Fickbohm Farms: Old fashioned cattle for the future | TSLN.com

Fickbohm Farms: Old fashioned cattle for the future

Photos by Jan Swan WoodFickbohm Farms herd bull AR SU LU Grant 794ET.

In the West, traditions hang on, as do traditional things, usually because they still work. One of those traditional things is the Shorthorn breed of cattle. Bred originally to be an all around production animal of milk, meat and draft, they originated in Great Britain. Earliest documentation of Shorthorn breeders goes back as far as 1744.

Today, at any livestock sale barn, one can watch the cattle pass through as they are sold, and on any given day, see cattle of Shorthorn heritage. Their frosty, roan hair coat and moderate, meaty frame sets them apart from other breeds.

Fickbohm Farms is located northwest of Newell, SD, and grazing on the lush, fall pasture are registered Shorthorns. The distinctive color coats stand out from a distance. Closer inspection shows thick bodied, moderately framed cattle, with good structure and ample muscling. The cows are long bodied and matronly with square udders and clean profiles. Their calves are butterball fat from the rich milk, and are long and meaty as well. The bull calves are masculine, with strong toplines, wide loins, and muscling down the hind-quarter that reaches nearly to the hock. The heifer calves are pretty headed, smooth, deep flanked, feminine and well muscled.

Calvin Fickbohm remembers going to their neighbor’s place to help the elder gentleman work his calves in the fall. The calves were big and fat and he recalls clearly the quality they possessed.

“When I was about six I told my dad that someday I was going to own that place and those cows,” says Fickbohm.

When the opportunity came, they bought the place and Calvin bought the yearling heifers from the older man.

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That was the beginning of the Shorthorns for Calvin. He and his wife Anne have been registering their Shorthorn cattle since 1994. By buying quality bulls and A.I.ing, they have built their herd carefully, keeping the genetics pure and avoiding many of the pitfalls of purebred cattle as a result. They avoid inbreeding at all costs, and do a lot of research to ensure the lines they use are free of other breeds and defects.

“I’m not interested in raising club calves, so I can’t see putting a lot of leg under them,” says Fickbohm. “You can’t eat the legs.”

Fickbohm continues, “I want to breed cows to the old standards of what they were originally meant for. And that’s beef, calving ease, maternal instinct and milk.

“We have tried to breed the horns off of them, but still have some. Polled is what we are after though,” says Calvin. “My favorites are the roans, so we try for that too.”

A bull he is pretty excited about is one he purchased in Nebraska. He is AR SU LU Grant 794ET. “We have our first crop of calves by him and we really like them.” Fickbohm continues. “Grant has a really good disposition too, so we like that alot.” The bull goes back to Deerpark Improver 3rd, Elbee Rosewood Count, Byland Golddigger, and Mobley Future IA, and brings fresh genetics to the farm. His length, muscling, wide topline and smooth head are being passed on to his offspring very nicely.

Besides the purebred Shorthorns, Calvin and Anne also run some Angus cows. They are bred to Shorthorn and Hereford bulls. The Angus/Shorthorn calves are exceptionally good, with big, powerful steer calves and ultra-feminine heifers. The first cross baldies by the Hereford bull are also very good quality, but obviously, Calvin has a soft spot for the Shorthorn crosses.

All of the Shorthorn bull calves are left bulls until fall, when some will be banded. Calvin is very picky about type and disposition.

“It doesn’t matter how good they are, if they are wild acting, they get banded,” explains Fickbohm. The next cut takes place in January when the bull calves are once again scrutinized. More may be banded then, leaving the cream of the crop as bulls.

The bulls are sold private treaty at the farm and any bulls that are left are usually sold at a turnout bull sale in May. Customers are pleased with the calving ease and the good disposition of the bulls.

Besides the cattle, the Fickbohms also raise winter wheat, and irrigated hay. The hay ground is predominately alfalfa and orchard grass. Having tried intensive grazing cells, Fickbohm is now introducing some red clover to his irrigated fields to cut down on the bloat problems when the cattle are rotated from dryland pasture to irrigated fields. Still in it’s experimental phase, he hopes to be able to implement the red clover in the near future.

Calvin and Anne have two children, and both have been very involved with the cattle and farm. Ashley is a student at Northern State University at Aberdeen, SD, and Ronald is a Senior at Newell High School, where he plays football and wrestles. Both have shown their cattle at fairs and at the Black Hills Stock Show as well.

Anne is the Postmaster at Vale, SD, and Calvin works some construction during the winter to augment the farm income. The whole family enjoys hunting deer and antelope with an ongoing competition between Calvin and Anne as to who can get the biggest buck.

The Fickbohms have taken an old, standard breed, and modernized it to fit today’s markets and their needs without compromising the quality of the cattle. As the saying goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” The Fickbohms are staying with the breed that started them in the cattle business, with an eye toward the future.

In the West, traditions hang on, as do traditional things, usually because they still work. One of those traditional things is the Shorthorn breed of cattle. Bred originally to be an all around production animal of milk, meat and draft, they originated in Great Britain. Earliest documentation of Shorthorn breeders goes back as far as 1744.

Today, at any livestock sale barn, one can watch the cattle pass through as they are sold, and on any given day, see cattle of Shorthorn heritage. Their frosty, roan hair coat and moderate, meaty frame sets them apart from other breeds.

Fickbohm Farms is located northwest of Newell, SD, and grazing on the lush, fall pasture are registered Shorthorns. The distinctive color coats stand out from a distance. Closer inspection shows thick bodied, moderately framed cattle, with good structure and ample muscling. The cows are long bodied and matronly with square udders and clean profiles. Their calves are butterball fat from the rich milk, and are long and meaty as well. The bull calves are masculine, with strong toplines, wide loins, and muscling down the hind-quarter that reaches nearly to the hock. The heifer calves are pretty headed, smooth, deep flanked, feminine and well muscled.

Calvin Fickbohm remembers going to their neighbor’s place to help the elder gentleman work his calves in the fall. The calves were big and fat and he recalls clearly the quality they possessed.

“When I was about six I told my dad that someday I was going to own that place and those cows,” says Fickbohm.

When the opportunity came, they bought the place and Calvin bought the yearling heifers from the older man.

That was the beginning of the Shorthorns for Calvin. He and his wife Anne have been registering their Shorthorn cattle since 1994. By buying quality bulls and A.I.ing, they have built their herd carefully, keeping the genetics pure and avoiding many of the pitfalls of purebred cattle as a result. They avoid inbreeding at all costs, and do a lot of research to ensure the lines they use are free of other breeds and defects.

“I’m not interested in raising club calves, so I can’t see putting a lot of leg under them,” says Fickbohm. “You can’t eat the legs.”

Fickbohm continues, “I want to breed cows to the old standards of what they were originally meant for. And that’s beef, calving ease, maternal instinct and milk.

“We have tried to breed the horns off of them, but still have some. Polled is what we are after though,” says Calvin. “My favorites are the roans, so we try for that too.”

A bull he is pretty excited about is one he purchased in Nebraska. He is AR SU LU Grant 794ET. “We have our first crop of calves by him and we really like them.” Fickbohm continues. “Grant has a really good disposition too, so we like that alot.” The bull goes back to Deerpark Improver 3rd, Elbee Rosewood Count, Byland Golddigger, and Mobley Future IA, and brings fresh genetics to the farm. His length, muscling, wide topline and smooth head are being passed on to his offspring very nicely.

Besides the purebred Shorthorns, Calvin and Anne also run some Angus cows. They are bred to Shorthorn and Hereford bulls. The Angus/Shorthorn calves are exceptionally good, with big, powerful steer calves and ultra-feminine heifers. The first cross baldies by the Hereford bull are also very good quality, but obviously, Calvin has a soft spot for the Shorthorn crosses.

All of the Shorthorn bull calves are left bulls until fall, when some will be banded. Calvin is very picky about type and disposition.

“It doesn’t matter how good they are, if they are wild acting, they get banded,” explains Fickbohm. The next cut takes place in January when the bull calves are once again scrutinized. More may be banded then, leaving the cream of the crop as bulls.

The bulls are sold private treaty at the farm and any bulls that are left are usually sold at a turnout bull sale in May. Customers are pleased with the calving ease and the good disposition of the bulls.

Besides the cattle, the Fickbohms also raise winter wheat, and irrigated hay. The hay ground is predominately alfalfa and orchard grass. Having tried intensive grazing cells, Fickbohm is now introducing some red clover to his irrigated fields to cut down on the bloat problems when the cattle are rotated from dryland pasture to irrigated fields. Still in it’s experimental phase, he hopes to be able to implement the red clover in the near future.

Calvin and Anne have two children, and both have been very involved with the cattle and farm. Ashley is a student at Northern State University at Aberdeen, SD, and Ronald is a Senior at Newell High School, where he plays football and wrestles. Both have shown their cattle at fairs and at the Black Hills Stock Show as well.

Anne is the Postmaster at Vale, SD, and Calvin works some construction during the winter to augment the farm income. The whole family enjoys hunting deer and antelope with an ongoing competition between Calvin and Anne as to who can get the biggest buck.

The Fickbohms have taken an old, standard breed, and modernized it to fit today’s markets and their needs without compromising the quality of the cattle. As the saying goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” The Fickbohms are staying with the breed that started them in the cattle business, with an eye toward the future.

In the West, traditions hang on, as do traditional things, usually because they still work. One of those traditional things is the Shorthorn breed of cattle. Bred originally to be an all around production animal of milk, meat and draft, they originated in Great Britain. Earliest documentation of Shorthorn breeders goes back as far as 1744.

Today, at any livestock sale barn, one can watch the cattle pass through as they are sold, and on any given day, see cattle of Shorthorn heritage. Their frosty, roan hair coat and moderate, meaty frame sets them apart from other breeds.

Fickbohm Farms is located northwest of Newell, SD, and grazing on the lush, fall pasture are registered Shorthorns. The distinctive color coats stand out from a distance. Closer inspection shows thick bodied, moderately framed cattle, with good structure and ample muscling. The cows are long bodied and matronly with square udders and clean profiles. Their calves are butterball fat from the rich milk, and are long and meaty as well. The bull calves are masculine, with strong toplines, wide loins, and muscling down the hind-quarter that reaches nearly to the hock. The heifer calves are pretty headed, smooth, deep flanked, feminine and well muscled.

Calvin Fickbohm remembers going to their neighbor’s place to help the elder gentleman work his calves in the fall. The calves were big and fat and he recalls clearly the quality they possessed.

“When I was about six I told my dad that someday I was going to own that place and those cows,” says Fickbohm.

When the opportunity came, they bought the place and Calvin bought the yearling heifers from the older man.

That was the beginning of the Shorthorns for Calvin. He and his wife Anne have been registering their Shorthorn cattle since 1994. By buying quality bulls and A.I.ing, they have built their herd carefully, keeping the genetics pure and avoiding many of the pitfalls of purebred cattle as a result. They avoid inbreeding at all costs, and do a lot of research to ensure the lines they use are free of other breeds and defects.

“I’m not interested in raising club calves, so I can’t see putting a lot of leg under them,” says Fickbohm. “You can’t eat the legs.”

Fickbohm continues, “I want to breed cows to the old standards of what they were originally meant for. And that’s beef, calving ease, maternal instinct and milk.

“We have tried to breed the horns off of them, but still have some. Polled is what we are after though,” says Calvin. “My favorites are the roans, so we try for that too.”

A bull he is pretty excited about is one he purchased in Nebraska. He is AR SU LU Grant 794ET. “We have our first crop of calves by him and we really like them.” Fickbohm continues. “Grant has a really good disposition too, so we like that alot.” The bull goes back to Deerpark Improver 3rd, Elbee Rosewood Count, Byland Golddigger, and Mobley Future IA, and brings fresh genetics to the farm. His length, muscling, wide topline and smooth head are being passed on to his offspring very nicely.

Besides the purebred Shorthorns, Calvin and Anne also run some Angus cows. They are bred to Shorthorn and Hereford bulls. The Angus/Shorthorn calves are exceptionally good, with big, powerful steer calves and ultra-feminine heifers. The first cross baldies by the Hereford bull are also very good quality, but obviously, Calvin has a soft spot for the Shorthorn crosses.

All of the Shorthorn bull calves are left bulls until fall, when some will be banded. Calvin is very picky about type and disposition.

“It doesn’t matter how good they are, if they are wild acting, they get banded,” explains Fickbohm. The next cut takes place in January when the bull calves are once again scrutinized. More may be banded then, leaving the cream of the crop as bulls.

The bulls are sold private treaty at the farm and any bulls that are left are usually sold at a turnout bull sale in May. Customers are pleased with the calving ease and the good disposition of the bulls.

Besides the cattle, the Fickbohms also raise winter wheat, and irrigated hay. The hay ground is predominately alfalfa and orchard grass. Having tried intensive grazing cells, Fickbohm is now introducing some red clover to his irrigated fields to cut down on the bloat problems when the cattle are rotated from dryland pasture to irrigated fields. Still in it’s experimental phase, he hopes to be able to implement the red clover in the near future.

Calvin and Anne have two children, and both have been very involved with the cattle and farm. Ashley is a student at Northern State University at Aberdeen, SD, and Ronald is a Senior at Newell High School, where he plays football and wrestles. Both have shown their cattle at fairs and at the Black Hills Stock Show as well.

Anne is the Postmaster at Vale, SD, and Calvin works some construction during the winter to augment the farm income. The whole family enjoys hunting deer and antelope with an ongoing competition between Calvin and Anne as to who can get the biggest buck.

The Fickbohms have taken an old, standard breed, and modernized it to fit today’s markets and their needs without compromising the quality of the cattle. As the saying goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” The Fickbohms are staying with the breed that started them in the cattle business, with an eye toward the future.

In the West, traditions hang on, as do traditional things, usually because they still work. One of those traditional things is the Shorthorn breed of cattle. Bred originally to be an all around production animal of milk, meat and draft, they originated in Great Britain. Earliest documentation of Shorthorn breeders goes back as far as 1744.

Today, at any livestock sale barn, one can watch the cattle pass through as they are sold, and on any given day, see cattle of Shorthorn heritage. Their frosty, roan hair coat and moderate, meaty frame sets them apart from other breeds.

Fickbohm Farms is located northwest of Newell, SD, and grazing on the lush, fall pasture are registered Shorthorns. The distinctive color coats stand out from a distance. Closer inspection shows thick bodied, moderately framed cattle, with good structure and ample muscling. The cows are long bodied and matronly with square udders and clean profiles. Their calves are butterball fat from the rich milk, and are long and meaty as well. The bull calves are masculine, with strong toplines, wide loins, and muscling down the hind-quarter that reaches nearly to the hock. The heifer calves are pretty headed, smooth, deep flanked, feminine and well muscled.

Calvin Fickbohm remembers going to their neighbor’s place to help the elder gentleman work his calves in the fall. The calves were big and fat and he recalls clearly the quality they possessed.

“When I was about six I told my dad that someday I was going to own that place and those cows,” says Fickbohm.

When the opportunity came, they bought the place and Calvin bought the yearling heifers from the older man.

That was the beginning of the Shorthorns for Calvin. He and his wife Anne have been registering their Shorthorn cattle since 1994. By buying quality bulls and A.I.ing, they have built their herd carefully, keeping the genetics pure and avoiding many of the pitfalls of purebred cattle as a result. They avoid inbreeding at all costs, and do a lot of research to ensure the lines they use are free of other breeds and defects.

“I’m not interested in raising club calves, so I can’t see putting a lot of leg under them,” says Fickbohm. “You can’t eat the legs.”

Fickbohm continues, “I want to breed cows to the old standards of what they were originally meant for. And that’s beef, calving ease, maternal instinct and milk.

“We have tried to breed the horns off of them, but still have some. Polled is what we are after though,” says Calvin. “My favorites are the roans, so we try for that too.”

A bull he is pretty excited about is one he purchased in Nebraska. He is AR SU LU Grant 794ET. “We have our first crop of calves by him and we really like them.” Fickbohm continues. “Grant has a really good disposition too, so we like that alot.” The bull goes back to Deerpark Improver 3rd, Elbee Rosewood Count, Byland Golddigger, and Mobley Future IA, and brings fresh genetics to the farm. His length, muscling, wide topline and smooth head are being passed on to his offspring very nicely.

Besides the purebred Shorthorns, Calvin and Anne also run some Angus cows. They are bred to Shorthorn and Hereford bulls. The Angus/Shorthorn calves are exceptionally good, with big, powerful steer calves and ultra-feminine heifers. The first cross baldies by the Hereford bull are also very good quality, but obviously, Calvin has a soft spot for the Shorthorn crosses.

All of the Shorthorn bull calves are left bulls until fall, when some will be banded. Calvin is very picky about type and disposition.

“It doesn’t matter how good they are, if they are wild acting, they get banded,” explains Fickbohm. The next cut takes place in January when the bull calves are once again scrutinized. More may be banded then, leaving the cream of the crop as bulls.

The bulls are sold private treaty at the farm and any bulls that are left are usually sold at a turnout bull sale in May. Customers are pleased with the calving ease and the good disposition of the bulls.

Besides the cattle, the Fickbohms also raise winter wheat, and irrigated hay. The hay ground is predominately alfalfa and orchard grass. Having tried intensive grazing cells, Fickbohm is now introducing some red clover to his irrigated fields to cut down on the bloat problems when the cattle are rotated from dryland pasture to irrigated fields. Still in it’s experimental phase, he hopes to be able to implement the red clover in the near future.

Calvin and Anne have two children, and both have been very involved with the cattle and farm. Ashley is a student at Northern State University at Aberdeen, SD, and Ronald is a Senior at Newell High School, where he plays football and wrestles. Both have shown their cattle at fairs and at the Black Hills Stock Show as well.

Anne is the Postmaster at Vale, SD, and Calvin works some construction during the winter to augment the farm income. The whole family enjoys hunting deer and antelope with an ongoing competition between Calvin and Anne as to who can get the biggest buck.

The Fickbohms have taken an old, standard breed, and modernized it to fit today’s markets and their needs without compromising the quality of the cattle. As the saying goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” The Fickbohms are staying with the breed that started them in the cattle business, with an eye toward the future.

In the West, traditions hang on, as do traditional things, usually because they still work. One of those traditional things is the Shorthorn breed of cattle. Bred originally to be an all around production animal of milk, meat and draft, they originated in Great Britain. Earliest documentation of Shorthorn breeders goes back as far as 1744.

Today, at any livestock sale barn, one can watch the cattle pass through as they are sold, and on any given day, see cattle of Shorthorn heritage. Their frosty, roan hair coat and moderate, meaty frame sets them apart from other breeds.

Fickbohm Farms is located northwest of Newell, SD, and grazing on the lush, fall pasture are registered Shorthorns. The distinctive color coats stand out from a distance. Closer inspection shows thick bodied, moderately framed cattle, with good structure and ample muscling. The cows are long bodied and matronly with square udders and clean profiles. Their calves are butterball fat from the rich milk, and are long and meaty as well. The bull calves are masculine, with strong toplines, wide loins, and muscling down the hind-quarter that reaches nearly to the hock. The heifer calves are pretty headed, smooth, deep flanked, feminine and well muscled.

Calvin Fickbohm remembers going to their neighbor’s place to help the elder gentleman work his calves in the fall. The calves were big and fat and he recalls clearly the quality they possessed.

“When I was about six I told my dad that someday I was going to own that place and those cows,” says Fickbohm.

When the opportunity came, they bought the place and Calvin bought the yearling heifers from the older man.

That was the beginning of the Shorthorns for Calvin. He and his wife Anne have been registering their Shorthorn cattle since 1994. By buying quality bulls and A.I.ing, they have built their herd carefully, keeping the genetics pure and avoiding many of the pitfalls of purebred cattle as a result. They avoid inbreeding at all costs, and do a lot of research to ensure the lines they use are free of other breeds and defects.

“I’m not interested in raising club calves, so I can’t see putting a lot of leg under them,” says Fickbohm. “You can’t eat the legs.”

Fickbohm continues, “I want to breed cows to the old standards of what they were originally meant for. And that’s beef, calving ease, maternal instinct and milk.

“We have tried to breed the horns off of them, but still have some. Polled is what we are after though,” says Calvin. “My favorites are the roans, so we try for that too.”

A bull he is pretty excited about is one he purchased in Nebraska. He is AR SU LU Grant 794ET. “We have our first crop of calves by him and we really like them.” Fickbohm continues. “Grant has a really good disposition too, so we like that alot.” The bull goes back to Deerpark Improver 3rd, Elbee Rosewood Count, Byland Golddigger, and Mobley Future IA, and brings fresh genetics to the farm. His length, muscling, wide topline and smooth head are being passed on to his offspring very nicely.

Besides the purebred Shorthorns, Calvin and Anne also run some Angus cows. They are bred to Shorthorn and Hereford bulls. The Angus/Shorthorn calves are exceptionally good, with big, powerful steer calves and ultra-feminine heifers. The first cross baldies by the Hereford bull are also very good quality, but obviously, Calvin has a soft spot for the Shorthorn crosses.

All of the Shorthorn bull calves are left bulls until fall, when some will be banded. Calvin is very picky about type and disposition.

“It doesn’t matter how good they are, if they are wild acting, they get banded,” explains Fickbohm. The next cut takes place in January when the bull calves are once again scrutinized. More may be banded then, leaving the cream of the crop as bulls.

The bulls are sold private treaty at the farm and any bulls that are left are usually sold at a turnout bull sale in May. Customers are pleased with the calving ease and the good disposition of the bulls.

Besides the cattle, the Fickbohms also raise winter wheat, and irrigated hay. The hay ground is predominately alfalfa and orchard grass. Having tried intensive grazing cells, Fickbohm is now introducing some red clover to his irrigated fields to cut down on the bloat problems when the cattle are rotated from dryland pasture to irrigated fields. Still in it’s experimental phase, he hopes to be able to implement the red clover in the near future.

Calvin and Anne have two children, and both have been very involved with the cattle and farm. Ashley is a student at Northern State University at Aberdeen, SD, and Ronald is a Senior at Newell High School, where he plays football and wrestles. Both have shown their cattle at fairs and at the Black Hills Stock Show as well.

Anne is the Postmaster at Vale, SD, and Calvin works some construction during the winter to augment the farm income. The whole family enjoys hunting deer and antelope with an ongoing competition between Calvin and Anne as to who can get the biggest buck.

The Fickbohms have taken an old, standard breed, and modernized it to fit today’s markets and their needs without compromising the quality of the cattle. As the saying goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” The Fickbohms are staying with the breed that started them in the cattle business, with an eye toward the future.