RDUSA Conference, Show and Sale

It’s almost here.  If you have not finalized your plans and arrangements to attend the conference, show and sale you need to do so very quickly.  Activities start on Thursday and go through Saturday (Sept. 8 – 10).  There is an excellent lineup of speakers with Gabe Brown, Dr. Allen Williams, Blaine Hitzfield and Steve Campbell.  The cattle entered in the sale and show make up one of the strongest groups of animals assembled at any Red Devon event.

As mentioned in previous posts on this blog the hosts for the event are Jaime Hostetler, Sheldon Headings, and Daniel Marquardt.  These RDUSA members (along with their families) have put many long hours of work to make this top quality event happen.  We also need to be aware of the many friends of these hosts who have been and will be working behind the scenes to make the event run smoothly.  On behalf of RDUSA, our thanks to all of you.

As promised in previous posts, following is an article on Daniel and Linda Marquardt and Hillside Pastures.

Hillside Pastures


Open Invitation


Daniel and Linda Marquardt would like to invite all attendees at the RDUSA Conference to their farm on Sunday, Sept. 11. The hours are 8 AM. – Noon. The Marquardts will have light snacks and will be happy to show you their herd of registered Red Devons. They will have their cowherd, groups of yearlings and herd bulls available for your inspection. If you have time before you leave for home, stop by to see the cattle and talk Red Devon.


The Start


The Marquardts have lived in various parts of the country, but lived mostly in the Chicago area when Daniel worked as an engineer. They had a small farm in Wisconsin to go to on holidays and when they needed some R & R. When Daniel retired they bought additional land and now own 80 acres, lease 20 more joining their farm and lease 100 acres some distance away. Their farm is located in the rolling hills of southwest Wisconsin, which is not prime cropland, but grows high quality forage.


Not having previous experience with cattle, Daniel went to all the Red Devon events he could and visited some of the leading Red Devon herds in the country to learn as much as possible. Keeping an open mind, he always wanted to hear opposing viewpoints on how to raise, select and breed Red Devons.


Early on Daniel found a good source for purchasing weaned Red Angus heifers in the fall to over winter and breed them to Red Devon bulls the next summer and sell them as bred heifers. As Daniel and Linda were gradually adding to their Red Devon herd and commercial cow herd they also grass finished steers to sell as beef and sold stockers in the spring each year.


Transitioning to the Current Goal


The Marquardts decided they were trying to manage too many enterprises and now are downsizing and transitioning to an all registered Red Devon herd. They now have around 80 head total, but will soon sell the remaining commercial animals and reduce the numbers to around 40 registered cows and replacements and produce around 30 calves yearly. This will enable the Marquardts to terminate the 100-acre lease that is some distance away and use the remaining property and hopefully only lease properties that join their farm.


The Hillside Pastures Cow


Daniel has always sought good, but diverse genetics for his herd. He has bought Red Devons from multiple herds with many different bloodlines, both international and American, and has never wanted to linebreed. Now he is ready to close his cowherd and breed his own brand of Red Devon cow, “The Hillside Pastures Cow”. This cow will be a little smaller framed, polled, high quality, very efficient, calving every 365 days and have sound feet, legs and udder. Daniel will carefully select the bulls to breed the herd. His current herd sire is homozygous polled and he will continue to use such bulls to ensure polled calves. He will also have semen for sale on this bull later this year. Each year he will pick out the very top females to breed AI, all to the same AI sire. This year he has picked out 4 cows and 7 heifers.


The Biggest Challenge


The biggest challenge for Daniel is moving and working cattle in the spring mud season. The Wisconsin winter can freeze the ground up to 3 feet deep and as it gradually thaws the ground can remain soft and muddy for weeks. The cattle remain outside year around and without careful management will pug the sod and cause severe damage.


Daniel also feeds hay 6 months of the year. He brings all the cattle to the home farm for winter and has too many to be able to stockpile any standing forage. This problem will lessen when he gets the numbers to the level he wants. He also makes almost all his own hay.  Being able to stockpile more forage will greatly reduce his cost of overwintering his cattle.

The Marquardts welcome you to their open house on Sunday and you can see for yourself how well their transition phase is progressing.


Submitted by Roy