The Douthit Family
February 20, 2017
The Douthit Family, St. Francis, Kan., has been raising registered Herefords since 1935 and has exhibited cattle in the Denver Yards for 69 years.
It all began with brothers Jim and Thad Douthit, who bought Hereford cattle. Then, Jim and his wife, Helen, raised their sons — Walter, Roger and Steve — in the business. The operation’s goal was always to produce seedstock for commercial cattlemen.
The family has participated in the National Hereford Feedout for decades, always striving to produce better cattle. The Douthit family was honored with the Kansas Hereford Association Breeder of the Year award in 1986 and 2004. Several times the farm has been a stop on the Kansas Hereford Association tour.
In 2008 the brothers dissolved their partnership and split the operation into three entities: Douthit Herefords, Roger Douthit Farms Inc., and 4V Ranch Douthit Herefords.
Walter, along with his daughter Megan Downey and her husband, Chuck and son, Carter, operates Douthit Herefords. The rest of the family — Walter’s other daughter Teresa and her son Grant, along with Walter’s son Chad, wife, Tanya, and their son, Oliver — helps out when they can, although they don’t live in St. Francis. All are active in community and church organizations.
Megan says that her family’s passion for Hereford cattle and loyalty to the breed has helped them be successful. Every year they strive to produce real cattle for the real world. They produce registered bulls and purebred Hereford females as well as black baldie replacements for commercial cattlemen.
Roger Douthit Farms Inc. is a commercial operation. Using a three-breed rotation of Hereford, Angus and Red Angus bulls on Hereford cows, they strive to keep an F-1 momma cow. Heifer calves that aren’t retained in the herd are primarily marketed as replacements while steers are sold as feeders, this year through Superior Livestock.
The operation includes Roger and his wife, Myra, and their son, Jared and his wife, Candi, along with their daughter Olivia. Roger’s son Jason and his wife, Teresa, and their children, Jacob and Isabella, live in Kansas City but enjoy helping out on the farm when they visit.
Jared has served on the Kansas Hereford Association Board of Directors. He says that although the brothers are no longer in partnership, Herefords have been such a big part of all their lives for so long that it’s hard to separate the three’s accomplishments as individual breeders.
Steve and his wife, Melva, and their children — Ana Enfield and husband, Tyler, and their son, Zarik; Erica Gattshall and her husband, Matt, and their children Quade and Cadence; Margo; Courtney; and Thomas — make up 4V Ranch Douthit Herefords. Steve has served as president and is a board member of the Kansas Hereford Association. He is currently on the selection committee for the AHA Board. The whole family is active in church and community organizations. They produce Hereford bulls and females for commercial cattlemen.
Steve’s children say it’s a family-oriented business. Together, they’ve worked through tough times and appreciated the good times. They couldn’t have made it this long without having good cattle.
Fellow Kansas Hereford breeder Dean Davis commented that the Douthit commitment to Herefords can be proven by the fact that the Douthit breeding program has sired more than half a million Hereford calves.