My husband, Derek, has spent years perfecting the way he raises and feeds cattle. He is the third generation of his family to raise livestock and has grown the family’s cattle operation to include a registered Angus cow herd, a yearling feeding program and calving program in the winter months. He majored in animal science at Kansas State University and has continued to educate himself of animal genetics, behaviors and nutrition. Knowing that what goes into an animal determines what you then get back from the animal keeps him always searching for a better way to feed and raise the cattle on our farm.
Earlier this month, Derek’s hard work paid off when he was awarded champion steer in the Garden City Beef Empire Days carcass contest. The first-place honor means my husband’s animal graded better than the 80-some other steers that were analyzed and judged by leading beef industry experts.
This was the first year my husband entered the contest but not his first year for raising champion beef. Through the use of nutritional analysis, continued medical care and veterinarian oversight, high-quality genetics and top-quality feed – largely grown on our own farm – my husband has developed a herd of mother cows that year after year, produce healthy calves that grow to become healthy, top-quality steers and heifers. It’s is exciting to see young, healthy calves grazing alongside their mothers and watch another group of steers grow and develop on summer pasture. But it’s also rewarding to know that our hard work pays off in quality beef products.
My husband finds great joy in raising quality cattle but it’s also his business and like all good business owners, he strives to make the best better. By improving the health and well-being of our animals, we are improving the quality of beef we can provide to our customers. That means steak houses can offer more tender cuts of meat and backyard chefs can grill a tastier rib-eye.
We take great pride in raising high quality animals and top-quality beef. It’s our business and our way of life.