Owned and operated by Leonard and Linda Smith, Smith Farms was established on September 30, 1973 with no land and very limited resources. The cattle operation consisted of backgrounding calves to run over as yearlings. We also purchased bred cull cows to put in the cornstalks, put some weight on them and sold any baby calves born. We phased out the yearling on grass part of the operation, evolving to fattening the feeders purchased. “Nothing was more fun to watch than a pen of 1500 pound steers playing on a -20 degree Nebraska morning!”
Linda, having been raised on a ranch, still enjoyed the cow and calves-which rubbed off on Leonard. Our first commercial cows were of Hereford background which we bred to Red Angus Bulls.
In the early '8Os we purchased the place we presently live on, but due to a couple bad hail storms, we ended up selling our cow herd, a heart breaker. “Through difficulties experiences in life comes a new opportunity for growth.” A second look at building a cow herd brought us to Angus. Like any breed, many changes have evolved in the last 20 years. This is when Smith Farms Angus became a reality.
Leonard and Linda, along with their four children, Lucas, Jaclyn, Sarah, and Lynden, worked side by side building the foundation of today’s operation. While the kids were growing we also ran a 65 sow farrow to finish operation that we farrowed 2 times per year. The boys learned to drive tractors at a young age to help with the farming side of the operation, which included corn, wheat, alfalfa, and edible beans.
Lucas and Linda took an AI class sponsored by ABS in the spring of 1989, with our first crop of AI calves on the ground in 1990. Lynden went to AI school later so Linda has a couple of back-up helpers. One of our goals is to try to AI every cow at least once before going to pasture. We sold private treaty bulls for several years before we ventured to have a sale at Sheridan Livestock in Rushville, Nebraska. In 2013 we built our own sale barn facility on the place. This being where the bulls have been raised and developed, our hope is the new change will make the sale transition less stressful for all bovines and humans! Those first private treaty buyers have supported us steadily, every year since. Loyalty is very important in life, as friends, and business relationships, adding strength to all involved.
Currently, Smith Farms Angus runs 700 registered cows, along with 100 commercial Angus cows, that are used mainly for our ET programs, which began in 2002. We first used embryos from donor cows out of the Fink Beef Genetics program. We now also use donor cows from our own herd and genetics. We acquired some pasture ground over the years that still lease most of the pasture used every year.
Our son, Lynden, and his wife, Alisa, and family Talan 9, Evan 6, and Milo 2 help run the operation. Lynden is head of the farming and Alisa has the opportunity to do most of the bookkeeping for the cattle and farming operation. Our city girl does wonderfully in the country!
We retain ownership of our feeders until they are harvested. Therefore, we do not chase “fads” when choosing sires. Fads change rapidly and cause too many surprises.
Smith Farms Angus puts an intense emphasis on production efficiency and genetics that allow them to lower input costs. We count on productivity from the cow, Not the Creep Feeder. We work diligently to create a helpful working relationship with our customers, to create a positive bottom line for all parties.
If you need help choosing the right bull for your herd or need some placements for the feedlot, give Leonard a call, he will be glad to help fill your needs.