GOLDEN VALLEY, N.D. – More than a week of mild weather with sunny afternoons in the high 50s has helped Schriefer Red Angus transition from winter to a beautiful spring season.

New calves are springing up around the ranch and the new mothers look content.

One red heifer beauty is pictured next to her twins, with the two bundled together in a bunk, on the Schriefer’s Facebook page.

With the grass greening, calving is going smoothly.

“We are enjoying the nice weather for calving,” said Marc Schriefer, who operates the seedstock and commercial Red Angus and crop business with his wife, Jodi, and their son, Riley. “Most of the first cycle heifers have calved with pretty good success of live births and good mothering abilities.”  

Riley and Cheyenne’s young son, August, is learning to be a rancher at his young age, paying close attention to the young calves and helping Dad.

Calves are arriving every day. As the more experienced mothers calve, the Schriefers “would rather let the cows do their thing on the range,” and the barn is ready in case of bad weather.

“The cows are really just starting to roll with 10-15 calves a day, and with the weather warm, we are pretty much just checking the calving pasture every 3-4 hours, although we don’t need to at night anymore,” he said.

“Of course, we jump in when we have the occasional backwards calf. If there is a calf that doesn’t nurse right away, we pay immediate attention and can bring those in to deal with,” he continued.

Riley has his horse ready to go if any cow needs assistance, and the family likes to do some daytime checks tooling around in their UTVs.

“Grandson August and Sid, our red heeler, love to ride along in the UTVs when we run out to check on the cows,” he said.

In addition to calving, the Schriefers are delivering their sale bulls with weather, cattle, and customers’ abilities to receive all playing a factor.”

They will also be carcass ultrasounding the yearling bulls and heifers this week. In addition, there is some fence-repairing work to be finished before letting the cow/calves out on to saved spring grass ahead of the native grass that will be ready in a couple of months.

“We will need to fix some fence to get those turned out on some tame grass,” Marc said.

Out in the fields, the Schriefer’s Willow Creek winter wheat for forage that was seeded last fall is “greening up.”

“We continue to get our equipment ready for planting and hope to start seeding sometime in the last half of April,” Marc added.

After their March bull sale and before the social distancing took hold, the Schriefers were able to get out to Montana and look at some different Red Angus cattle.  

“We stayed with our daughter and son-in-law, Cassi and Bill, and let them bid for us at a bull sale. We were able to pick up a couple of new herd sire prospects at Feddes Red Angus,” Marc said. “Jodi’s part-time insurance job is now a work-from-home position due to COVID-19. We, by nature, live a secluded lifestyle, but even when we venture into town, we notice the change.  We hope and pray that everyone stays safe and healthy.”

Marc and Jodi wanted to thank all their readers for following along with them this year. They wish everyone a safe and healthy year.

“We as cattlemen and women, ranchers, and cowboys/cowgirls are eternal optimists because we have to be,” Marc said. “It was an honor and pleasure to share our story with others. God bless all of you and stay safe.”

(As this is the Schriefer’s last report, Farm & Ranch Guide would like to sincerely thank them for all their reports through the long winter. Their laughter and smiles were contagious and we know all their hard work for the Red Angus industry, including Jodi’s tenure as president of the North Dakota Red Angus Association, were greatly appreciated. We wish them continued success in the future.)