Jason and Ashlae Simmons, along with their sons, are growing a registered Beefmaster herd. Photo by Laura L. Valenti.

Jason and Ashlae Simmons, along with their sons, are growing a registered Beefmaster herd. Photo by Laura L. Valenti

Jason and Ashlae Simmons find Beefmaster cattle to be ideal for their family operation 

GROVESPRING, MO. – Jason Simmons grew up in the Grovespring, Mo., area in Wright County in a farming family, and long knew that he wanted to continue that tradition. Today, he and his wife, Ashlae, and their sons are raising 65 head of Beefmaster cattle on 240 acres, just north of where he was raised. Together, they operate JnA Beefmasters in rural Laclede County. 

“I tried jumping on that black Angus train in the beginning and had a black Limousin bull but he had way too much attitude,” Jason said with a laugh as he explained how he came to be raising both registered Beefmaster and commercial cattle. “I knew we wanted something different. I liked the look of the ear cattle and then learned more in talking to a neighbor. We moved out here about three and a half years ago, getting off the highway where we were before and that’s when we started with the registered Beefmaster.”

“We also found them to be more parasite resistant and they tolerate the heat better,” Ashlae added.

“They are so docile,” Jason continued. “We have a bull that runs about 2,200 pounds and he is such a big baby. The kids climb all over him. He is so tender and easy going.”

JnA Beefmasters feeds a custom fix from Letterman Feed in nearby Niangua. They also purchase their hay. 

“I had a field I was planning to hay this year but that’s turned out to be a bad choice with the drought. I ended up just having to let it go to pasture as it just got too dry,” Jason explained.

The Beefmaster herd is bred primary through natural cover, using their registered Beefmaster bull. 

Jason and Ashlae Simmons find Beefmaster cattle to be ideal for their family operation. Photo by Laura L. Valenti.
Photo by Laura L. Valenti

“We’ve done some AI and embryo work but mostly we’re just using our bull,” Jason said. “The boys help me with the cows, too and they are really interested in agriculture. Jadyn is particularly interested in learning more about AI. I told him we might have to look into him doing some job shadowing with someone on that.”

The family is working to build a seedstock operation with their registered Beefmaster, selling through private treaty and Beefmaster association sales. Commercial cattle are sold at a local sale barn. 

“We’ve also gotten into showing more,” Jason said. “We really jumped in with both feet this year, showing our bull and a heifer at several fairs including at Buffalo, Fair Grove and Marshfield, the Ozark Empire Fair and the Missouri State Fair. We even went on to Houston, Texas, and Fort Worth. Our bull won at Ozark Empire Fair. The boys are really getting into it.”

Ten years ago, Jason spent much of his time working for Tracker Boats but has been working with cattle for the last several years. Ashlae also works from home, so with both parents at home they decided to try something new this year.  

“Our sons, Jayden age 14 and Colton age 11 went to Lebanon but this year we are trying homeschooling for the first time. There were several reasons including a long commute for the boys and since Jason and I are both working here at home, it made more sense.”

Jason admits there are a number of challenges facing those in any kind of farming or ranching these days. 

“The economy, the prices on land, fuel, food, fertilizer. The hard part is getting started in the face of all that unless you inherit a farm. Unfortunately, we didn’t inherit anything, so we’ve had to work hard for all of it,” he added with a grin.

Despite the challenges, enjoys what he does. 

“I grew up with this and I really like being around the cows, spending time with good people, like the ones you find while showing at the different county fairs. Right now, it also means spending more time with the boys, with my family.”

Jason’s plans include shifting his herd to all registered Beefmaster in the future. 

“I’d like to expand, to be able to leave something more to the boys but we’ll just have to see what the good Lord has in mind,” he shared.


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