By Emme Troendle
As the coordinator for the Fall Focus, Tom Vossler, with the assistance of the Pennsylvania State Association, has spearheaded planning for the event. When asked his thoughts on the Fall Focus Tom said, “We’re doing this event for the good of the organization, the good of the Pennsylvania Simmental Association (PSA), and the good of American Simmental Association (ASA). Not only does the participant get to enjoy the education, the committee and board meetings, they get the chance to see Northeast-based farms. In the end everyone benefits, and you can never underestimate the power of individual relationships.”
But who is the man behind the Fall Focus?
When interviewing Tom, it would have been easier to ask what he hasn’t done than it would have been to ask what he has done ~ stating simply ~ “Before I started Simmental breeding, I had just finished 30 years of active duty, U.S. Army.” But that was a little bit of an understatement.
In the 30 years of active duty in the Army, Tom Vossler commanded infantry platoons and task forces, earned a Bachelor’s degree from the Pennsylvania Military College and a Master’s degree from Georgia State University, taught military history, strategy, and leadership at the U.S. Army War College. Since retirement, Tom has worked as a Licensed Battlefield Guide at Gettysburg where he specializes in battlefield studies and leadership seminars for the U.S. military as well as military units from Germany, the United Kingdom, France, and Canada. He also leads family oriented tours. Tom is also a twice-published, co-author on the history of the Gettysburg battle.
After retirement in 1999, Tom and Barbara Vossler have made Mountain View Farms their home. Just a ten-minute drive from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, Mountain View Farms is situated next to the historic Civil War battlefield and overlooks South Mountain. Steeped in history, this 60-acre farm can be traced back to the 1770 owner, William Penn. Penn owned this portion as a part of 43,500 acre Manor of Maske.
Tom and Barbara started their Simmental cattle operation with a half-dozen adult breeding females, and in 2014 the production herd included 18 breeding females (down from 35 in 2008). Since then, not only has the farm increased in size, but Mountain View Farms annually hosts the Gettysburg Stars and Stripes Sale working with 12 different breeders and buyers as far west as Utah, as far north as South Dakota, as far south as Georgia and Alabama.
Pennsylvania State Association Director, Annie Duncan says, “Tom and Barbara Vossler, Mountain View Simmentals, have been active members of the PSA for many years. The most recent state association awards the Vosslers have earned are 2009 PSA Breeder of the Year, 2013 PSA Members of the Year, and a Special Recognition Award from the juniors. In addition to holding the annual spring Stars & Stripes Sale, they have also graciously hosted the PSA’s Field Day on their farm multiple times. With this history in the association, we were very pleased that Tom took the lead as event chairman on Fall Focus.”