Serving Minnesota and Northern Iowa.

Reichmann named MN Cattleman of the Year

By Carol Stender
cstender@agrinews.com

Date Modified: 01/24/2013 12:42 PM

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VILLARD, Minn. — Ted Reichmann has accomplished a lot in the beef industry.

The 37-year-old from Villard was Minnesota State Cattlemen's Association president from 2008 to 2010 and just completed a two-year term as the association's past president. He was recently named to the National Cattlemen's Beef Board overseeing research and promotion.

MSCA recently named Reichmann its Cattleman of the Year.

Reichmann, his father, Ron, and brothers, Jon and Matt operate a diversified farm that includes crops, backgrounding and finishing cattle, dairy heifers and a trucking enterprise.

His focus is on the cattle end, Reichmann said.

The operation started as a dairy farm. His father, grandfather and uncle were in partnership until the mid-1990s and milked 180 cows, Reichmann said. About 100 cows were milked at his uncle's farm and 80 at Reichmann's home farm.

He attended North Dakota State University and majored in animal science.

Like his brothers, Reichmann wanted to return to the home farm. To accommodate the next generation, the farm partnership was dissolved. Reichmann's uncle now farms with his two sons while Reichmann's family diversified and "put the synergies together" for their own operation.

They sold the dairy cows in 2001 and started backgrounding cattle, he said.

"One thing led to another," he said. "You never sit back at the dance and say, 'This is what it will look like.' You take the opportunities that come your way."

Each brother focuses on their strengths. While Reichmann handles the cattle and labor side, Jon, who graduated from NDSU's agronomy department, heads crop production. Matt, who returned to the farming operation after high school, "keeps an eye on everything else," Reichmann said. They work together as a team with their father.

Although they sold their own dairy, the family joined other farmers in another dairy. They recently opted out of the partnership, but continue to raise dairy heifers for the operation.

Reichmann gets his cattle through sales barns and livestock producers in northern Minnesota. The cattle receive a ration that includes beet pulp and distillers grains.

The Reichmanns also graze the herd on harvested cornfields in winter, he said. It was through that practice that Reichmann became involved in MSCA. When regulatory agencies defined feedlots, it included field grazing. Reichmann didn't agree calling such definitions as over interpretation of the rules.

"Yes, it was very personal for me," he said. "I became involved in the industry because it affected us, but the same issue also affects other cattlemen as well."

No one wants pollution, he said.

"But when there is an interpretation of the rules and when that interpretation isn't science based, then it becomes a real issue."

During his two-year term as president, Reichmann faced on-going issues with regulatory agencies, the bovine tuberculosis outbreak in northern Minnesota and the escalation of wolf predation.

Reichmann is concerned about the shrinking beef herd in the United States. He is also focused on promoting beef to consumers.

He is humbled by the honor.

"There are many individuals who give all their time and effort to the industry, who go out of their way to make it better," he said. "It's nice when people notice what you are doing."

Reichmann and his wife, Dacia, have three children, Madelynn, 12; Maxwell, 9; and Myles, 6.