CSW Farms began their cattle operation a decade ago with four heifers
MOUNTAIN GROVE, MO. – Chase and Sheena White work hard and love the farming life with their three children, Rylan (14), Reagan (11) and Jacob (5) at CSW Farms in Texas County, Mo., where they raise Angus cattle.
“We keep about 45 mommas and we raise yearlings to sell, so we have close to 100 head, on average. We generally sell the bulls at about 14 to 18 months old,” Chase said. They also occasionally sell steers for beef.
“It’s all around a better breed. You look at what’s at stud. You look in every direction and you see black Angus,” said Chase. “My grandpa had a dairy farm (in Manes) until I was around 10 or 12 years old and I stayed with him during the summers on the dairy. I worked for people that had cattle since I was big enough to do so.”
Sheena grew up on a dairy farm in Solo, Mo., but said CSW Farm was Chase’s dream.
When they were first married, Chase said they raised bottle calves and would sell the calves as yearlings.
“One year, the price just went sky high and we got like $4 a pound and we invested in beef heifers,” Chase said. “That was 10 years ago, and we’ve grown this all from that. We picked up a few females here and there, but mainly everything we’ve produced has come from those original four heifers. We still have one of those. She has 12 different females that go back to her, that’s part of our cows and our herd.”
To sustain the herd, CSW Farm is broken into paddocks for grazing, and allowing forages to have rest periods.
“I have my pasture broken up into sections on my 68 acres and I just rotate them from pasture to pasture as they graze it. I use my lease ground (90 additional acres) in the summer and let them graze that down. And then I bring all my cows back here in the fall to start on my grass, that way I can have them right by the house while their having calves,” said Chase.
CSW Farm’s feeding program is a custom system, right down to the forages.
“We had Green Cover Seed, out of Nebraska, formulate a seed blend for us and we’re going to rotate cows on and off that all winter when our fescue is eaten,” Chase explained. “I use a mix for my deer; it’s called Fall Release Blend and they modified that mix for me, for cattle. It has different grasses that mature at different times. The cattle will go for what is most palatable, whatever else is there will have time to grow. It’ll be wheat, rye, radishes, turnips and oats, among others.”
The herd is also offered free-choice loose mineral and salt year-round.
“We also use some protein tubs and high fat tubs. Our bulls, our yearlings, we feed them 1 percent of their body weight in grain, a day,” Rylan added. “So they can keep up their nutrient intake.”
Chase appreciates his son’s help with running the farm. Sheena said Rylan wants to be a veterinarian, and works for a local vet.
“I just help him on farm calls; set up,” Rylan said of his job. “Then I go with him to sale barns and be his hand.”
“I probably couldn’t do it without him,” Chase said of Rylan. “He’s only 14, but I would have him working for me, over most men. He does a really good job and is really knowledgeable. I don’t have a vet come out when we work cattle; we make it a family affair. Reagan draws shots. Sheena pushes them up and gives shots. I catch and give shots and Rylan catches them.” They vaccinate and worm their herd twice a year.
CSW, which stands for Chase and Sheena White.
They met when Sheena stopped by a gas station for a drink after her daily run. She had a for-sale sign on her car. Chase went in and asked who was selling the car and began asking her car questions until he ran out questions and asked her out on a date. Seventeen years later, the kids think the brand should be expanded to include their initials as well.
Moving from commercial cattle to registered also has required the Whites to keep meticulous records on each animal, including EPD data.
“I do my own AI. I got my certification through Missouri Extension. We do some custom breeding,” Chase said.
Rylan said he enjoys that aspect of breeding cattle.
“I like seeing what we can produce after they’re mature, the bulls. If they need traits added, we can help add that,” he said.
“We have a small herd, but I like to have the absolute best that I can have,” Chase said in agreement. “Bettering my herd is my favorite part. If I can increase the genetics and pass that bull on to somebody else and help increase theirs and just make farming better.”
They breed for different traits, including calving ease, growth and appearance. They sell twice a year, calving in the spring and fall. They breed and sell directly from the farm.
“If they need help delivering them, I can help with that,” Reagan said. “I also like catching the calves whenever they’re born and tag them.”
“She’s our country girl,” Sheena added. “She always volunteers to go out and check them. If any of her friends are over, she’s got to drive them all through the cows and the babies.”
In addition to farming and raising three children, Sheena is a nurse practitioner and they family owns Grove Family Care of Mountain Grove. She has been a nurse for 16 years, and an NP for 10 of those years. Dr. Jason Spurling, who works from West Plains, Mo., is her business partner and oversight.
The Whites enjoy the friends and community of farming life.
“If the cows got out, I’d have 10 people here to do whatever in a heartbeat,” Chase said. “All my buddies are farmers too; it’s other people that know the value and hard work and they’re willing to help each other.”
Sheena likes what they are able to do. “It’s nice to be able to feed [others] off of our farm.”
Besides a love of farming, the Whites are a faith-based family.
“I think God has blessed us tremendously,” Chase said. “I never would have dreamed that I’d have something like this. We make church a priority.”
Sheena and Rylan have both completed mission trips.
“To see God’s beauty, seeing the babies born. This would not be here if it wasn’t for Him. It’s cool to see the circle of life happen before your eyes,” Sheena said.