Jim Tomlinson, Sr. Named Stockman of the Year
Jim Tomlinson, Sr., was named Stockman of the Year at the annual Mesa County Cattlemen’s Banquet and Ball Saturday, January 20, 2007, at the Double Tree Hotel in Grand Junction, Colo.
Known by many as “Jimmy Dick,” Jim Tomlinson was born Friday May 13th, 1938, to Dick and Dora Tomlinson in Fruita, Colo. Jim’s parents owned 200 Hereford mother cows, and ran them on Westwater Creek in the winter and took them to summer in Hay Canyon and East Canyon, all of which is in eastern Utah. This is where Jim spent most of his early childhood years. Jim would ride in front of his mother a’ horseback as they rode from Mack to the mouth of East Canyon in one day, pitch camp for the night, and the next day would ride to the cabin at the head of East Canyon.
As Jim got to be seven or eight years old, his dad would send him on ahead of the cows they were moving, to set up camp and start the coffee. Jim attended 1st grade at the Loma School; after that he went through the 8th grade at the New Liberty School on 8 Road. During the summers, Jim would head to the canyons to help his parents with the cows. In 1948 Jim’s folks bought a farm west of Mack, Colo., allowing he and his mom to move in for school. The farm is still owned by the family.
Jim attended Fruita High School, and during this time his Dad bought into a partnership at the Main Canyon ranch in eastern Utah. His family started trailing their cows from the farm at Mack and out on the desert to Main Canyon for the summer. As Jim went through high school he became a good basketball player and a smoking gun in track. He set a state record in the 440 and held several school records until the year 2000.
Jim received a track scholarship to BYU for the fall of 1957, and attended one month before coming home to help his dad at the ranch. When he got to the ranch, his dad said, “I don’t know whether to kick your butt for quitting school or give you a hug.” He gave him a hug and said, “Glad to have some help.”
Jim married Dora Hughes that December and they moved to Main Canyon, where they spent the next 16 years running the ranch and raising a family. He also started running the neighboring Willow Creek Ranch in 1969. Because of the hard winter of 1972 and high bank debt, the family had to sell the Main Canyon Ranch in 1973. Jim continued to manage the Willow Creek Ranch and run his own cows on the farm at Mack and out in Hay Canyon. He managed the Willow Creek Ranch until 1985.
Since that time he has continued to run his own cows, managed the 3X Ranch for several years and also worked at Valley Livestock Sale Barn. Jim has been a longtime member of the Mesa County Cattleman’s Association, and his wife Dora was a very active member of the Mesa County Cattlewomen’s. Jim and Dora volunteered their time to support both organizations until Dora’s death in February of 2000. Jim has continued to volunteer helping the Mesa County Cattlewomen prepare lunch for the Mesa County Fair.
Jim, who still lives on the home place in Mack, Colo., has dedicated his entire life to the livestock business. In doing so, he passed along his knowledge of ranching to his son Jim and daughter Mikki and their families, who are still in the livestock business today.
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