Brothers add Wagyu to their Red Devon herd in Boone County, Ark.

Ty and Mikey Robertson, brothers operating Ozark Red Devons in Omaha, Ark., are making the most of their beautiful and diverse Ozarks terrain.

The 1,600 acres, just south of the Missouri border in Boone County, feature everything from open pasture, thick forest, creeks and ponds, to even a cave and a rocky bluff. Such variety means they can use only about half of the land for raising cattle, and the Robertsons have developed a similar kind of variety in their business structure.

Though both brothers share responsibilities in all aspects of the farm, Mikey focuses his efforts on the marketing and business while Ty directly involves himself in the actual farm operations. The history of the farm, however, originates with their older brother, Bobby Robertson. In 2004, Bobby started raising black Angus cattle on about 200 acres of farmland in Bruner, Mo., as a side venture and possible retirement activity.

When the farm began to make more money than expected, thier father, Bob Robertson, got more involved and eventually bought the farm from his son.

In addition to buying the Omaha property in 2008, the Robertsons soon decided to switch from raising black Angus to Red Devons. They wanted a more docile breed because.

Ty and Mikey were also attracted to the Red Devon for its early maturity, easy calving and excellent milking ability. They have been raising that breed exclusively since, calving in both spring and fall, and keeping them all grass-fed on a rotational grazing basis.

Recently, however, the Robertson brothers have begun the process of breeding some of their Red Devons with Japanese Black and Brown bulls to produce the commonly known Wagyu beef.

“We like to eat,” Ty explained with a chuckle. “We go to these restaurants and notice these [Wagyu] steaks.”

The consistent prime rating drew the brothers to producing their own Wagyu meat, and they decided during the past year to dedicate about half of their cows to breeding F1 crosses and harvesting Wagyu. Their approach is to leave three Japanese bulls with about 100 of their Red Devons, and through that herd the Robertsons plan to offer both grass-finished and grain-finished Wagyu beef.

In feeding and health, although they do not pursue official certification due to the difficulty, but Ty and Mikey use organic principles. They do not spread chicken litter or give their livestock hormones or antibiotics. If one gets sick, the Robertsons give it the appropriate treatment, and then place it in the commercial herd for sale through other channels.

The marketing of their grass-fed cattle is where Ty and Mikey’s business takes on a distinct variety. They sell registered Red Devon cows, bulls and calves to those building and replacing herds, and will also sell half and whole beef for meat direct to customers. They sell frozen meat at several stores in the Ozarks area, including Nature’s Wonders in Harrison, Ark., Sunfest in Branson West, Mo., Price Chopper in Branson, Mo., Whiskey Tangos in Ozark, Mo., Well N Good in Nixa, Mo., and Harter House in Nixa and on East Republic Road in Springfield, Mo. They also sell snack sticks, jerky and other beef snacks in stores all around the Ozarks.

Closer to home, Ty and Mikey have further extended into the restaurant business, having bought a restaurant and pub in Branson. Mo., last year, called Outback Branson.

“We do all the ground beef,” Mikey said, explaining how they source their food. Some of the steaks sold at the restaurant also come from the Ozark Red Devons farm, and, once the herd has produced enough, the Robertsons plan to offer their Wagyu beef there.

Ty and Mikey also recently started taking advantage of another local market: tourism. Branson is less than 20 miles north of their property, and most attractions at the tourist mecca are a type of show or ride. Ty and Mikey, however, offer a different experience with their Hog Wild Adventures business.

“We had side-by-sides working the farm and of our 1,600 acres we can’t use about half of it for cattle,” Mikey explained.

So they bought more side-by-sides and started utilizing the other half of the acreage for outdoor tours of their farm.

With Wild Hog Adventures and their numerous other outlets, the Robertsons diversify the Ozark Red Devons business to match the deep and beautiful variance of the Ozarks countryside.


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