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Straight Up | September 2023

A conversation with everyday Stockmen,

Featuring Cory Schrag, Schrag-Nikkel Show Cattle of Marion, S.D.



About the Stockman.

"I am a fourth generation Shorthorn breeder. My great-great grandfather imported Shorthorns from Russia in the late 1800s. I have continued the family tradition with my wife, Melissa, and my son, Jaxon, along with my daughter, Samantha, and son-in-law, Jake Nikkel. Jake and Sammi were married this past May and we now have joined both family operations to form Schrag-Nikkel Show Cattle and have facilities in Marion, S.D., and McPherson, Kan."


What about the beef cattle industry excites you the most?

"The families that we have the chance to work with and seeing their excitement to become involved in the breed and accomplish success for themselves."


What is your least favorite job on the farm?

"Calving season night checks and frozen waterers."


What is the most used tool on your farm? How old is it?

"My favorite tool is an old tamp rod for setting posts. I used the same one when I was a kid, and I just can’t believe that I haven’t lost it in 40 years!"


What is your go-to sorting apparatus?

"An old, bent show stick."


Describe your best day.

"Best day is sale day. It’s always so great to see the barn full of old customers as well as new young families that are just starting their junior career."



Your favorite non-farm activity to do in your free time?

"Love watching the Minnesota Twins (if they win)."


The most important lesson you’ve learned in this business?

"Can’t let the bad days get to you. This business has its ups and downs and there is always a brighter day just around the corner."


Which animal (any species) has left the greatest impact on you?

"No doubt, one of my personal favorites is the Shorthorn bull, Dunbeacon Venture. I had the opportunity to serve as the American Shorthorn Ambassador to Australia in 1993 and lived there for six months. While I was there, I found a bull calf that I fell in love with. We worked out a deal and imported the live bull from Australia. At the time, that was the first live importation of a Shorthorn bull to the United States since 1972. Dunbeacon Venture turned into a tremendous breeding bull and left the breed with some outstanding females. His influence is still evident today."


Upcoming Sale:

The Family Event Sale

October 14, 2023 - Marion, S.D.


Photos courtesy Schrag-Nikkel Show Cattle

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