Caffee Ranch: Winning in the pasture and the ring | TSLN.com

Caffee Ranch: Winning in the pasture and the ring

Courtesy photoThe Caffees focus a great deal of time on artificially inseminating cows. They prefer to breed them naturally, instead of synchronizing, and spend many hours in the pasture heat detecting with the assistance of marker bulls. Using horses, they sort off cows one at a time for breeding.

Wessington Springs, SD should have an Internet billboard that reads, “Welcome to club calf country.” The area is home to several cattle ranches, all offering the next 4-H project for youth showpersons. At the hub of it all is Caffee Ranch, a family-owned cow-calf operation, focusing on club calves, which sell each fall during their private treaty pasture sale.

Today, Dave, Nancy, Lacey and Treg Caffee’s cattle operation is a successful business, with producers from all over the country purchasing their calves. However, like most ranches, the Caffees had a modest beginning.

Dave graduated from Mitchell Technical Institute (MTI) in 1971 with a degree in building construction. In addition to his construction work, he had cattle on the side, and he started using artificial insemination (AI) technology in 1974. He married Nancy in 1980, and started ranching full-time in 1981 with 70 mother cows and another 100 cows on shares.

“I kind of fell into the club calf business,” Dave admits. “I sold my first calf in 1976, and it went on to win the Clay County Fair in Spencer, IA, the next fall. The calf was an Angus-Simmental cross, which was the basis of my cowherd. Soon after, we added the Chianina breed to the herd.”

Twenty-five years ago, the Caffees moved to their current location, and were able to expand to 170 head. Today, the family runs 300 cows. Caffee Ranch hosted its first pasture sale in the spring of 1990. Shortly thereafter, they switched to holding their annual club calf sale in the fall, a natural time for the calves to be weaned from the cow and moved to new locations.

“Our customers typically take the calves right off the cow after the sale,” explains Dave. “We have found it works better. If somebody comes to get them after they have been weaned for a couple of days, it’s too much stress. Unless somebody really wants them weaned, then we will do that for them.”

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The sale date typically lands on the third Thursday of September. Potential buyers can look at calves up until the date of the sale and start of the auction. The Caffees set a base price, and buyers call in with bids until the sale is over. Past customers have come from Oklahoma, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Texas, Indiana, Kansas, North Dakota, Montana, Michigan, Wyoming, Idaho, Colorado, Ohio, Maryland, Minnesota and Canada.

Wessington Springs, SD should have an Internet billboard that reads, “Welcome to club calf country.” The area is home to several cattle ranches, all offering the next 4-H project for youth showpersons. At the hub of it all is Caffee Ranch, a family-owned cow-calf operation, focusing on club calves, which sell each fall during their private treaty pasture sale.

Today, Dave, Nancy, Lacey and Treg Caffee’s cattle operation is a successful business, with producers from all over the country purchasing their calves. However, like most ranches, the Caffees had a modest beginning.

Dave graduated from Mitchell Technical Institute (MTI) in 1971 with a degree in building construction. In addition to his construction work, he had cattle on the side, and he started using artificial insemination (AI) technology in 1974. He married Nancy in 1980, and started ranching full-time in 1981 with 70 mother cows and another 100 cows on shares.

“I kind of fell into the club calf business,” Dave admits. “I sold my first calf in 1976, and it went on to win the Clay County Fair in Spencer, IA, the next fall. The calf was an Angus-Simmental cross, which was the basis of my cowherd. Soon after, we added the Chianina breed to the herd.”

Twenty-five years ago, the Caffees moved to their current location, and were able to expand to 170 head. Today, the family runs 300 cows. Caffee Ranch hosted its first pasture sale in the spring of 1990. Shortly thereafter, they switched to holding their annual club calf sale in the fall, a natural time for the calves to be weaned from the cow and moved to new locations.

“Our customers typically take the calves right off the cow after the sale,” explains Dave. “We have found it works better. If somebody comes to get them after they have been weaned for a couple of days, it’s too much stress. Unless somebody really wants them weaned, then we will do that for them.”

The sale date typically lands on the third Thursday of September. Potential buyers can look at calves up until the date of the sale and start of the auction. The Caffees set a base price, and buyers call in with bids until the sale is over. Past customers have come from Oklahoma, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Texas, Indiana, Kansas, North Dakota, Montana, Michigan, Wyoming, Idaho, Colorado, Ohio, Maryland, Minnesota and Canada.

Wessington Springs, SD should have an Internet billboard that reads, “Welcome to club calf country.” The area is home to several cattle ranches, all offering the next 4-H project for youth showpersons. At the hub of it all is Caffee Ranch, a family-owned cow-calf operation, focusing on club calves, which sell each fall during their private treaty pasture sale.

Today, Dave, Nancy, Lacey and Treg Caffee’s cattle operation is a successful business, with producers from all over the country purchasing their calves. However, like most ranches, the Caffees had a modest beginning.

Dave graduated from Mitchell Technical Institute (MTI) in 1971 with a degree in building construction. In addition to his construction work, he had cattle on the side, and he started using artificial insemination (AI) technology in 1974. He married Nancy in 1980, and started ranching full-time in 1981 with 70 mother cows and another 100 cows on shares.

“I kind of fell into the club calf business,” Dave admits. “I sold my first calf in 1976, and it went on to win the Clay County Fair in Spencer, IA, the next fall. The calf was an Angus-Simmental cross, which was the basis of my cowherd. Soon after, we added the Chianina breed to the herd.”

Twenty-five years ago, the Caffees moved to their current location, and were able to expand to 170 head. Today, the family runs 300 cows. Caffee Ranch hosted its first pasture sale in the spring of 1990. Shortly thereafter, they switched to holding their annual club calf sale in the fall, a natural time for the calves to be weaned from the cow and moved to new locations.

“Our customers typically take the calves right off the cow after the sale,” explains Dave. “We have found it works better. If somebody comes to get them after they have been weaned for a couple of days, it’s too much stress. Unless somebody really wants them weaned, then we will do that for them.”

The sale date typically lands on the third Thursday of September. Potential buyers can look at calves up until the date of the sale and start of the auction. The Caffees set a base price, and buyers call in with bids until the sale is over. Past customers have come from Oklahoma, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Texas, Indiana, Kansas, North Dakota, Montana, Michigan, Wyoming, Idaho, Colorado, Ohio, Maryland, Minnesota and Canada.

Wessington Springs, SD should have an Internet billboard that reads, “Welcome to club calf country.” The area is home to several cattle ranches, all offering the next 4-H project for youth showpersons. At the hub of it all is Caffee Ranch, a family-owned cow-calf operation, focusing on club calves, which sell each fall during their private treaty pasture sale.

Today, Dave, Nancy, Lacey and Treg Caffee’s cattle operation is a successful business, with producers from all over the country purchasing their calves. However, like most ranches, the Caffees had a modest beginning.

Dave graduated from Mitchell Technical Institute (MTI) in 1971 with a degree in building construction. In addition to his construction work, he had cattle on the side, and he started using artificial insemination (AI) technology in 1974. He married Nancy in 1980, and started ranching full-time in 1981 with 70 mother cows and another 100 cows on shares.

“I kind of fell into the club calf business,” Dave admits. “I sold my first calf in 1976, and it went on to win the Clay County Fair in Spencer, IA, the next fall. The calf was an Angus-Simmental cross, which was the basis of my cowherd. Soon after, we added the Chianina breed to the herd.”

Twenty-five years ago, the Caffees moved to their current location, and were able to expand to 170 head. Today, the family runs 300 cows. Caffee Ranch hosted its first pasture sale in the spring of 1990. Shortly thereafter, they switched to holding their annual club calf sale in the fall, a natural time for the calves to be weaned from the cow and moved to new locations.

“Our customers typically take the calves right off the cow after the sale,” explains Dave. “We have found it works better. If somebody comes to get them after they have been weaned for a couple of days, it’s too much stress. Unless somebody really wants them weaned, then we will do that for them.”

The sale date typically lands on the third Thursday of September. Potential buyers can look at calves up until the date of the sale and start of the auction. The Caffees set a base price, and buyers call in with bids until the sale is over. Past customers have come from Oklahoma, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Texas, Indiana, Kansas, North Dakota, Montana, Michigan, Wyoming, Idaho, Colorado, Ohio, Maryland, Minnesota and Canada.

Wessington Springs, SD should have an Internet billboard that reads, “Welcome to club calf country.” The area is home to several cattle ranches, all offering the next 4-H project for youth showpersons. At the hub of it all is Caffee Ranch, a family-owned cow-calf operation, focusing on club calves, which sell each fall during their private treaty pasture sale.

Today, Dave, Nancy, Lacey and Treg Caffee’s cattle operation is a successful business, with producers from all over the country purchasing their calves. However, like most ranches, the Caffees had a modest beginning.

Dave graduated from Mitchell Technical Institute (MTI) in 1971 with a degree in building construction. In addition to his construction work, he had cattle on the side, and he started using artificial insemination (AI) technology in 1974. He married Nancy in 1980, and started ranching full-time in 1981 with 70 mother cows and another 100 cows on shares.

“I kind of fell into the club calf business,” Dave admits. “I sold my first calf in 1976, and it went on to win the Clay County Fair in Spencer, IA, the next fall. The calf was an Angus-Simmental cross, which was the basis of my cowherd. Soon after, we added the Chianina breed to the herd.”

Twenty-five years ago, the Caffees moved to their current location, and were able to expand to 170 head. Today, the family runs 300 cows. Caffee Ranch hosted its first pasture sale in the spring of 1990. Shortly thereafter, they switched to holding their annual club calf sale in the fall, a natural time for the calves to be weaned from the cow and moved to new locations.

“Our customers typically take the calves right off the cow after the sale,” explains Dave. “We have found it works better. If somebody comes to get them after they have been weaned for a couple of days, it’s too much stress. Unless somebody really wants them weaned, then we will do that for them.”

The sale date typically lands on the third Thursday of September. Potential buyers can look at calves up until the date of the sale and start of the auction. The Caffees set a base price, and buyers call in with bids until the sale is over. Past customers have come from Oklahoma, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Texas, Indiana, Kansas, North Dakota, Montana, Michigan, Wyoming, Idaho, Colorado, Ohio, Maryland, Minnesota and Canada.

Editor’s Note: For more information on the Caffee Ranch breeding program and their cattle, link to http://www.caffeeranch.com/index.html. To take advantage of Lacey’s work with LC Promotions, link to http://www.lcpics.com. Learn more about EQIP at http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/eqip.

The Caffee’s will hold their 2011 Caffee Ranch Club Calf Sale at the farm 13 miles west and two miles North of Wessington Springs, on Sept. 22, 2011.

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