November 12, 2020
After making his first and only purchase of 18 Hereford heifers in 1957, Dick Gfeller has been raising horned Hereford cattle near Junction City, Kan., for 62 years and counting. No other females have been purchased, but the herd has grown to about 100 registered cows and 200 commercial cows. Dick’s son, Kenny, got his start in the business right out of high school in 1974 by purchasing all of Dick’s heifer calves and receiving a gift of 10 cows.
Now Kenny and his wife, Debby, own the majority of the cows. Kenny’s mother, Earlene, was an influential part of the operation until she passed in December 2015. The Gfellers operate a nearly closed herd, raising bulls in the registered herd to use in the commercial herd and only purchasing when an outcross is needed. They have a unique operation in that they are involved throughout every part of production. After the calves are weaned, they graze until they go to the family’s feedlot and then are harvested at National Beef in Dodge City, Kan.