February 21, 2024

Cattle family ready to show its legacy, brand

For a cattle family that has been in the area since 1856, they are at their sixth generation and want to show others in the business their success.

Hoover Angus, located at 2399 110th St. on the Ringgold side of the Ringgold-Union county line, is having a barn bash Sunday, June 4. The invitation-only event will start at 4:30 p.m. with cattle viewing, a barn branding, dinner and live entertainment.

“This is all I’ve ever known,” smiled Landi (McFarland) Livingston preparing for the big day.

The family’s start in the cattle, registered Angus, was in 1928 with Walt Hoover. John and Barb Hoover Kiburz joined the farm in 1953. After Walt’s death, the Kiburz continued and grew the farm. Joy Kiburz McFarland and John and Barb’s son-in-law Dave joined the farm in 1980.

“And you love what you do,” Landi said about the family’s commitment to the cattle and the business.

Landi is married to Andrew and they have two children. Landi is a Southwestern Community College and Iowa State University graduate in agricultural sciences.

That love is centered around the Angus breed. The June 4 event is surrounded by earning a Certified Angus Beef Brand label. The family has the documentation to back up how today’s herd goes back 19 generations of cattle.

“It’s because of the quality,” Landi said about Angus.

The Angus breed began in Scotland. Historians claim the breed was first used in the 1870s in the United States.

Its features are black in color, polled head (no horns), compact and low-set body. Landi said she sees other positive attributes of Angus. With grilling season underway, Livingston said she knows the cuts of beef desired by customers will want high quality flavor and marbling and she said Angus delivers. Depending upon the source at least 70% of cattle raised in the states are of the Angus breed.

Livingston said what has helped Angus be a leader in cattle production and beef sales is the science behind producing and raising them.

“The genetics is what is finding those needs,” she said.

She said research, called gene editing, is trying to alter cattle genetics to be immune from certain cattle-ailments and diseases and still retain the quality of the beef. Other science is for cattle to have short, slick coats of fur that make them more comfortable in high temperature weather. It is common for cattle to add layers of fur during the winter months. But a more efficient plan for losing the additional cover, or not bothered by hot days could add additional weight for beef.

Livingston said that would be a plus for the producer.

“Producing more beef with less resources is what we strive for,” she said.

Highlighting the June 4 event will be the barn branding with the Certified Angus Beef.

The label started in 1978. The organization works with cattle producers to help them raise Angus beef and track its progress from farm to fork. Certified Angus Beef is a nonprofit owned by the American Angus Association. Certified Angus Beef must meet certain standards in every cut. Choice and Prime grades are considered for its premium label. Then beef must match a list of 10 criteria for quality. Angus is a very popular breed of beef found with meat packers, food distributors, chefs, restaurants, grocery stores and butchers shops.

Angus cattle, which are known to produce higher quality beef, are typically black in color. This black hair trait is a strong indicator of Angus genetics, and has become the USDA standard by which cattle are considered for all Angus brands and products. Beef that qualifies for any Angus brand, including Certified Angus, is determined not by pedigree, but rather by traits, like hair color, that are highly associated with the Angus breed.

John Van Nostrand

JOHN VAN NOSTRAND

An Iowa native, John's newspaper career has mostly been in small-town weeklies from the Rocky Mountains to the Mississippi River. He first stint in Creston was from 2002 to 2005.