“The beef industry has given us a passion that sends chills through our bones. We care deeply for these cattle… they have a great spot in our hearts and we have built a family around them,” - Curt Peterson.
With great pride and joy, Curt and Kaylene Peterson are the owners of Peterson Farms of Albia, Iowa. Curt, a second-generation farmer was raised on the farm that his dad, Gerald, purchased in 1959. Curt and Kaylene have raised their three daughters Kylie, Makenzie, and Abby on that same farm. With 385 acres of land, the Peterson’s operate a seedstock beef farm with 32 head of purebred Simmental cattle. This means they breed and raise registered purebred cattle to produce a quality beef product for consumers.
“As seedstock producer’s, we are always seeking to be ahead of the industry,” explained Curt, “The type of cattle I select produce prime beef for consumers. The genetics within our herd must perform well, and produce quality meat with adequate marbling.” At Peterson Farms, they sell many yearling bulls to farmers from all around the United States. Furthermore, they sell the calves at 10 months of age to be fed before entering the food supply.
Curt is a firm believer in raising his cattle from the ground up. He takes great pride in the soil and environment that the cattle of Peterson Farms are raised on. Curt expressed that ensuring adequate intake of nutrients, including hay and mineral, is significant for the cattle to balance their diet and produce a wholesome beef product. A regular vaccination program is in place to keep their cattle healthy and productive in the herd.
When it comes to caring for their cattle, they assess the needs of the cattle and keep those needs top of mind. Kylie expressed, “We care about these cattle; they are our livelihood. Sometimes we are up at 2 a.m. in the morning helping cows have calves to make sure things are okay. This industry is very near and dear to our hearts!”
The focus on their farm is family. Raising purebred Simmental cattle to exhibit at livestock shows has become their lifestyle. Kylie said, “Showing cattle is important to our family because of the family bonding aspect, it is our vacation. It’s exhausting and challenging, but at the end of the day it is very rewarding!” Curt and Kaylene believe that the girls have learned many life lessons from showing cattle. “It has given them a passion and has taught them how to present themselves in the real-world,” said Kaylene.
With the kitchen being the heart of the home, Curt claims that he has the best cook in the state of Iowa! Several nights of the week, the Peterson’s gather at the family dinner table and enjoy their own beef; the same beef that can be purchased in stores. Their favorite beef dishes include roast beef with mashed potatoes or steaks cooked on the grill. The girls admit that their all-time favorite meal of the year is the family’s traditional Christmas prime-rib dinner. “Whether it’s in the barn or around the family dinner table, the beef industry is what brings us together at the end of the day,” said Makenzie.
Curt and Kaylene admire the passion that the girls have grown for the beef industry. Curt has great hopes to hand off the responsibilities of the farm to his three daughters in the future. Abby says, “The beef industry is my future, and I believe that our operation is up and coming!”
“It is very heartwarming to see that my girls have an interest in something that was such a great part of my childhood,” Curt expressed. “There is nothing more enjoyable in my life than the first day of getting the cows and calves ready for the pasture. There is not a prettier sight than to send those mommas with their babies out to grass on the first day. The sight makes me emotional and it’s a very unique thing that many might not understand, but this is our livelihood and it means the world to us.”