Because of the growth of the diverse businesses, the family separates the layer operation to become Moark Productions, making wheat, fescue and cattle the focus of Top Notch Farms.
By the early 1980s, Top Notch Farms owns 300 head of cattle. Beginning with the dairy buyout of 1986, Top Notch Farms grows its herd to 1,500 head.
Grain demand and wavering cattle prices lead Top Notch Farms to switch its focus to crops such as milo, soybeans and wheat. It later adds corn and fescue seed.
Fescue seed demand drops when the housing market crashes, so Top Notch Farms changes its rotation to corn, wheat and soybeans. A new venture turns eggshell membrane into joint-pain products.
Top Notch Farms expands to 8,000 crop acres via buying and renting land. In 2013, Top Notch Farms increases storage and forms Stagecoach Ag to buy and sell grain. Today, the team continues to fine-tune operations and grow.