January stock shows have been the scene of achievement for a South Dakota cattle-raising and showing family. Winning titles at both the Black Hills Stock Show and National Western Stock Show, one Simmental bull, CKCC Edge 7692E, has brought abundance for the Efflings. CK Cattle is owned and operated by Chris and Kristi Effling and their three daughters, Cagney, Chesney, and Kenidey in Highmore, SD. The girls enjoy participating in the junior showing associations. As a family they produced a bull that won over the judges and brought home two titles to their 500-head working ranch of Charolais, Simmental, and Hereford cattle. They operate in conjunction with Kristi’s parents, Lanny and Jayne that operate Wager Cattle out of Gettysburg, SD.
“Our youngest daughter Kenidey showed him at the Black Hills Stock Show. Chris showed him in Denver, but the Boyerts got him ready. They purchased half of him at the Black Hills Stock Show,” Kristi said. Boyert Show Cattle own a share of Edge. They specialize in showing cattle and have won numerous titles at the NWSS and the junior associations.
Kenidey and Edge won the supreme champion title at the BHSS in 2018, and with Chris showing him this year at the NWSS, he won the Champion Percentage Simmental Bull. Chris said they enjoy showing because they can pick out their own genetics and compare them to other producers’ and see how they compare. This bull wasn’t their first success story.
CK Cattle began roughly 15 years ago when they purchased papered Simmentals, and since then have won the BHSS supreme champion bull three times and supreme female once, along with the champion Charolais in Denver, Kansas City, and Louisville. Chris emphasized that showing isn’t their priority, though—they focus on producing genetics that can do well in that aspect, but also in feed yards for commercial producers. He said they just thought it was a good fit when choosing the genetics for Edge.
“We matched the quality, growth, and performance, and it seemed like combining all those things was a good match with that cow. We bought his mother in Denver at the stock show as a bred heifer. She’s a cow that’s done a really nice job. She’s raised cattle that have sold in different states, bulls and females alike. She’s been a really good producer year in and year out for us. We make sure to flush her—this bull was a product of an embryo transplant,” Chris said.
The champion bull is also used on their cowherd and they sold semen out of him last year, so calves will be produced out of him this spring within numerous herds, including their own. Even with the large success they’ve found at the two stock shows they’ve taken him, they won’t be showing this champion bull again or offering him for sale. They plan on utilizing the bull as most ranchers would.
“He was run on cows last summer. He’s not one of those that just sit in the barn; he’s doing his job. We’ve been approached by people that want him for semen or special shares, but we just have semen for sale right now,” Chris said.
In addition to operating a large cattle operation, Chris works as a field service and ringman for Tri-State Livestock News. While managing all this, showing is a large part of the family’s lifestyle.
“A lot of it is promoting, but that’s not our main focus. We were getting ready to have a sale on Feb. 9, so we like to raise cattle that have quality and are profitable to commercial producers,” Chris said. “We enjoy the people of the business and that’s probably the part we enjoy the most. We just try to raise good cattle and do the best we can.”