Animal Science Department


Date of this Version



Range Beef Cow Symposium XXIII, December 3-5, 2013, Rushmore Plaza Civic Center, Rapid City, SD.


Copyright © 2013 Don Schiefelbein.


My goal has always been to return the family operation and raise a family with the same wonderful quality of life that my parents provided for me. From as early as I can remember, my focus has always been to raise exceptional Angus cattle with my dad and my 8 brothers at our operation in Kimball, Minnesota. Unfortunately, I was the 7th of 9 sons and graduated high school in the mid 1980’s in the midst of the terrible farm crisis of the 80’s. Land prices had collapsed, inflation was out of control and interest rates had skyrocketed almost overnight. To say the least, money was very tight for our expanding family and farm. And, money is what drove far too many of our family conversations. I remember, all too well, the tight rope dad walked each day as payments came due with the interest costs in excess of 18%. Stress was high. And, the family cut costs and cut costs just to make it through. Somehow, dad never missed a payment to the surprise of our banking “partners”, and we persevered. Like those who experienced the “Great Depression”, this period was forever engraved into my parents and each of my brothers and continues to impact our decisions today. We learned a lesson that while money does not create happiness; lack of money creates lots of unpleasant situations.