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Farming and Ranching in Oklahoma and Kansas
The Chain Ranch is full of tradition and history dating back to 1893 when Oscar Chain traded fifty dollars and a shotgun for a quarter section, 160 acres, in Dewey County, Oklahoma. Since that trade, the Chain Ranch has developed into a six-generation owned and operated family business, with four ranches in Oklahoma, three in Kansas and several leased properties in both states.
The Ranch runs a cow/calf operation, in which all of the weaned calves are kept and marketed as fat cattle. We also handle stocker calves on grass and wheat pasture. The largest portion of our bulls are Limousin, Angus and Red Angus. The genetic integrity of our herd is maintained through our selective AI breeding program. The quality of our beef is evidenced in the manner in which we go to market. The vast majority of our cattle are marketed through Myres Natural Beef, ensuring an all-natural product with no trace of antibiotics or hormones.
The ranch farms approximately 10,000 acres of wheat, alfalfa and feed in Oklahoma and Kansas. In addition to these traditional crops, we are now incorporating canola, millet, and milo into our crop rotations.
Lastly, we believe that our ranch is truly a gift from God. We’re here to be good stewards of this land until he decides to take it back. The Chain Ranches Legacy Sponsorship is in memoriam of Ralph Chain.
Andrea and Brad Hutchison are proud of having started the Oklahoma Independent Stockgrowers Association, an R-CALF USA state affiliate.
The Sullivan Ranch
The Sullivan Ranch came to be when two pioneering families came west to realize their visions of building a future in American Agriculture. At the turn of the 20th century Lela Wright forged her way northwest from southern Oklahoma with 6 young children in tow after the death of her infant daughter and husband John to yellow fever. At the same time Michael Sullivan brought his three young sons to the 4-corners region of Pueblo, Crowley, Lincoln and El Paso Counties, Colorado after a short stint in Montana originating in Iowa. It was in this community that these families became interwoven and their descendants still scatter the region.
Two generations and 70 years later Jerry Sullivan, grandson of Michael, and Linda Wright, granddaughter of Lela, were married and continued to produce on these sandy plains when they purchased her parents ranch. Originally a cow/calf operation, drought forced liquidation in the 1930’s and again in the 1950’s and in 1959 Jerry switched the operation to a seasonal stocker operation utilizing the regions short grass prairies for grazing purposes during the spring and short summer and letting the country rest from late summer to spring.
Fast forward to 1992 when a need to avoid a mix of brutal winters and flyweight stocker calves necessitated a move to wheat grazing country in North Texas. Today, lightweight calves are procured in the Mississippi/Alabama region and sent to the family owned preconditioning yard in Archer County, Texas, where they are wintered on wheat and then sent north in the spring to exploit the powerful shortgrass prairies of eastern Colorado, specifically the four-corners region homesteaded by these two families over 100 years ago.
In this region, only three families were able to stay and continue to produce off of the land through the depression, the 1950’s and most recently the worst drought in regional history that occurred from 1999-2013. And although they were not immune to very hard times, deep roots and love of the land have kept the Sullivan and Wright families centered in beef production in this region.
Today, after the death of her husband Jerry in 2011, Linda Sullivan continues to manage day to day operations of the ranch with the help of her 4 children and 2 grandchildren.
Cattle Producers of Washington
Cattle Producers of Washington is an independent state organization of cow-calf producers whose mission is to sustain, improve and protect Washington State’s cattle industry by advocating for ranchers on issues like regulation and litigation. CPoW also works to address the market interest of cattle producers and promotes the western heritage of ranching and farming in Washington State. Find them at: www.cattleproducersofwa.com or on Facebook.
Chambers Cattle Company
By Rick Chambers
The Chambers farming and ranching business started in Decatur Co Ks near Lyle, Ks in the late 1800s by Arthur and Mary Chambers. Their son Lester, my father, leased the farm west of Lyle in the 1940s through 2000 except for an extended stop of 4 years traveling to Canada to help build the Canada Alaska Hwy and help ship the uranium down the McKenzie river to the USA. Plus being in many European countries as an engineer in the US Army, Lester carried his regular US military arms as well as a 22-caliber rifle to get some fresh game to eat for he and his buddies. They got tired of the regular food on a continuous basis.
For several years after returning from World War II, he rented the land he and my mom Agnes farmed and ran a herd of cows. They fattened their calves and purchased more to go with them in our small farm feedlot.
In the early 1950s they purchased several pieces of land including part of the old Simpson ranch east of Oberlin, KS. Unfortunately, we had a major drought shortly after the Simpson land was purchased plus a bad hail storm. I got to ride on the old pull type Baldwin combine and knock the chaff off the radiator on the old Model A Ford engine to keep it from overheating. It was about 110, windy and I was about 9 years old. The wheat was only making around 5 bushels per acre, but we needed it for seed for the next year’s crop. This experience might have been what conditioned me more towards raising cattle than farming.
Currently, Chambers Cattle Company is headquartered in Hays, KS with the main farm and ranch near Oberlin, KS and another ranch location near Ordway, Co. We run a cow/calf operation, feed cattle in commercial feedlots and background cattle in commercial feedlots as well as order buy cattle for numerous customers across the US.
Double H Ranch
The Double H ranch is a family owned and operated business in South Texas, established in 1989. We specialize in brahman and F-1 Tiger striped breeding along with a stocker operation, retaining ownership through the feed yard. We are striving to produce a great product and we are working to keep the beef cattle industry viable for our four children and future generations.
Kenzy Backgrounding LLC
Kenzy Backgrounding LLC is a fourth-generation family ranching operation that has grown from a cow calf operation into an EPA permitted feed yard specializing in calf Backgrounding. Great pride is taken in providing the best care possible for our own livestock and those of our customers. We pride ourselves on many happy repeat customers and always look forward to developing new relationships with fellow cattlemen. We are centrally located in South Central South Dakota, having feed resources and the skills and experience to precondition and grow calves for finishing operations located nearby in Nebraska and Eastern SD or Iowa. We are proud supporters of independent family farms and ranches and wish to continue our operation into generations to come.
Land and Water USA
After 25 years as the General Manager of the National Western Livestock Show, Chuck retired in 2013. He’s been deeply involved in farming, cattle and horses his entire life.
After running cattle in Wyoming for 25 years, Chuck realized he was just “having a romance with a cow,” and sold his herd. He leases his ranches and farms in Wyoming.
Roni grew up on a dairy farm in Nebraska. She subsequently raised four children in Denver. After marrying Chuck in 2001, she moved to Chuck’s 151-year old farm.
They share a passion about justice and property rights.
With a focus on our domestic resource providers, and a desire to educate property owners on what constitutes private property and protection of those rights, they first founded Good Neighbor Law, then Land And Water USA (LAW).
With Dr. Angus McIntosh, they helped nudge along the Range Allotment Owners Association (RAO).
They appreciate the work that R-CALF does, and are excited about a healthy future of combined efforts of RAO and R-CALF USa.
Lucky 7 Angus
In 1895 James Jensen started a five-generation ranch, from this came Lucky 7 Angus. That first winter he lived in a dug out on the side of a hill and shoveled snow off the grass to feed his 3 horses and 7 cows in what is called the Nation’s Icebox, Boulder, Wyoming. We know very well the blood, sweat and tears it takes to keep the family ranch afloat. And that is why we take it very seriously that our customers are the most profitable in the livestock industry.
Lucky 7 Angus was started in order to raise bulls that could hold up better for commercial cattlemen, such as ourselves. We have accomplished the goal… For the past 30 years we have been unmatched in raising cows and bulls in tougher conditions than the rest of the industry, which has made the most durable bulls for our customers. We were the first seedstock operation to set minimum standards for PAP testing. The number of animals tested with these standards, are unmatched in the industry, which helps our customers with less sickness and death loss. We were the first seedstock operation to test for feed efficiency in real world conditions. Then in 2002 we started feed efficiency testing by purchasing large vertical mixers in order to know how much every cow, calf and bull on the place ate. In 2009 we were the first Angus only seedstock producer in the U.S. to purchase a GrowSafe feed intake monitoring system. Lucky 7 Angus is unmatched in the industry by having both real world and scientific feed efficiency testing data, which allows our customers to make more pounds of beef per acre. The measures we have taken in producing our genetics gave us enough confidence in our bulls to offer the nation’s first 4 year guarantee. This guarantee is unmatched in the industry and allows our producers a 33% advantage when buying bulls. What makes Lucky 7 different is our goal, to have the most profitable customers in the livestock industry. We are proud that the hard work great grandpa James put into the start of this ranch has not been in vain
Twenty miles north of Thedford, Nebraska forty miles south of Valentine Nebraska along highway 83, is the picturesque Miles ranch. Craig Miles and his son Caleb work the cattle, fix and build the fences, harvest the hay, and raise and train their own horses while Craig’s wife Joy juggles the finances, helps when she can, keeps Craig and Caleb happy at the dinner table, and works part time at the Cherry County hospital in Valentine. Three generations of ranchers have worked the ranch before Craig. His father Sam with his wife Charlotte have retired from the ranch but his advice and tractor skills are still helpful and welcomed.
Craig and Caleb focus on raising quality, hormone-free, black Angus beef. Every few years, they keep bull calves from AI groups to use in their herd. Craig has also devoted much of his time to stop large industrial wind parks from coming into Cherry County. He believes they are a waste of tax payer funds and will be a blight on the Sandhills after the short lifetime of the industrial park is over. He believes in personal property rights, but he knows that with those rights come duties to not interfere with your neighbor’s property rights as well. He is also a strong supporter for mandatory country-of-origin labeling (COOL) for beef.
God Bless America.
Muddy Valley Ranch
Muddy Valley Ranch was first purchased by Kenneth and Jewell Clark in March of 1958. Kenneth had been searching for a ranch and went to Mexico with his brother-in-law, Ralph Yoder, and decided to purchase one down there when they received a call from Richard Klett, Sr. of Las Animas, Colorado. Mr. Klett had acquired a 15,000 acre ranch halfway between Kim and La Junta, Colorado from John Stout along Muddy Creek in what is known as Muddy Valley. He had no intentions to keeping the ranch and wanted to resell it.
The Clarks purchased the ranch and moved there with their four young daughters, Julie, Kathy, Karren (Sparky) and Kimmi. After much hard work in putting in new fences and cleaning up old abandoned homestead sites, Muddy Valley Ranch was well known as one of the best run cow/calf producing ranches in Southeast Colorado. Jewell passed away at age 54 and Kenneth retired in 1991. The ranch was passed down and sold to the youngest daughter, Kimmi, and her husband Dave Lewis in March of 1992. They had six young children named Kelly, Keith, Kenneth, Kerry, Kristine and Korry. Dave passed away from leukemia in 2000 and Kimmi has kept Muddy Valley Ranch running and producing along with the help of good friends and family as well as her six children known as the “Six Pack.” Kenneth Clark passed away in 2005.
Muddy Valley Ranch is now around 18,000 acres in size due to new purchases and leases of neighboring lands. Cattle in this part of Colorado take a lot of land because it is rough country. Kimmi allots sixty acres to each of the 300 head of cows at the ranch. Kimmi never over grazes and she prides herself as a grazer and caretaker of the land. After two battles with breast cancer, Kimmi is still on the ranch operating and working to keep the ranch in her family as well as a State Representative from House District 64. She plans to someday pass it down to family and keep Muddy Valley Ranch in production.
The Six Pack all help out on the ranch as often as they can. Kenneth and Kerry live the closest and do the most to help Kimmi on the ranch. Kenneth and his family live thirteen miles from the ranch headquarters. Kenneth is a marketing representative for Winter Livestock in La Junta, CO. Keith is the oldest son who took over the cattle and feed trucking operation that his father, Dave Lewis, owned. Keith helps with any hauling the ranch needs plus also runs a backhoe when necessary. Kerry Froese does the bookkeeping for the ranch and also partly owns and operates Dave Lewis Trucking. Kelly Wasson and her husband and family run a farm/feedlot operation out of Dresden, KS. Kristine is a pilot for Frontier Airlines out of Denver and she is never afraid to take on the tasks that no one else wants to do at the ranch. Korry is a lawyer and she does all the legal work for the ranch and is the campaign chair for her mother’s house district campaign. Kimmi is very proud of her Six Pack and now eleven grandchildren.
The Muddy Valley Ranch has been in operation for more than 60 years. Kimmi recently hosted a special celebration last fall to reflect on all the work by the Lewis and Clark families, and the time-honored role the ranch has played in the ongoing battle to protect the rights of private property owners in Southeast Colorado.
R-Bar Cattle Company
Ronnie and Wah-Leeta Rogers have lived North of Cedar Vale, Kansas for the past 44 years. Ronnie was born and raised in the Cloverdale Area. After his marriage to Wah-Leeta, who was from Ralston, Oklahoma, they lived in Stillwater and Enid, Oklahoma and Arkansas City, Kansas while Ronnie worked for the railroad and Wah-Leeta worked as a legal secretary. In 1973 they moved to Chautauqua County to begin ranching full-time, establishing R-Bar Cattle Co. Besides their work at the ranch, they also enjoy visiting with friends and family, watching grandchildren participate in their activities, attending First Baptist Church, helping programs there, and traveling. Both Ronnie and Wah-Leeta were active in $-H members in their youth and believe that 4-H, FFA, and the rural community lifestyle are a very important part of being productive individuals in today’s world.
The Roger’s have two daughters, Robin and Amy, each of whom were active in 4-H. Robin is a pharmacist and lives in Edmond, Oklahoma with her husband Jeff Wallis. They have a daughter, Riley of Dallas, Texas, and a son Rhett of Norman, Oklahoma. Amy is a teacher and is married to Danny Driskill and lives in Hayes, Kansas. They Have two sons, Dax and Dawson.
R-Bar Cattle Co. is a descendant of a century farm. Ronnie’s great-grandad, E.H. Rogers, came to Wisconsin in the late 1870s to the Chautauqua county area and settled there. Now, as a fourth- generation ranching family, they partner with their two daughters and his brother, David, in a cattle operation that they manage for them, as well as their own cattle company. They are all individual land owners and own approximately 5000 acres and lease 7000. Our pastures are native bluestem and old fields sowed back to tame grass, Bermuda, Fescue, and Brome. We are basically a cow-calf/yearling operation and we also utilize the custom feedlots. We also market commercial Charolais bulls.
In 1998, times had been hard, cattle prices as well as land prices had been low. We heard of Kansas Cattlemen’s Association, a vibrant new state organization, so we joined. We also heard of R-CALF at a sheep sale in Yates Center, Kansas, from a young couple from the Dakotas who had moved to Kansas, so we joined R-CALF! We realized we were not being represented by Kansas Livestock Association or NCBA and that we needed representation for the producer that dealt with the elements -weather, land, and livestock prices – the one that had the biggest investment and the greatest risk. We wanted and still want competition for our commodities, not monopolies and integration. Sustainability is an important factor in farming and ranching; good conservation practices and being good caretakers of the livestock are the key to long-term survival of any operation. Those have been our goals for 52 years, representing hard work and commitment.
As a proud member of R-CALF, we would like to thank God to be in this business. God Bless the USA!!
Rick & Theresa Fox
We have been in the ranching industry all our lives. Married in 1980, we came to Hermosa in 1983 to work for an elderly couple, Harold and Josephine Hasselstrom. With their health failing, we were offered an opportunity to buy the ranch and we jumped in with both feet!
We have not only raised three children here, we now look forward to the third generation of Fox ranchers coming to this place.
We joined R-CALF at its inception, knowing that we needed a strong voice to represent grass roots producers. We’ve been actively involved through meetings and conventions and helping to serve wherever needed.
One of the highlights was being part of the South Dakota Stockgrower’s Association at the initial switch of national cattle organizations. SDSGA was the first organization to affiliate with R-CALF and we are very proud that we helped other states organize cattle associations that affiliated with R-CALF.
Through thick and thin, we know R-CALF is the only representation we have on the national cattle industry level and we will continue to support them wholeheartedly!
Schreiber Ranch is a cow-calf operation operated by Gerald and Kay Schreiber. The original start to this outfit was a homestead filed in 1910 by Gerald’s grandfather George Schreiber son of German immigrants. Gerald’s grandmother, Susie, was also a homesteader. Kay’s parents also came from roots in early 20th century Colorado agriculture. In 2010 Schreiber Ranch was recognized by the Colorado Department of Agriculture as a “Centennial Farm”.
Gerald and Kay have been active members of R-CALF USA since 2002. We are 3rd generation agriculturists and believe in God, family, community and country.
Southern Cross Ranch
The Southern Cross Ranch was established in 1849 with the purchase of land by Captain John T. Chambers, CSA , in the Farmers High community of Carroll County Georgia. It was part of Indian lands ceded to the State of Georgia. It was largely a cotton farm tended by the Captain and his 4 sons and daughter. After his return from the Civil War where he lost 3 of his sons, the land suffered from mismanagement and the ravages of Reconstruction. It was around this time that the transformation from cotton to cattle took place and cattle remains the primary cash crop to this day.
Though it has been known by several names over its history, the Southern Cross was settled on to reflect the Chambers deep pride in their Southern Heritage as well as their strong faith in their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Most recently, the ranch was owned in partnership of Alvin Chambers and his son George, the sixth and seventh generations to live on and manage the ranch. Upon Alvin’s death in December of 2014, the ownership transferred wholly to his only child George, who manages it with the help of his wife, the former Candi Harrell, who’s roots herself are deep in the cattle industry in Georgia and Alabama, and the 8th generation, their son, Kaleb and daughter, Taylor.
The ranch has been home to purebred Angus and nationally recognized Charolais cattle including the National Champion Charolais bull in 2001. They currently own in partnership the 2017 National Western Stock Show ROV Reserve National Champion Angus Bull and the 2017 Ft Worth Stock Show Reserve Champion Angus Bull. It has also been home to a stocker/background in operation. It is currently operating as a cow/calf operation who calves are preconditioned and sold post weaning.
Stevens County Cattlemen's Association
The Stevens County Cattlemen’s Association is an independent group of cow-calf producers working to ensure the success and longevity of family ranch operations in Eastern Washington. Since 1938, the organization has been advocating for cattlemen on issues like public land use, predator issues, regulations and public policy. Find them at: www.stevenscountycattlemen.com or on Facebook.
Our regular meetings are held on the first Thursday of the month at 7pm in the Stevens County Commissioners Hearing Room/Auxiliary room located at 230 E. Birch in Colville.
To contact SCCA, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Teaford and Simonson Ranch
The Teaford and Simonson Ranch was started by Pete and Winifred Teaford. They were later joined by their daughter Lex Ann and her husband Bernie Simonson. They ranched together until Pete and Winifred retired. Lex Ann and Bernie had three children, Gordon, JW, and Paulette. Gordon began ranching with Bernie and Lex Ann in the 80’s along with his wife, Amy. Their son Dillon, and his wife, Jessica, are now a part of the ranch. They have had Hereford, Simmental, and Charlois cattle and have relied on the Angus breed of cattle for several years now. They wean their calves and feed them for a short time before they are sold.
Gordon and Amy are the third generation on the ranch to raise commercial cattle and they have been members of R-Calf since 1998.
TNT Cattle Company
Continuing the family tradition (since 1869) of faith, family and farming, Max and Brenda Thornsberry have lived on their current farm for 41 years. Raising two children-Jonathan (Holli) and Jessica (Travis) and now, exhibiting rural life for their grandchildren-Jacob, Jordan, Johanna, Jensen, Stella, Margot and Isaiah-has been their most important accomplishment and privilege. They look forward to continuing that tradition and legacy for future generations.
Vander Wey Ranch
The Vander Wey ranch was established in the late 1940’s by John Vander Wey on the plains of South Dakota north of Crookston, Nebraska. Rick and Kitty are now the third generation to have the privilege of owning and carrying on the ranching tradition of this beautiful land. In 2016 they also inherited the Bush ranch on the Niobrara River 33 miles south of the main headquarters. Added to this, there is family land that is leased from Rick’s mom in which his grandmother homesteaded. It is located south of Nenzel, 38 miles southwest from headquarters. The Bush ranch and Nenzel land are home to the majority of the commercial breeding herd for the summer. Being so spread out means lots of travel time on the roads. Though the majority of the cattle work is done by horseback, the checking of pastures is done by the necessity of a pickup. In the late fall a large cattle drive is held to drive home the cows from the Niobrara River. Rick and Kitty’s daughters, Sadie and Mikah, help with all aspects of the ranch. Without a hired man they all keep busy with the ranch work!