WIESE & SONS HEREFORDS
Wiese & Sons, a family owned cattle and farming operation, is known throughout the United States and the world for the production of superior Hereford breeding cattle.
Edward Wiese, born in Davenport, Iowa in 1869, was the founder of the family business. He settled first in the Westside area; after herding cattle on open range and observing carefully the traits and characteristics of various cattle, he determined that his choice of breeds would be Herefords.
In 1894 his interest and belief in this whitefaced, hardy appearing, docile and high performing type of beef cattle was so strong that he drove a team and buggy from Westside to Guthrie Center to purchase his first Hereford bull to be used on his few crossbred cows.
In 1904 his purchase of a farm southeast of Manning was significant to the family and recorded the then unheard of price and first $100 per acre land in the area. With him when he came to Manning were his wife, Lucia, daughter, Leona and son, Lester. A daughter, Edna, was born after the move to Manning.
In 1912 Ed Wiese, along with his brothers, purchased their first registered seed stock Hereford cattle in the name of Wiese Brothers.
Les Wiese joined with his father in farming and livestock production in 1918 and the recorded ownership name of their registered Hereford cattle was listed as Ed Wiese & Son.
Ed Wiese & Son operated as a general livestock farm throughout the 1920's and depression years and drought of the 1930's. As weather and economic conditions improved the farm emphasized cattle as their main interest and source of income. With improving transportation convenience the trade territory for the Ed Wiese & Son operation steadily began to expand to include all of Iowa and the surrounding states. An exhibition herd or show herd for the best prospects was placed in competition at state and area shows throughout the Middle West and further expanded the interest in Wiese Herefords of Manning.
Les Wiese and his wife, Helen Spurrier Wiese, were the parents of two sons, Sam and Gene, who were interested also in becoming cattlemen. In 1949 Sam and Gene purchased their grandfather's share in the business, which then became Wiese & Sons. The third generation of Wieses now began to develop and expand their interest in breeding cattle and the marketing of their product.
Using the advanced technology of artificial insemination and performance testing through the use of carefully designed breeding programs, the Wiese & Sons herd moved into the national scene by capturing championship honors at major shows and livestock events throughout the nation. Championship trophies were brought home to Manning from the Kansas City American Royal, The Chicago International, The Houston Stock Show and the world's largest stock show, The National Western of Denver, where their 1976 Denver winner Grand Slam is considered by most stock show experts as the most popular Denver champion of all time.
During this same period of time (1960-1970) the breeding herd was significantly expanded in size and quality. More land was added to service the operation, with most of the farm's acres being devoted to forage production. Conservation practices have been closely adhered to. The latest advances in agriculture technology to conserve the soil and improve production have been used.
With the Wiese & Sons cattle program now attaining a reputation of superiority, the farms' visitors become more numerous. As a result, breeding stock from Wiese & Sons of Manning have been delivered into 44 U.S. states and 12 foreign countries.
Among the most notable sales of Wiese cattle were the sale of a top herd bull prospect to Lyndon B. Johnson at the time he was President of the United States and a plane load shipment of breeding females to a state collective farm in Hungary. Numerous, noted great plains ranchers are among Wiese's annual buyers.
People interested in livestock production, university classes and national and world travel groups visit the herd regularly.
The surrounding area has supplied many persons who have helped the Wiese firm as qualified, loyal, and enthusiastic employees. In addition, the community has willingly helped entertain larger visitation groups.
The partners of Wiese & Sons, Les, Sam, and Gene, have contributed to the livestock business by serving on numerous boards and organizations interested in the improvement of agriculture. Among the offices and responsibilities held by the three have been directorships in the American Hereford Association, The American National Cattleman's Association with presidencies held in the Iowa Hereford Association.
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Les Wiese was the recipient of The Iowa Cattleman's Hall of Fame Award in 1967. Les and Helen Wiese were honorees at The National Register of Merit Show in 1976.
Sam Wiese, a World War II veteran, has participated in both horse and cattle judging throughout the country.
Gene Wiese, a 1951 Animal Science graduate of Iowa State University, served as director of the American Hereford Association from 1966-1972, acting as its president in 1970-1971. He has participated in livestock seminars and judging events throughout the United States, Canada, and Mexico. He was honored as ISU's Block and Bridle Club's Hall of Fame recipient in 1976.
The fourth generation of Wieses have been actively involved in the continued growth of the business, Sam and Millicent Read Wiese with their daughters, Barbara, Mary and Nancy, and Gene and Jean Warnke Wiese with their children, Helen, David and Kathryn.
GERALD HOCKETT COLLIES, DUROCS AND POLLED HEREFORDS
Wm. B. Hockett came to this area before it was actually settled. He brought his dog with him when he moved from Marshall County. The dog was called an English dog but when that breed of dog was registered in Scotland, it was called the Scotch Collie and that is the name it goes by today. He raised these dogs and they were used to herd cattle all over the area and gained a great reputation as herd dogs.
When Wm.'s son Grant moved to his home east of Manning, he took a dog along from the home place. He improved the blood line and sold Scotch Collie dogs for many years. In 1930 when hogs were selling for $2.50 per hundred weight, four month old collie pups were selling for $125.
In 1932, Grant's son Gerald imported a female collie from England and had her bred to a male that had been bought in England for $5,000 by a collie breeder from Illinois. This was a real boost for his line of collies. He has sold and shipped dogs to almost every state in America, Cuba and to the British West Indies. He once sold five matched white pups to a dog trainer for Ringling Brothers and the Orpheum Circuit Dog Act. The Hocketts still raise and sell A.K.C. Registered Collie Dogs.
Grant W. Hockett purchased the first Duroc hogs late in the 1890's from New Jersey. He expected them to be a Jersey cow color but they turned out to be a cherry red. Grant was one of the founders of the Duroc Association in this part of the country. Gerald continued the business with his father and now Gerald has been joined in the business by his sons Kit and Tim.
They raise A.K.C. Collies, purebred Duroc breeding stock and Polled Hereford Cattle.
BOTNA VIEW ANGUS
The Botna View farms, now owned by Milo B. Clark and his son Richard, had its origins in 1881. Joseph Clark, Milo's father, was 18 when he was encouraged to come to this area by his brothers, who had settled in the Botna-Irwin area in 1870 and 1871. They wrote to Joseph, who was then living in Tama County, about the need for workers to build the branch of the Milwaukee Railroad through this area.
Joseph rode a horse to what is now Manning, and took a job as a butcher. Dave Hall was furnishing the meat for the work crews, and Joseph helped in the butchering, which was done after sun-down when it was cooler and "the flies had gone to sleep".
From his earnings, Joseph bought land in Shelby County, his first 40 acres costing $5 an acre. Milo now lives on the farm; although retired, he continues to raise Angus cattle in partnership with his son Richard and his grandsons. Richard's farm adjoins the home place, located one mile west of Botna.
LANE VIEW FARM
The foundation for the purebred Shorthorn herd on the Struve farm was laid when Claus Struve was persuaded by his son, George, to buy a few purebreds in 1901.
The firm of George Struve & Sons exhibited many winners at state fairs in Illinois, Nebraska, Missouri, and Iowa, as well as the American Royal in Kansas City, the National Livestock Show in Denver, and the International in Chicago. "Miss Gypsy Maid" was named grand champion at five major shows in 1948.
George Struve retired in 1948 and his sons Ralph and Glen continued under the name of Lane View Farms. Since 1958, Glen has been the owner of the herd, and his son Curtis is now associated with him.
Although they no longer travel the show circuit, breeding stock is sold at various sales to breeders in many states.
Glen is a past president of the Iowa Shorthorn Association and served on the Board of Directors for many years.
Glen and Lois have two daughters who have served as Iowa's Shorthorn Lassie Queen, Linda in 1964 and Rhonda in 1967. Linda was also honored as the Iowa Beef Queen in 1965.
Son Cory is at home and Kevin is attending Iowa State University.
I CAN REMEMBER---
Before Manning was started, there was a pump house on our farm, just north of the main house. When Manning was organized the pump house and station were built in Manning, but there are still pipes in the creek where the original pump house stood.
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GLEN HAVEN SHORTHORNS
The Glen Haven Shorthorn herd was started by Glen Ahrendsen in 1955, a result of a Shorthorn steer he had shown the summer before at the Four County Fair at Coon Rapids. The steer won the grand championship, and was purchased bar the Story Brewing Company of Omaha for 60 cents a pound; a newspaper clipping shows other calves from the sale bringing 24 to 25 cents a pound. The steer was donated to area Chambers of Commerce for a barbecue, with proceeds turned over to charity. Glen attended the barbecue, which was held at the Five Mile House.
Using the profits from this steer, Glen purchased two purebred Shorthorn heifers from a herd in the Sand Hills of Nebraska. Heifers were added to the herd as he could afford them, usually two a year. They were used as part of his 4-H project.
In the fall of 1958, Glen was in his final year of high school. While many of his classmates were getting cars, he got a bull. The one selected was judged the grand champion bull at the Nebraska State Fair just a short time later. One of the first heifers had been reserve champion at the Ak-Sar-Ben Stock Show. This kind of quality in the foundation stock, from which the herd was built, has helped lead to the success of the business over the past 25 years.
After his high school graduation and military service, Glen joined his parents in their farming operation south of Manning, and they joined, to some extent, in his Shorthorn operation.
Glen Haven Shorthorns have been sold at many of the midwest sales; at one time or another, they have had a champion or top selling animal at all the sales they consigned to. One year, they had both the champion and reserve champion bull at the sale held at the Ak-Sar-Ben field in Omaha. They recently had the top selling Shorthorn at two Beef Expos in Des Moines, first on a heifer, and two years later, on a bull.
For a number of years, they have sold bulls at the Nebraska range bull sale at Broken Bow. At one of these sales, they had the champion bull and champion pair of bulls.
They also sell many animals privately at the farm, and are very grateful for the number of animals sold in the Manning area the past few years.
Glen has served nine years on the board of directors of the Iowa Shorthorn Association, serving one term as vice-president and two terms as president of the state association. He has served about the same number of years on the board of the Southwest Iowa Shorthorn Association, and has held both the offices of vice-president and president.
MANNING MARKETS -- 1925
Corn - 75c to 80c; Oats - 32c; Hogs - $9 to $12; Butter - 32c; Eggs - 26c
Bruhn Angus was started by William Bruhn and his wife Louise in 1965, on their farm one mile east and three and three-quarters south of Manning.
Starting with only five cows on borrowed capital, the operation was built one step at a time to the present herd of 80 brood cows. They found it's not easy to get established in the purebred business. It takes time, total involvement, dedication and a lot of hard work to build a registered cow herd from scratch and make it pay for itself. But they proved it can be done.
Bruhn Angus had made steady breed improvement through the Angus Herd Improvement Records program and practical cattle sense, selecting Angus for frame and volume with the ability to gain efficiently. They stress quality, uniformity and structural soundness in the herd. The right bull can really give your program a boost and they feel very fortunate in using Brads Marshall Pride 1980, a full brother to the Denver Champion, and Jumbo of Wetonka 224. These bloodlines are giants in the Angus industry today.
Since the Bruhns started with no showing or fitting experience, most of the showing has been done by their children through 4-H and Junior shows where they have had several county fair champions, Southwest Iowa District Heifer Champion, Iowa Beef Expo Champion and were purple ribbon winners at Ak-Sar-Ben.
Although Bruhn Angus has been in the purebred business a relatively short time, cattle have been sold to buyers in eight states. Most of the cattle are sold privately and Bruhns have established a bull market in the Nebraska and South Dakota ranch country.
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LESTER JOENS LIMOUSIN
Lester Joens has been in the family farming business for 23 years and has been a cattle raiser for all of those years.
Mr. Joens started with a handful of stock cows and has brought the operation up to one that is automated and involves feeding out around 300 head of cattle and about 1500 head of hogs each year.
Joens began breeding Limousin cattle into his herd since 1970 when five half-blood LimousinHereford cross heifers were brought to the farm has been increasing. There are now 90-100 head of Limousin cattle roaming the Joens acreage.
The Limousin breed of cattle originated in France about 1000 years ago. Joens believes that these are the cattle that can produce what the consumer demands. These cattle are greater in feed conversion efficiency, and providing more meat with less fat. The calves at birth weigh between 80-90 pounds and are more vigorous at birth than calves of his previous crossbred herd.
Throughout the nine years in the purebred business the Joenses have shown their cattle at various shows such as the Iowa State Fair and the Iowa Winter Beef Expo. They have had such honors as Reserve Grand Champion Limousin Bull at the 1977 Iowa Winter Beef Expo and also the Grand Champion percentage Limousin heifer at the 1978 Iowa Winter Beef Expo.
Joens has held one production sale in 1978 and is expecting to hold another production sale in March, 1980.
He has served as a director on the Iowa Limousin board of directors for two years and is now President.
It all began in 1925, when Mr. Jake Bruck, owner of local farms, decided to purchase a number of purebred and grade cattle from Minnesota and set up a milking operation on his farm located on the northwest edge of Manning's city limits. It was his intention to manage this milking operation to provide milk for his other interest, the Manning Creamery Company.
The first ManCryCo Farms herdsman was Eliot (Bud) Parker. With his knowledge and the management of Mr. Bruck, they were able to improve the herd. One of the purchases of Mr. Parker was a very famous cow - Montvic Rag Apple Bonheur Abbekerk. It is believed she was the first cow in Iowa to make 1000 pounds of fat. This record was set at ManCryCo.
Mr. Parker left in 1939 and Clifford Lau became herdsman. He remained in that position until 1942 when "Bud" Melvin took over.
Now an untimely death was to come to the herd's manager. With many years of success and productivity behind him, Jake Bruck died. The family and business were fortunate to have a capable successor in Jake's son, Leo. Leo took over the management of the farms.
In 1946, Bud Melvin left his position as herdsman and Lester Dammann took his place. The dairy herd was improved more and more through selective breeding.
The 50's arrived and the "show ring" was a very popular thing. Here ManCryCo found a fair degree of success. With Lester as the "flying herdsman" and owner Leo his pilot, the show cattle were able to hit shows in Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Wisconsin, with side trips to Texas, Illinois, and other places. It was a whirlwind affair each year and the ManCryCo herd produced some celebrities. The names of "Royal Rue" and "Effie" (show cows from the herd) were household words in the homes of midwestern dairy people.
In 1963 Leo Bruck sold the farm and dairy herd to long-time herdsman, Lester Dammann. Lester continued as he had as herdsman: building the herd, improving production records, showing "celebrities" at dairy contests.
On Friday, September 6, 1974, a complete dispersal was held at the ManCryCo Farms; 50 cows, 55 heifers and five bulls were sold at the sale. Thus, one of Iowa's greatest dairy herds became part of history.
The dairy barn still stands and has, on and off since the 1974 dispersal, had a small milking herd in it again. The remainder of the farming operation - crops, hogs, some stock cattle - continues.
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OPPERMAN BROWN SWISS
The Opperman Brown Swiss herd was started in the fall of 1937. George, a junior in high school, enrolled in the newly established Vocational Agriculture department. He was encouraged to have a Brown Swiss as his FFA project by Dr. O.W. Wyatt, who had a small herd of Brown Swiss to provide milk for his newly constructed hospital. George's parents, as most farmers at that time, had been milking eight or ten nondescript cows of various breeding, separating the milk and selling the cream.
George's selection was a four year old Brown Swiss cow purchased from Peter Sommers at Breda. This cow proved such a good milk producer that in early fall of 1938, his father Emil sold all the other cows and purchased about ten more Brown Swiss from various breeders in northwest Iowa. These formed the nucleus of the herd which was to exist until 1977.
A milking machine was purchased in 1939 and that autumn, this was the first outside herd to begin selling whole milk to the Manning Creamery. The herd was expanded until in the mid-forties, it numbered about 25-30 milking cows.
Upon graduation from Iowa State in June of 1947, George was employed by the National Brown Swiss Association, Beloit, Wisconsin, as editor of its monthly magazine known as the "Brown Swiss Bulletin". He continued in this position until the spring of 1950, when he and his wife May decided to move back to the farm north of Manning where they now live.
They received 11 cows and four heifer calves from their father to form the start of their Brown Swiss herd. This herd continued until its dispersal in August, 1977, when it numbered over 100 head.
George's brother Ivan took over the home herd in 1951 and Bill, another brother, received some animals to start his herd in 1955. Both of these herds were dispersed in the late 50's and early 60's.
George and May used the name O-Haven for their farm and as a prefix for naming cattle. Cattle from their herd were exhibited at many shows over the years including the Iowa, Nebraska and Oklahoma state fairs, the National Dairy Cattle Congress at Waterloo, Iowa, The America Royal at Kansas City, Missouri, the National Dairy Expo, Madison, Wisconsin and Dairy Expositions at Portland, Oregon and San Francisco, California. The grand champion cow at the Iowa State Fair in 1958 and 1960 and the grand champion cow at Ak-Sar-Ben in 1970-71-72 came from the herd. Two sires developed in the herd were sold to breeding cooperatives and used extensively for artificial insemination. Cattle from the herd were sold to many states of the union, Canada, Columbia, South America and Germany.
All of the Opperman children, Mary, Thomas, Donald, Dave, Douglas and Mike, were active in 4-H and received many blue and purple ribbons on their Brown Swiss calves at local, county, state, and regional shows. George was active in many dairy organizations. He was elected as director of the National Brown Swiss Association from 1954 to 1960 and served as national president from 1965 to 1970. He was president of the state Brown Swiss association from 1960 to 1962. He served on the executive committee of Midland United Dairy Association from 1973 to 1977 and on the Board of Directors of Midwest Breeders Cooperative, Shawano, Wisconsin from 1975 to 1978. He was elected an Iowa Distinguished Dairyman in 1968, as an Honorary Member of the Iowa State University Dairy Science Club in 1969, and received the Ralph Keeling Leadership Award in 1970.
HANDLOS CHESTER WHITES
In the six years of their purebred Chester White business, the Lawrence "Larry" Handlos family has developed a herd which has become known throughout the country for its excellence. Their business is located three miles south of Manning.
The herd was started in 1974 with the purchase of a boar from an acclaimed Oklahoma herd, and two gilts from herds in Missouri and Ohio. The following year, 20 gilts from an Iowa herd were added. Since then, the family has bred their own gilts.
They decided on Chester Whites because of the good results they'd been having with this breed in their feeder pig business. Their trouble had been in finding the type of boars they wanted to use for breeding, and they decided to start breeding their own. A friend saw their results, and asked to buy a boar; more purchasers began arriving, and the Handlos family decided to launch the purebred business.
By 1980, the family was raising pigs from 120 purebred sows and gilts a year, and were selling
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purebred boars and gilts, including a few first cross gilts and club pigs. Plans were being made to start leasing sows, and boars were being tested at the Ames Testing Station, with one earning a second indexing rating.
Pigs from the herd have been shown and sold at most of the nationally-known markets. The regional events are held in either South or North Carolina in January, in Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas or Kansas in February, in Illinois, Indiana, or Ohio in July, at the Iowa State Fair in August, and at the state show in Iowa and the Austin Barrow Show in Austin, Minnesota, in September.
The family feels that shows are the best form of advertising their product. Their boars and gilts have earned grand championships, reserve championships, and reserve junior championships.
Daughters Jackie and Patty have been actively involved in the business. They have shown the top two entries in the market pig and pen of three divisions at the 4-County Fair; have received purple ribbons for market hogs at the Ak-Sar-Ben show in Omaha; and at the Iowa State Fair, 4-H and FFA contests, they have had the grand or reserve champion boar, gilt, commercial gilt, and market hog. The girls have also won the champion junior and senior showmanship awards.
Patty served as the Iowa Chester White Queen i n 1979-80.
Larry, recipient of the 1979 Audubon County Master Pork Producer Award, is currently on the Iowa Chester White Board. In 1981, he will begin a six year term as the Chester White delegate from Iowa to state and national pork producer meetings. He has also been called upon to judge at many fairs and shows.
ROY A. STRUVE HAMPSHIRE FARM
Roy A. Struve was 17 when he bought his first sow; he earned the $20 purchase price by trapping gophers and receiving a nickle for each one from the county. He then paid his father a $1 stud fee for allowing his father's boar to breed the sow.
After the sow had her litter, Roy began buying feed: corn was 40 cents a bushel, oats were 20 cents, and tankage was $1 for a hundred pounds. His production cost came to $4.08 for each 100 pounds of pork produced.
This investment, made in 1937, has been turned into a business which now includes a half section of land 2'/2 miles south of Manning, and the sale of a couple hundred purebred boars a year.
Struve bought a purebred Hampshire sow from the profit made on his first litter; his dad, George H. Struve, purchased a purebred Hampshire boar at the same time.
The breed appealed to them because the Hampshire was a prolific, efficient, meaty type hog.
Breeding stock from the Struve Hampshire Farm has been shipped as far as California and Canada during the past 50 years. About half of the sales are made over the phone.
In the years that he has been raising pork, Struve has noticed several significant changes. One which he supported was the hog testing stations. When the first testing was done in 1955, Struve was in the top five.
The testing stations helped the pork producers develop quality meat on the hogs; this included hogs with more red meat and less fat.
Another change was in the establishment of a national S.P.F. producers organization. Struve served on the first board of directors when the organization was founded in 1960. It has been helpful to the pork producer, he believes, because it gave the customer a healthy, more efficient animal.
Roy's wife, Virginia, and their four children, Jim, Carol (Mrs. Doug Musfeldt), JoAnn, and Dick, have also been actively involved in the family business. The kids were members of 4-H and FFA, and showed the stock at various fairs.
Many of the young Germans who came to this country were determined to know the new language before arriving here. One was F.X. Kasperbauer, who as a lad of 12 purchased an English dictionary in order to learn the English language. Even at that early age he had decided that his future home should be America. He made an attempt to emigrate to this country at the age of 12, but was sent back for military service. He finally left Germany in 1890, at the age of 32, and settled immediately on a 240 acre farm in Eden Township of Carroll County. In addition to raising Shorthorn cattle and Poland China hogs there, he owned another farm in Newton Township and was a director of the Farmers Bank of Templeton and of the Farmers Elevator Company.