Innovative Livestock Services, Inc.
Down Arrow
Thursday, June 8 2017 7:15 AM
By Anne Burkholder

A Lifetime of Care

Every calf in the United States begins his life on a home ranch. More than 97% of these ranches are family farms and nearly 1/3 of these are located in the Plains region. Did you know that in Nebraska, cattle outnumber people 4:1? For my family of five, that equates to 20 bovines! The home ranch provides an important beginning for the calf as the care that he receives from his rancher, as well as the nutrition that comes from both his mother and the grass pastures that they call home plays a huge role in determining his long term health and fitness.

The Home Ranch

The Lazy YN Ranch, located near Maxwell, Nebraska provides a home to the Miller family and a cowherd of close to 600 breeding animals. Cal, his son Tim, Grandson Jeff, and Grandson-in-law Levi spend their days caring for their families, the land, and their cattle. With four generations living on the ranch, family and work often become intertwined. Daily cattle chores, summertime haying, and twice a year calving provide important moments for both the cattle and their dedicated caregivers.

I first met Cal and Tim almost a decade ago, and our partnership has been a great success story. Together, we share ideas and information about the health and performance of the cattle, tracing them from birth to harvest.

The Stocker Ranch

Like many cattlemen, the Millers are both careful and organized. Attention to detail makes for good animal caregivers and allows their cattle to thrive – not only on the home ranch, but also on my grass pastures where they grow for several months after leaving the home ranch. Because Tim and I collaborate and work together caring for the cattle, we set the animals up for success even when their address changes.

I believe that growing up on a ranch builds compassion and responsibility. One of the many things that I share with Cal, Tim, Jeff and Levi is the desire to raise my children alongside my cattle. Daily chores teach both empathy and work ethic. When my girls learn how to be caregivers, they develop an innate sense of unselfishness and a desire to put others’ needs ahead of their own.

As I manage the amount of grass on my pasture acres, I make decisions on when to move cattle according to the amount of feed that Mother Nature and my land give to me each year. Like the Miller family, I need to ensure that our land is sustainable over many generations. Optimizing grazing allows for healthy animal growth as well as hearty grass. Our grazing land is made up predominantly of cool season grasses. When the summer heat peaks, the nutrition quality of our grass decreases and some of our animals must be gathered and moved.


Roberts Cattle Company

This month, 109 of our steers will move from grass pasture to Roberts Cattle Company. A part of the ILS family since ­­2000, Roberts is located about 50 miles from the Lazy YN Ranch and just 20 miles from my grass pastures.  The Roberts team, led by manager Greg Comfort and assistant manager Brandon Sorenson will take over as the primary caregivers  as we move them off of grass and into the feed yard this week. Greg and Brandon are both great cattlemen and I love the patience and understanding that goes into their animal care. A combination of quiet personalities and experience as caregivers make them a perfect fit for the Lazy YN cattle care team.

Look for facebook and twitter posts on the Lazy YN cattle as we spend the month of June telling “their story”  along with the stories of all of the great people that work hard to offer them a lifetime of care. Through team work and collaboration, we all are able to bring you responsibly raised beef – from our families to your dinner table.


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Innovative Livestock Services, Inc.

Innovative Livestock Services

2006 Broadway Avenue
Great Bend, KS 67530

(620) 793-9200

4805 Vue du Lac
Manhattan, KS 66503

(785) 587-9700

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