We are family breeders of dual-purpose cattle dating back 82 years to 1936 when the parents of my late husband Kenneth married and started out with a small herd of Milking Shorthorns and a local butter and cream route that the children helped with as they became old enough. The picture at right was taken by my mother-in-law of the herd in those early days.
As Kenneth grew, his father perceived his son’s aptitude for cattle breeding, and gave him more and more responsibility in selecting breeding stock. In their late teens, Kenneth and his brother expanded the herd and facilities, bringing in cows from a number of notable herds, including Emmett Arnold’s Sunnyside herd in Rock County, Wisconsin, W. Arthur Simpson’s herd in Lyndonville, Vermont, and John C. Gage’s herd in Eudora, Kansas. Kenneth became known as the source of some of the best genetics of the Milking Shorthorn breed for great udders and sound production. Our linebred Meriville Peerless and his sons were in the top of the bull lists for several years, and still this influence can be seen throughout the country and the world.
Here is a 1988 pasture photo of Meriville Satin Roansy Cissy #406482, dam of Meriville New Millenium and Meriville Peerless who is in the background of most of our Milking Shorthorns. Kenneth saved this cow family when breeder Arnold Kohley from Lisle, Illinois passed away and his widow needed to disperse the herd.
When I joined the family in 1983, after completing my degree from UW Madison in Agricultural Engineering, Kenneth was beginning to apply his skills and determination to work with the dwindling-but-valuable Dutch Belted breed. His efforts in locating good breeding stock, collecting a wide array of sires when no other breeders or studs were collecting Dutch Belted bulls, and encouraging cooperation among breeders caused him to be credited with practically saving the breed from extinction.
The picture at right shows Kenneth in 2002 with springing heifer Bestyet Golden Dream #9538 (daughter of Grayview Gold Dust), assisted by our daughter Martha. Some of our best cows today descend from this cow, including a magnificent Bestyet Hercules daughter, Hwin, who just had her fourth calf.
After Kenneth’s passing in 2005, the children and I continued on with the herd, pursuing a breeding program emphasizing true dual-purpose cattle in a 100% grass system.
We have saved the best bulls from our own herd for collection, as well as obtaining sires from other breeders we think will be helpful in our herd and yours. We seek to provide a good variety of sires with a spectrum of useful traits.