Where It Began

My passion for cattle started at an early age while growing up on the family farm (Thieman Land & Cattle Company) located outside of Lamar Missouri. The family farm was a cow-calf operation that maintained 150-175 adult beef cows on an annual basis. My parents still live there today while my dad continues to oversee the day to day field operations of Hat Creek.

I was blessed to have spent my childhood on the farm learning the ropes from my dad (Jerry) and in turn, teaching him forgiveness and patience. Whether it was mending a water gap in the summertime heat or carrying a newborn calf to shelter during a winter storm, I grew to love every aspect of it. The ways of the farm life had become a part of who I was and something that I never wanted to leave...

The first year of college was far from easy for me. I owe a lot of thanks to the Johnson family farm (IJ-M), and many others, for helping me get through those first semesters. The Johnson family provided myself and their grandson, Jon, with an opportunity that very few people ever receive that had significant impact both on us, as well as the family farm. Throughout our college years we gained firsthand experience with building and helping manage a beef cattle operation. We assisted with the implementation of grazing programs, constructed countless miles of fence, fabricated multiple corrals and focused on overall herd health improvement and production.

A few years after graduating college I received a call from my dad asking if I would be interested in purchasing a small group of cattle from one of their neighbors. After a handful of discussions and weighing the pros and cons, I made the purchase and had mentally prepared myself to go broke in the cattle business. The group consisted of 17 animals, all of which were longhorns. Over the next couple of years our small herd continued to increase in numbers. Soon afterwards, I purchased some acreage and I enjoyed high cattle prices that were forgiving to everyone in the beef industry, including myself. As all things do in life, the high cattle prices came to an end. It was then that I realized I’d been privileged to sell cattle at historical highs when everyone was a “smart cattleman” and now had to develop a business model to stay in the cattle industry.