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Rooted in the Cattle Industry | March 2024

By Sarah Hill

Photos courtesy Schilling Family

The Schilling family, Edson, Kan., is committed to expanding and improving their Angus-Limousin herd.

Family. Tradition. Dedication. Legacy. Those words can easily describe Schilling Cattle located in Edson, Kan. Owners Ron and Marsha Schilling are proud to see their grandchildren - the seventh generation - involved in the family cattle operation.

Agricultural Roots

The farm was passed down through Marsha’s paternal grandmother’s side of the family and was originally homesteaded in 1886. When Marsha’s parents, Jesse and Doris Craft, started farming the land, they had purchased some additional acres that they couldn’t farm in the 1950s. Jesse decided to buy 150 Hereford cows to run on that land - and a beef herd was established.

Ron’s parents moved to Sherman County in the 1960s, as his father was the county extension agent. Ron started his own herd of cattle in the 1970s as a 4-H project. Marsha began raising Limousin cattle as a 4-H project. Her family bought some Limousin heifers from the Woodard family in Agate, Colo., and Jesse bred Limousin bulls to his Hereford cows.

Ron and Marsha married in 1979 and began their farming journey in 1981 after graduating from Kansas State University. The couple has three sons. Cash and his wife, Amanda, live in Goodland, Kan., and Cash manages the Goodland division of Nutrien and helps with the farm as much as he can. Chance lives in Omaha and assists with marketing in addition to his day job at FNBO Bank. Clay and his wife, Kaycie, have their own thriving operation.

Show Ring Success

Their grandchildren, especially Cash’s daughter Kaelyn, are all involved in showing cattle. Kaelyn is only a freshman in high school but has traveled quite a bit and been very successful in the show ring. She won the 2023 Kansas Angus Futurity show with a homegrown heifer and has her own herd of show heifers. Grandson, Chasyn, is just starting out with his showing career as a first grader. Clay’s children, Cogan and Kambrie, are just getting started with showing cattle, too. Cogan attended his first Limousin Junior Nationals this past summer.

Over the years, the family has had several big wins at major cattle shows. They’ve raised multiple Limousin bulls and heifers that won honors at the National Western Stock Show in Denver. One year, they had a heifer that won the National Junior Limousin Show. They’ve also exhibited cattle at the American Royal in Kansas City, the North American International Livestock Exposition in Louisville, and many state shows in Kansas.

Last year, Ron and Marsha were inducted in the Wall of Honor at the Kansas State Fair, recognizing the couple’s commitment to the livestock industry. “We were very humbled by the honor,” Ron said.

Getting Into Angus

In 2012, the Schillings bought Angus cattle and began transitioning their herd to around 80 percent Angus, with the balance remaining Limousin. The Schilling family pushes EPDs and genomics with their cattle.

“We really like Limousin cattle, but it got really hard to sell bulls,” Ron said. “A lot of guys were switching to Angus bulls and crossing to make Lim-Flex, so we figured we might as well have some Angus cows, too.”

The operation hosted 17 production sales selling Limousin cattle in the 1980s and ‘90s. After starting their Angus herd, the family resumed hosting their annual production sale. This year is the eighth sale since they brought it back. The sale will offer about 50 bulls and 25 registered females.

“Our goal is to breed a well-balanced animal that’s structurally correct and sound, while pushing maternal traits,” Ron said. “We want to produce high-quality bulls for our customers’ own herds.”

The Schilling family has implemented bulls such as G A R Home Town, DB Iconic G95, Ellingson Badlands 0285, and Poss Ratified into their breeding program, and Ron said they’re really liking the calves they’re seeing.

“We use an extensive AI program and also use ET quite a bit,” Ron said. “We run our own cleanup bulls. Cows calve from the end of January through April 1.”

Expanding the Operation

The Schillings continue expanding their operation with additional acres. Ron said the operation currently has enough grass to run about 400 cows, although drought has influenced that number to some extent. The family also raises irrigated corn and milo and dryland wheat and corn. Some of the corn is used to feed the cattle, in addition to hay.

The cattle mostly graze on native grasses on a property south of the main home place from April through November 1. After that, the herd grazes cornstalks until mid-January. The females are fed hay and dried distiller’s grain cubes until April, when the cycle starts all over.

Calves are weaned around September 1, and bulls for the sale are sorted off. Family neighbor Lowell Carpenter manages bull development and the replacement heifers, and Ron said he does a great job. Any remaining calves are then sold through Superior or fed until the market hits where the Schillings are ready to sell.

“We’re trying to be more visible on Facebook, as social media seems to be working better for us,” Ron said.

The Schillings hope that their grandchildren will take over the operation someday. With all of the grandkids already showing an interest in showing cattle, it’s certainly a possibility.

8th Annual Production Sale:

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

1:00 pm CST - Brewster, Kan.

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