Welcome to Hat Creek Cattle Company
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, and is still today, a cow-calf operation that maintains 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 operations, along with his brothers.
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 times. The Johnson family provided me 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 colleges 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 my 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 beef industry.
The animals and pedigrees within our herd are probably best described as the longhorn melting pot of the Midwest. We continually seek to raise animals that we consider to be the complete package with desirable characteristics (confirmation, color, docility, efficiency, horn set) that maintain and pass on the legacy of the Texas Longhorn. Overall herd health is maintained by utilizing quality forages, year-around choice minerals and annual blood tests on adult animals. In doing this, our customers can rest assured knowing how their beef was raised and where it came from.
The idea for the name of Hat Creek Cattle Company stemmed from Larry McMurtry’s novel Lonesome Dove. My first piece of property that was purchased had an unnamed creek meandering through it and since it had no name myself and a few others jokingly started calling it Hat Creek. Eventually, there were signs posted where the Creek crosses the highway that said Hat Creek. With longhorn cattle grazing alongside Hat Creek, it was only appropriate to design a brand that reflected the name, and have it registered as such.