What is the name of your farm or ranch and where is it located?
Tumbleweed Ranch is located between Conrad and Shelby, right along side I-15. We are one of very few ranches that are right along side the interstate, and we receive a lot of comments this time of year about all of the baby calves out in the pasture.
Who started the operation and has it been passed down through your family? Or was it purchased from another family?
The family heritage goes back to Holland. Jeff's grandfather, Joe, was born in Holland, and was two years old when the family came over on the boat. It was in 1912 when Joe's family settled in the Belgian Colony area, on the way to Valier. Joe married Ceal in 1937 and were together for over 60 years. It was in 1942 that Joe and Ceal moved to our present location, where they farmed and ranched until their retirement in 1973. At that time, their son Ernie and wife Shirley, took over the operation. Their son Jeff and wife Lindsey now help operate the place.
What do you produce?
Hay and Cattle. We raise Black Angus cross cattle and do a small amount of farming, along with our hay production.
Is there something unique about yuour farm or ranch?
We are very diversified. Along with being a cow/calf operation and producing hay, we have several other side businesses as well. The ranch operates a custom manure spreading business and Tumbleweed Sales LLC is a dealer for Morand Livestock Handling Equipment and Krogmann Balebeds. Jeff's wife, Lindsey, runs a website design and development business, Hi Line Web Design.
What are your hopes for the future of your operation?
We hope to continue to produce quality cattle and hay, and better serve the communities we live in.
What do you find to be the most rewarding part of farming or ranching?
The most rewarding part of this job is being able to work with family every day.
What interested you in becoming a farmer or rancher? Did you grow up in an agricultural family?
Agriculture and ranching has been the passion and way of life from the very beginning. I was involved with FFA in high school and studied Ag Business in college. Being on the ranch is where I've always wanted to be.
What do you find most challenging about life on the farm or ranch?
The most challenging thing is the outside interests that are trying to dictate how we live and should run our operation. We seem to fight so many different things, that were less of an issue in the past- such as wildlife regulations, water rights, and animal activists.
There are so many things going on right now, in our state and country that directly impacts our way of life as farmers and ranchers. We have to keep up and stay informed on the current issues and have a strong, well-informed and educated voice in order to be heard and keep others from making (bad) decisions for us; because the ones that are making the decisions - may not be the most informed.
Submitted by Jeff Habets