(Sam Capoun) Good morning and welcome to That’s My Farm, I am your guest host Sam Capoun and today we are in Wheaton, Kansas, with the Moser Ranch. Lisa and Harry Moser, along with their family produce Simmental, Angus and SimAngus cattle. This year they will host their 25th Bull Sale on Saturday, November 12th. Stay tuned after the break, we will hear from the Mosers.
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(Sam Capoun) Welcome to That’s My Farm. I’m your guest host, Sam Capoun, and today, we’re in Wheaton, Kansas, with Harry and Lisa Moser. You guys run and operate the Moser Ranch. So, tell us a little bit about that. (Harry Moser) Well, we are a family-run operation. I have our son and our son-in-law and daughter all involved in the ranch. We moved over here, we moved to Kansas in 1986 from North Dakota. I was born and raised in North Dakota. Lisa was born and raised in Nemaha County up north of here. (Sam) So what brought you guys from North Dakota back to Kansas? (Lisa Moser) We were married in 1982, and we spent the first four years of our married life farming and ranching with Harry’s folks in North Dakota. They farmed several hundred acres and ran a purebred Simmental operation. In 1986, we had the opportunity to move to Kansas and just do ranching, which is our passion, more so than the farming. So, on March 1, 1986, we packed up 75 Simmental cows and one two-year old son, and moved over to Soldier, Kansas, where we worked for a gentleman for four years, and then we were his partners for an additional four years. Then after that eight-year stint, we decided to break out on our own and so, this opportunity came up, and that brought us to Wheaton in 1994. (Sam) So you guys have continued on the legacy with the Simmentals then. (Harry) Yes. We have. We’ve also incorporated Angus, and then we do quite a bit with SimAngus, which is our largest market right now. (Sam) So what else do you guys do? You have a little bit of farmland as well? (Harry) We do some farming. Our son takes care of all that. He has quite a bit on his own. We raise silage, corn silage, alfalfa, and put up prairie hay and brome hay. Those are our primary crops, and we’re in the middle of haying right now. (Sam) So how are your children involved in the operation? How do they fit in? (Harry) Well, Cameron, he’s our oldest and takes care of all the farming as I’ve mentioned earlier. He also has a truck line, and he does all of our cattle hauling and a lot of our hay hauling. Then, he helps out with the cattle when he can. Kendra works for, she’s an Office Manager for the County Weed Department. Her husband Rex Michaelis is a full-time with me on the cattle side. He does a lot of the AI, and pasture check and helps with the hay, calving and all that stuff. Our youngest daughter, Kayla, is a teacher, teaches Biology out at Larned, Kansas. They’re expecting their first child in just a few weeks. So, we’re very fortunate because Rex and Kendra live right on the place here with us so we get to see their three children, our three grandchildren every day. Cameron and Carrie and their two children are only a mile away. So, we’re very fortunate to have them all very close to us. (Sam) And you both have had the opportunity to stay and work on the farm as well? (Lisa) Yes. We have been blessed, because we’ve got to live our dream for the last 34 and a half years. (Sam) Well, stay tuned; we’ll hear more about that dream in just a bit.
(Sam) Welcome back to That’s My Farm. I’m here with Harry Moser in one of your pastures with your bulls. Now, earlier you emphasized that you have Simmental and SimAngus genetics. (Harry) Yes. (Sam) What have you seen with those genetics, and why do you choose them? (Harry) Well, like I said, we do have three. We call them, consider them three breeds: Simmental, SimAngus, and Angus. I guess our push towards the SimAngus thing, and that’s our, the clientele or the new customers we’re bringing in, want a touch of Simmental. They don’t necessarily want a pure breed Simmental. So, SimAngus cattle have fit their programs really well, gives them a little added growth, a little extra milk, some extra muscle, and yet they still have the characteristics of the Angus breed. So that’s why the SimAngus cattle have been pretty well liked. (Sam) So you guys have been in the business for a while. What are some differences that you’ve seen over the years with the genetics? (Harry) When you think back, Lisa and I have been married almost 35 years, and when we first married, they had horns, red and white spotted Simmentals, went through the stage of frame 10 cattle, and that kind of stuff. We’ve always tried to stay in the middle of the road. We introduced to Black Angus probably as soon as anybody in the breed. For the F1’s, we’ve been selling them for almost 30 years, basically, the SimAngus cattle. So the traits, the carcass traits, the maternal traits, polled and homozygous black traits were all very important, and that’s one thing we’ve moved towards and try to maintain. (Sam) How is that functionality a selling point for your buyers? (Harry) Just like I said, the marketability of these cattle they can take them to any sale barn, or video auction, or any place like that. I think there’s a more of a demand for crossbred cattle, so they are crossbred. If they’re retaining ownership, they get the extra boost in the feedlot, and it doesn’t hurt them on the carcass end of things. (Sam) Do you guys do a lot of AI and embryo work? (Harry) Yes. Lisa and Rex do all the AI for us. Lisa likes to breed the heifers. Rex likes to AI the cows. Every cow and every heifer gets AI at least once, and then we do have cleanup bulls that we follow up behind that. Cows that have maybe a temperament problem, an udder problem, something like that, we put them in our recip herd. The only chance they have on our place is to raise genetics from another female. (Sam) And then you talked about a little bit earlier that you have some heifers that you custom for people? (Harry) Yes. We do and not in a large degree, but we have customers that bring heifers to us, that we develop an AI, and send back to him. We even had one customer this year; we took them all the way through the cleanup bull. Because he has a smaller herd, he didn’t have a cleanup bull to put on those heifers, so we did that for them. We do that also and then we market some of our heifers. The second cut of heifers will breed and sell as breds. A few years ago, when the cattle market was really good, we sold them as opens in the market, which is good for opens, it was for breeds. We didn’t go through breeding them. (Sam) Nice selling. (Harry) Yes. (Sam) Well stay tuned, we’ll be right back and we’ll hear more about their bulls, and their Bull Sale.
(Sam) Welcome back to That’s My Farm. Harry, one of your main emphases here on the Moser Ranch is your bull program. You talked about the generations. What are some different management ways that you’ve seen in the past couple years? (Harry) Well, when we first started having Bull Sales in Kansas, we had a February sale; had all spring calves so we would wean those calves in September, had to push them relatively hard to get them ready for market by the end of early February. In 2005, we decided to switch, we went to a larger fall herd, so we changed our methods of developing these bulls, and as you see these are the spring bulls behind us. They’re weaned in the fall in October, maintained to grow maybe two to two-and-a-half pounds a day in the feedlot during the winter, and then they come to grass. They spend the summer out here on grass. I think we’ve seen a huge benefit, as far as feet and legs. Definitely these bulls aren’t as heavy or as fat as what they used to be so we’re seeing, which we feel is good, they develop more naturally out here. The fall calves are the same way; we wean them in April, get them weaned for about two weeks, and then they go to a section of grass we have on the east side of 99, or west side of 99, and they’re developed the same way. Even when we bring the bulls in, we don’t put them into a feedlot situation; they go back out on the grass traps, the polled bulls on an 80 acres trap, these are spring bulls will be on a 40 acres trap, and they’re fed to gain three to three-and-a-half pounds a day. And we get bulls that will gain a lot better that, because of the compensatory gain that we get. (Sam) This is really appealing to commercial men, because when they come to buy the bulls there as is, they’ve been out in the pasture; they’re ready to go. I know a lot of people stick them in the feedlot, and then they feed them, and they just get heavy and big, and then they take them back to their operation; they melt down to nothing. (Harry) We see less of that, especially with the yearling cattle, because they’re only carrying two-tenths back fat probably, when we ultra sound. So we feel that’s a benefit when they’re out there breeding cows, they are what they are. Some people look at our yearling weights and they’re not they’re not 1,400 pounds, which they’re not going to be. But we still have a lot of 11, 1200 pounds yearling weights, with bulls that run on grass most of the summer. (Sam) When is your sale this year? (Harry) Here it’s the second Saturday, in November, and I’ll probably get this wrong, but I think it’s the 12th of November. It’s our 25th sale. For us it’s a really neat deal to be in the business that long, and to do what we’re doing that long, and I contribute a lot of our success to our customers, because we try to nurture our relationships with our customers, they are more than just a bull buyer. We want to know what their cattle are like. We try to make suggestions on what kind of bulls we feel they could utilize, we try to make herd visits, or follow-up calls if there’s any kind of issues. There are a lot of guarantees out here on bulls and we feel like we have as good a guarantee on cattle as anybody else. (Sam) If someone is interested in purchasing a bull, how many do you guys typically sell and do you have any heifers that you sell as well? (Harry) We private treaty almost all of our heifers. The bulls will sell a 100 to 110 in the fall sale, and then we also private treaty some of the younger bulls or bulls that weren’t quite ready for the sale. We private treaty those in the spring, anywhere between 20 to 40 head, depending upon how they sort out. (Sam) How can I get hold a hold of you? (Harry) We have a web page that Lisa maintains, moserranch.com. It’s the best way to get hold of us, phone numbers and everything are on there. That’s the best way to make contact and just like everything else in this world, 10 years, 15 years ago, everybody used to call us. We have one customer in Wakeeney, Kansas, which has bought eight bulls from us, bought them over the Internet. (Sam) Wow. (Harry) I have yet to meet the man. We delivered bulls out there and the times we’ve delivered bulls out there, he wasn’t there. (Sam) So it’s your guy’s sale online or is it here on the ranch? (Harry) It is a video auction at the ranch, but it is also online. (Sam) All right. If you’re looking in to purchase a bull, got ahead and visit the Moser’s website or give them a call and stay tuned, we’ll be right back for That’s My Farm.
(Sam) Welcome back to That’s My Farm. Now we’re here with Rex Michaelis and his two boys, Tate and Tucker. Now Rex, earlier Harry talked a lot about you and the other kids coming back to the farm, so what do you do on the operation? (Rex Michaelis) Well, I mainly take care of the day-to-day operations of the cattle feeding, the AI-ing, haying. The boys are here and help almost every day; about three days a week usually they’re with me. They get in on all the action. They love to work calves and ride horses and just do anything they can to help out. (Sam) What’s the hay and everything looking like this year? How’s that going? (Rex) Well, it’s going good. We got a lot of hot dry weather, good for hay and not much else, but the quantity is not there, but we’re going to get some rains hopefully this weekend, hope our prairie hay help quite a bit. (Sam) Why is it important here that the boys come back and help you? (Rex) The boys just love to work. It instills a good work ethic in them for growing up, they know they have to get out and work every day. They’re involved with 4-H, so that really helps. They know they have to get up and do chores and take care of their animals. (Sam) Rex, what are your hopes for the future with the boys and the other of the kids in the family and what are you thinking? (Rex) I think everyone involved in agriculture’s always looking to the future, hoping that their children and future generations can come back and do what we do. We spend a lot of time working on the land as far as spraying and just keeping the land up so it will be there for the future generations to have and always looking at new technology and ways to expand that we’ll have enough in the future for any of the children to come back, too. (Sam) Are you boys excited to come back to the farm? What’s your favorite part? Riding horses? Stay tuned; we’ll be right back. We’re going to wrap up this segment of That’s My Farm.
(Sam) Welcome back to That’s My Farm. Harry and Lisa, I understand that in 2003, you guys were the Seedstock Producers of the year for BIF, and then in 2014, you guys were the Block and Bridle seedstock producers, and you were also a Chairman on the Simmental Board? (Harry) Yes. (Sam) With all of your guy’s outreach, how do you guys, go out and advocate for the AG industry? (Harry) Well, we feel like in any business, if we don’t promote our product and what our industry does, we’re just kidding ourselves. We spend a lot of time letting groups come on, whether it’s a classroom group from Topeka or AG in the Classroom teachers during the summer. We’ve done those types of things. We believe in getting involved in the industry. I’m very involved in the Kansas Livestock Association and as you said, I was Chairman of the Board in 2007 with the American Simmental Association. I spent six years on the board there, but we’re very involved with 4-H and no longer County Superintendent but did that for, I don’t know, 18 years, so we were very involved in that, very involved in our church and anything locally that we can help out to promote our industry and our business. (Sam) How do you plan on continuing with the legacy? (Harry) Well we’ve already, Rex has an interest in continuing on doing some of the things we’re doing. We don’t expect things to be the way we did it, because with new generations comes change, and we try to be very open to ideas and change. As we get older it’s harder to accept those, but we always try to look forward and be proactive in what we’re doing. We’ve helped Cameron develop into what he is. We’re trying to help Rex and Kendra, if they want to do this the rest of their life, and allow us to maybe back out quietly over time. We’re not ready to quit. We won’t. (Lisa) We’ll have our 25th Bull Sale, on November 12th this year, so we kind of think that’s a neat milestone. Because the average purebred producer, I believe is only in the business for seven years. We feel our family based program has worked. (Sam) Are you guys excited for your grandkids to come back then? (Lisa) Yes, if they want to. [Laughter] (Lisa) We leave that open ended, because as with our children, we wanted them to go where their passions were, and we would expect our grandchildren to do the same, and if it’s somewhere else, that’s perfectly fine. (Sam) We have two hard-working grandchildren right now, don’t you? (Lisa) Yes. [Laughs] (Harry) Yes, Tuck and Tate are they eight and six, I guess, and ride horse, and want to be out here doing things, and that’s great. I think it builds some character, builds some work ethic. Those kinds of kids I think down the road will do well in whatever they want to do. (Sam) Well Harry and Lisa, thank you for being great examples of those in the AG industry, and thank you for joining us today on That’s My Farm. Make sure you watch us every Friday, here on AGam in Kansas, for That’s My Farm. Thanks for joining us.
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