In the middle of the second cutting and baling at the end of July, D.A. Dahlke worked hard to get his hay in before another rain. He partners with his brother, Doin; they bale hay from 40 acres, with half belonging to D.A., about 150 round bales each year.
He lives with his wife Anna Jean on the 200-acre Triple D Farm located near Midway, Ark., in Baxter County. At this time they have 40 momma cows, 80 head total, including calves, yearlings, replacement heifers and bulls.
D.A. grew up farming. In high school, he was State Vice-President of the FFA and Northwest Arkansas Star Farmer. After graduation and college, he taught high school science in the Mountain Home District. During that time he helped his dad, but wanted to get more involved in what he enjoyed, and started building his own herd of Gelbvieh cattle. He is a member of the American Gelbvieh Association.
“This was my grandfather’s place, he moved here from Oklahoma in 1928,” D.A. said. “I was born and raised about a half-mile from where Anna Jean and I live. While (my brothers) David and Doin were growing up they had Polled Hereford and Angus cattle, which the boys showed at fairs. I have 120 acres, and Mother is still living so the family trust still has 80 acres that I use. David is now in Alabama, working for Pilgrims Pride, and Doin lives in Van Buren County, selling sports goods and he’s an athletic trainer. After 31 years in education, I’m retired from teaching.”
The reasons D.A. started with Gelbvieh cattle in 1990 was that breed’s docile nature, plus the superior fertility, calving ease, mothering ability, and the calves' growth rate. Gelbvieh produce more pounds of weaning calf per cow exposed than any other widely used breed. He listens to his customers to determine what is taking place in the market, and what they’re looking for. Over the years, D.A. gathered marketing concepts that apply directly to the purebred cattle industry, and is able to identify which efforts result in visits from other farmers to the Triple D. To date they have had a strong demand for their cattle.
“I was a little nervous around the other bulls,” Anna Jean said. “With Gelbvieh bulls, I know they’re not going to run over me. Maternal instincts of the momma cows are excellent. Calves are small at birth, but the cows are great milkers, so calves grow out good.”
“For the commercial market,” he said, “crossing with any breed, the Gelbvieh is going to bring you a good price. Ours are beef cattle, but we sell them as breeding stock by private treaty to other farmers wanting to get into raising Gelbvieh. They have high cutability, and good marbling for leaner cuts of meat. One of the big items right now is what we call the Balancer, half Gelbvieh and half Black Angus. That’s why I’m using a homogeneous polled Black Gelbvieh bull.”
Most farmers, when they see the calves they’re getting with Gelbvieh, continue with the breed. Strong Gelbvieh traits compliment English breeds, adding value to a herd and putting money in the farmer’s pocket.     
Like many people, D.A. is influenced by how he was raised and by his family beliefs.
“Grandpa and Grandma Dahlke moved here and then Dad and Mom lived a mile up the road,” he said. “We’ve spent a lot of time picking up rocks and cleaning up the place. At one time my uncle owned 80 acres, but we ended up buying that land. Now, the old Dahlke home-place is all put back together. Dad seemed to be pleased about that.”


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