William Gaspers started helping out at his family’s feedlot like any other young boy: he opened gates for his older brothers or their father, Ivan. Now 35 years later, he’s still opening them as co-owner and manager with his dad.
Gaspers Cattle Co. LLC is a 1,500-head yard near Lindsay, Neb., which is home to 225 people. With that ratio, people tend to stand out more than the cattle, but that’s been an opportunity for the youngest son.
“I’m the fifth generation on this farm. I guess I just came by it growing up,” he says. “I actually took over running the feed wagon when I was 13, so I started out pretty young.”
The commercial feedlot may be small by industry standards but it’s the right size for a strategy of feeding for high gain and quality, simultaneously.
“I would like to be known for doing a fitting, consistent and good job for our customers,” Gaspers says. “That’s something that I strive for every day.”
A lot can be learned from the father-son duo with nearly 100 years of experience between them. However, their passion for doing right sometimes leads them to look to others for advice as well.
A recent example was guidance from neighbor Terry Beller, a longtime Certified Angus Beef (CAB) licensed feeder. He suggested they also join the brand as a Feeding Partner.
“I’ve watched Terry across the valley and seen what it has done for him. I want to be a part of growing the brand,” Gaspers says. “I feel like everybody in this industry has an obligation to take part and move it forward.”
As a CAB Partner, individual feedlots send performance and carcass data back to customers to help them improve herd health, management and genetics, resulting in better cattle and beef for all. In turn, CAB provides data analysis and inside information about marketing and beef trends, building links throughout all segments of the beef industry.
Whether customers want to sell or retain ownership of preconditioned cattle or unweaned from herds without a feeding history, Gaspers is happy to oblige.
“One of our biggest assets is we’ve spent a lot of years taking care of high-risk cattle. There’s not too many problems we haven’t seen or worked through,” he says. “I’m not afraid. I’ve been down that road many times.”
With existing and potential customers, the men anticipate sharing information on all types of cattle as a part of their new partnership with CAB.
“That’s something I would like to get into,” Gaspers says, “getting back some carcass data for our customers and exploring where that takes us.”
Paul Dykstra, beef cattle specialist for CAB, anticipates working closely with the feedlot.
“I respect the follow-through and consistency in their management style,” Dykstra says. “It’s going to be a pleasure to work with them in the years to come.”