GOLDEN VALLEY, N.D. – On the green rolling hills and valleys in southwestern North Dakota, the Schriefer family raises distinctive registered Red Angus bulls and females on their seedstock and commercial operation.
In addition, Marc and Jodi Schriefer, third-generation farmers/ranchers on Schriefer Ranch, LLC, also no-till several crops, including feed crops for their cattle.
The couple has two children, a son, Riley Schriefer, and a daughter, Cassi Hammerness.
Cassi and her husband, Bill, recently purchased a home with some acreage in Cardwell, Mont. Cassi works for Elanco Animal Health, where she often travels worldwide, and Bill is a credit officer for Northwest Farm Credit Services.
Riley and his wife, Cheyenne, who work on the family operation, live a quarter of a mile from Schriefer ranch headquarters. Cheyenne also owns her own business “All Travel Matters” from her home.
“Riley and Cheyenne have blessed us with two beautiful grandchildren, August, who is 2 years old, and Adeline, who is 3 months old,” Marc said. The Schriefers formed their LLC when Riley and Cheyenne became partners in the family operation.
The family is busy year-round, and just finished weaning all their calves.
“We just brought our 2-year-old sale bulls home on Tuesday, Nov. 5, and the 2019 calves were weaned the next day,” Marc said. “Hopefully, if this fall stays open, we may not have to start feeding cows until early December.”
The family belongs to the North Dakota Red Angus Association (NDRAA), and Jodi is the current president of the NDRAA. She takes care of the Red Angus data for their family ranch.
“We’ve been busy getting ready for our NDRAA annual meeting and state sale, which is held in December in Bismarck and Mandan,” Jodi said.
The family ranch began when Marc’s grandfather, Henry Schriefer, an immigrant from Germany, came to North Dakota as a teamster on a custom threshing crew from Nebraska.
“Henry met my grandmother, Ida, who was the daughter of one of the original homesteaders in the area, and married her,” Marc said.
His grandparents were working in Montana, hauling beets, when the current Schriefer ranch came up for sale from a depression era foreclosure. They purchased it on the advice of my great grandpa who was a very close neighbor at the time.
Marc’s dad, Robert, grew up on the Schriefer ranch, and his mother, Marlene, grew up on a farm north of Beulah.
“It seems like we have always had at least two generations of Schriefers working the cattle and land since 1936,” Marc said.
Jodi grew up on a cattle ranch, which also had a rodeo stock business. Her family had the timed event stock for most of the North Dakota rodeos and also had a contract for the winter months with the Dickinson State University rodeo club to supply roping cattle for their winter practices and ropings.
“I team roped through my high school years,” Jodi said, adding she went to NDSU afterward. “I always wanted to ranch for a living, and I’ve fulfilled that dream. I am just not as involved with rodeo like my heart wants me to be. But our son and daughter stay active with roping and barrel racing, so I am content.”
Marc attended NDSU, graduating in 1987 with a degree in animal science and agriculture economics, before returning to the ranch.
“Jodi and I met at NDSU and got married in 1987. We both wanted to be ranchers,” Marc said. “Other than some part-time jobs here and there, this is what we’ve done and enjoyed doing.”
Marc’s dad had a couple of Red Angus bulls when he was growing up on the family operation.
“I always liked the performance and disposition of the breed, and in 1988, Jodi and I purchased a few registered Red Angus heifer calves from Ken Forster (Forster Red Angus) and rest as they say, is history,” Marc said.
Marc, Jodi, and Riley work together daily in their partnership on the ranch.
“As far as cattle, Jodi is the cow boss. She decides which cows get culled, which pastures the cows go to in the spring and the bulls that will be in those pastures,” Marc said.
The family has grown their seedstock Red Angus business into one that that is highly respected.
Throughout the years, the family has improved their pastures, water system and grass pastures, and made many other improvements that help the cattle perform well.
They built a feedlot to background their calves in, and Marc plans the nutrition and diets for the cattle.
“Structure, performance and disposition are probably the three main characteristics we focus on with our age-advantaged bulls,” Marc said.
The Schriefers sell their registered Red Angus bulls as 2-year-olds.
Their next registered Red Angus bull sale will be on the second Thursday in March, which is March 12, 2020, at Stockmen’s Livestock Exchange in Dickinson.
They work and move their cattle, not only by the usual ATVs and trucks, but also by horseback.
“Jodi always had horses around growing up and we had some when I was a little kid. Dad preferred the Japanese (Honda) broncs, so we didn’t have any here for a while, but a horse was one of our first purchases as a married couple,” Marc said, with a laugh. “We try to have three or four ranch geldings around now, and Riley utilizes them as much as possible. We still use a combination of horses, ATVs, and utility all-terrain vehicles to check, gather and work cattle.”
Marc said they have some isolated pastures that help with managing their 2-year-old bulls.
“We typically turn our bulls out on grass in mid-April and try to leave them out until early to mid-November. We run them with some yearling steers and market the steers in early September,” he said.
The bulls go into a 10-acre paddock and get fed a roughage-based ration that runs about 30 mega calories.
“This helps further develop the phenotype of cattle we choose to raise and market,” Marc added.
The cows are turned out to pasture the second half of May and the family begins calving in late March, which is also a factor to why they sell only 2-year-old registered bulls.
In future reports, the Schriefers will discuss their operation, including preparing for their sale, breeding, calving, branding, cattle marketing decisions and their crop rotations.
Riley has expanded the family’s digital marketing on social meeting.
For more, see the Schriefers’ website at https://www.schrieferredangus.com.