Thiers completes a decade of cattle breeding expansion


Owners Ryan Thier and his father, Richard – the R&R on behalf of the farm – now have pen space for up to 15,000 head of cattle after extensive expansion efforts over the last decade.

Thier Farm was founded by Ryan’s grandfather, Cyril, who began feeding cattle in the 1920s. Richard, after graduation and a stint in the service, returned to the farm at the late 1950s, and about 40 years later, Ryan joined the operation after earning a two-year degree in farm management and agriculture.

“Dad and I worked together and I gradually took over the reins,” Ryan said.

The feedlot was part of the State Cattlemen’s Tour in 2010, when visitors saw Thiers’ first 1,500-head single-slope barn (built in 2004) and the exterior lots. Since then, 12 new exterior lots with cement bases and mounds, as well as three additional single-slope barns have been built. The lots and a slatted containment barn of 1,500 head were completed in 2014, and two barns with a capacity of 3,000 head were completed in 2016 and 2018. At that time, the Thiers also poured soil in concrete on their existing exterior lots.

“We don’t have Mother Nature to cooperate with us to feed the cattle,” said Ryan, noting that the cement lots are less labor-intensive and the single slope barns not only provide a buffer against the harsh winters, but welcome sunlight and improve efficiency. in livestock feed.

“We’re trying to get consistent gain and conversion,” Ryan said. “With slatted barns, once the cattle are there, they are on their home stretch. “

Cattle go into the outer lots between 300 and 700 pounds and come from producers across the United States. While the Holsteins have been the breed of choice, the Thiers are in the process of converting to native cattle due to better access to markets. Right now, a JBS facility in Green Bay, Wisconsin is their only option for market weight Holsteins.

“Things change every day and we have to adapt, to find that niche market,” Ryan said. “The Holstein market has been difficult in recent years. “

The Thiers feed a ration of silage, earlage, corn, by-products and supplements, and move their feeders under roof for the last 150 to 200 days before reaching market weight.

A commodity shed added over the past decade is one of the biggest things Ryan said they could have done.

“It had the biggest comeback – that and our loading site being under the roof,” he said.

R&R Thier Feedlots employs an average of eight to ten people, which is “a big part of our success,” said Ryan. The next generation of Thiers, who are growing up in the company, are also finding ways to help when needed.

Ryan and his wife, Stephanie, have five children: their 13-year-old son Ryker; and her daughters Lucy, 12; Stella, 10 years old; Hazelnut, 8; and Wren, 6.

“My great-grandfather bought these 80 acres,” Ryan said of the family farm. “He had 16 children and bought 80 acres for each of them. “

Today, Ryan said the family tries to make the most of all the tools they have at their disposal to be successful.

“We are trying to be efficient,” he said. “I think that’s the name of the game in the world today.”

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