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Northern Plains Simmentals was created in 1989 when JR a young lad of only 8 purchased his first purebred black Simmental cow. Through the purchase of females from various consignment and production sales, along with an extensive AI program, the cow herd now consists of 200 to 250 purebred cows depending on available forage, and 50 to 60 replacement heifers. The herd is run alongside a commercial group of 100 females owned by JR’s parents.
Although the purebred herd was started in 1989, the farm/ranch site has long been established. It was originally homesteaded in 1900 by JR’s Great-Great Grandfather, John Henry Aufforth, making this the fifth generation to be farming and ranching in the Bowbells area. Helping with the evening chores, two year old John Gavin (JR and Miranda’s first born) shows promise of the sixth generation carrying on the family tradition.
The cattle are summered on native rangeland. After the calves are weaned, the cows spend the months of October, November, and at least part of December grazing crop stubble, corn stalks, and hay meadows. Hay is fed from mid to late December until the middle of May.