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University of Missouri

A Farmer’s Life

Farm life set this law school alumnus on a different path.

Reginald and Robert Stockman

A lawyer and a farmer, Reginald Stockman takes after his maternal grandfather, Robert Stockman, who owns Stockman Farms in Higginsville, Mo. Photo courtesy of Reginald Stockman.

Reginald Stockman, JD ’13, was too young to remember one of the most influential moments of his life — his father’s murder in 1985.

Until he was 8, he lived with his mother in Kansas City, Mo. Then, Stockman’s grandparents invited their grandson to live with them on the family farm in Higginsville, Mo.

“I was in the third grade when I moved, straight from the inner city to the country,” says Stockman, who went on to help his grandfather manage Stockman Farms more than a decade later. “From the jump they had me doing everything: driving tractors, feeding cattle, pigs and chickens. I had to do that stuff before I got on the bus every morning.”

Hard work also served him well on the football field, where Stockman earned a spot on the Missouri State roster. But as he continued his education with a master’s degree in housing and community development at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, Stockman realized he had broader ambitions.

His newly minted law degree from MU led him to the Missouri Department of Agriculture and mentor Michael Warrick, BA ’77, JD ’82, general counsel. Now Stockman works full time as an attorney in the 16th circuit court back in Kansas City, but he still hopes to develop the family farm and help other farmers in the Higginsville area and around Missouri.

“I hope to focus on land-use policies and continue my work in agriculture law,” Stockman says. “The great thing about farming is that I will be able to farm during planting and harvest seasons and continue to grow my legal career at the same time. There’s nothing like putting in a hard day’s work of mowing pastures or harvesting fields, then looking back at the land and appreciating your work.”