Keeping the Beefmaster herd black has become an adventurous and challenging task for Charles and Evelyn Rieder. The Rieders have had many types of cattle in their lives, but in recent years, have found their pleasure in black Beefmaster cattle. “We currently have a black Beefmaster ratio of around 90 percent of our herd,” explained Charles.
Farmers know firsthand that sometimes life will hand you more than your fair share of lemons. 2006 and 2007 brought Don and Kathy Sissel’s thriving cattle farm a devastating tornado, draught, and the crippling Ozarks’ ice storm. Farming hasn’t been easy for Don and Kathy, especially the last couple of years; nevertheless, they’ve done what good farmers do – adapted, persisted, and focused on the things that mattered most.
When Chuck and Lacey Donaldson moved from South Carolina to their farm in Laclede County, Mo., in December of 2000, it was “a life-change," said Lacey. She said that she grew up as a city girl, but spent summers on her aunt’s farm near Poplar Bluff, Mo. Chuck, a native of Wisconsin, spent several years on his grandparents’ farm whenhis mother contracted tuberculosis while he was a young boy. Due to his experience with severe winter weather, Missouri was as far north as he cared to move.
Registered Limousin cattle fit the bill for Benny and Marge Reed, who both work off their Douglas County farm. Marge explained, “We had to have a breed of cattle that would be easy to take care of and that you didn’t have to be around all the time and worry about having to pull calves.”
For the Ceplina family, selling their dairy cattle last summer was one of the hardest things they had ever done. But Joe and Myra Ceplina needed to get a few irons out of the fire. With their son, Wade, going off to college it would be impossible to milk their 150 head of Brown Swiss cattle, manage and market their dairy heifer replacements, and manage the feed store/tire shop/gas station they own in downtown Raymondville, Mo. Retirement seemed like a good idea.
Life is good among the smell of fresh cedar chips, the warm glow of heat lamps and the sound of puppies playing coming from the spacious pens at Watson Ranch, home of Sagecreek Aussies. Jim and Pam Watson are living out a dream on an almost 100-year-old family farm just south of Bolivar, Mo., where they own and operate a purebred Australian Shepherd breeding operation. With six to seven mature females and rotating the breeding schedule so as to have puppies ready for sale is a constant challenge. Pam is constantly researching and staying abreast of the finest lineage to achieve the highest quality of Aussie prodigy and to maintain the level of desired characteristics.