GLEN HAVEN, Wis. – Whether it’s their Angus breeding stock or the beef sold in their meat shop, the Retallicks of 2K Cattle Enterprises shoot for the best quality.
Aristotle was quoted as saying “Quality is not an act; it’s a habit.” The Retallick family has made excellent-quality cattle breeding a habit now for decades, happy customers say.
Kelsi Retallick represents the fourth generation of her family to raise cattle. Along with her father, Kevin Retallick, she manages 250 cows and 50 replacement heifers. A life-long cattleman, the older Retallick purchased his first Angus heifer in 1968 from Bernard Pedretti of Prairie du Chien; Pedretti was a well-known cattle breeder at the time.
Kevin Retallick’s wife, Keri Retallick, owns The Meat Schoppe in Lancaster, Wisconsin. There one can find a number of 2K’s beef products as well as pork from nearby Wolf L&G Farms. Keri Retallick also is the executive vice-president of the Wisconsin Pork Association.
The cattle farm’s name is a nod to the family’s first initial. “K” runs through the family – Kelsi’s two sisters are named Keela and Kelli. Keela nee Retallick Trennepohl is an assistant professor of animal science at Western Illinois University. Kelli Retallick is president of Angus Genetics Inc., based in St. Joseph, Missouri.
“We raise a few Angus show heifers, but our main focus is breeding animals for commercial producers,” Kelsi Retallick said. “We mainly sell to producers in Wisconsin as well as in Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois. We’ve also sold as far as California.”
The Retallicks market a lot of bulls, she said. They visit customer herds to find bulls that fit those needs.
“Artificial insemination and embryo transfer are big for us,” Kevin Retallick said.
Offspring from Angus bulls are easy-gaining and easy-going, he said.
“Buyers look for those traits in commercial herds,” he said.
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And the trend of more beef-on-dairy has been good for seed-stock suppliers such as 2K, he said. To introduce new lines into the herd, the Retallicks purchase genetics from other breeders. The last two bulls they purchased came from breeders in the West.
John Laufenberg of Cassville, Wisconsin, has purchased 2K bulls for about 15 years. He said he likes the calving ease of offspring from the bulls as well as the animals’ good growth traits.
“We’ve earned good money from our fat cattle,” he said. “Their carcass quality is excellent. And the Retallicks are easy to deal with; they stand behind their bulls.”
Dick Keene of Keene Farms near Potosi, Wisconsin, has purchased bulls and females from 2K for more than 20 years.
“We’ve had really good luck with their cattle,” Keene said. “We’ve exceled in local, state and national cattle shows. The Retallicks focus on performance traits; their animals always perform well.”
Gary Benning of Blue Grass, Iowa, said he became acquainted with the Retallicks more than five years ago. He was a sales representative for Devenish Nutrition and learned about 2K cattle from one of his customers. One of his interests is investing in cattle genetics, he said.
He purchases heifers from 2K, which the Retallicks raise for him. When they’re sold he earns a good return on investment, he said.
“My hobbies must pay off,” he said. “The Angus breed is a tough industry. You can get good (animals) and not so good ones. But 2K is one of the best breeders around.”
The Retallicks advertise their genetics in publications and through social media, but much of their business comes through word of mouth, Kelsi Retallick said
“Our customers are our best advertising,” she said. “We focus on good customer service and stay involved with our customers.
This is an original article written for Agri-View, a Lee Enterprises agricultural publication based in Madison, Wisconsin. Visit AgriView.com for more information.
Lynn Grooms writes about the diversity of agriculture, including the industry’s newest ideas, research and technologies as a staff reporter for Agri-View based in Wisconsin.