Dating back to 1894, brothers Ed and Albert Wiese purchased their very first Hereford bull. Ten years later dating in 1904, Ed Wiese settle just a mile East outside of the small, but prosperous town of Manning, IA. It wasn’t long after that in 1912 the Wiese brothers began producing registered Hereford cattle and officially began operating under the name of Ed Wiese & Son in 1918, as the ranch management changed to Ed Wiese (father) and Lester Wiese (son).
Lester and his two sons, Gene and Sam, continued the Hereford tradition, and in 1949 began the firm of Wiese & Sons. Today the partnership consists of Gene and his wife Jean, their son Dave, his wife Diana and along with their three boys Chance, Shayne and Trey.
In 2015, following his graduation from Iowa State University, Chance opted to return to the family operation, now making him the 5th generation to carry on the Hereford tradition. His two younger brothers, Shayne and Trey, both currently attending Iowa State University have similar aspirations and to plan on one day return to the family operation as well.
Since 1904, Five generations of Wiese’s have made it their livelihood in the farming and cattle industry. With the careful selection of top genetics and active use of responsible conservation and land management practices, our family has had the lifelong objective of producing top quality beef cattle that are both efficient and profitable. Our end goal is to develop productive cattle that will thrive on forage and in the feedlot, with a nominal amount of maintenance and inputs.
The opportunity to share our resources and learn from customers, cooperator herd owners, interns and visitors has helped us stay focused on what the beef industry goals are. The diversity of our products and services help us understand the scope of the industry from the seed stock producer, to the commercial producer, feedlot operator, packing industry and finally to the consumer. We’re aware of many issues the beef industry faces and hope to be a piece of the puzzle that contributes to the solution.
NCBA Region III Environmental – Stewardship Award – 1996
Wiese & Sons LLP is committed to improving the land for future generations, which has been an important challenge to enhance the quality of life for not only our family and cattle herd, but our community as well.
Caring for, developing, and improving the environment is a part of our heritage that we’re very proud of, and a legacy that we take very seriously. We’re sensitive to the value of our natural resources and are personally committed to the goal of continued improvement of our resource management program, which includes:
- Soil conservation and land fertility by inter-seeding of legumes, expanding our rotational grazing program, using a sod based crop rotation and intensifying our manure management program.
- Water conservation and quality.
- Wildlife habitat by developing and increasing natural wildlife sites and planting of trees.
- Economically viable and efficient beef cattle operation.
Soil conservation and land fertility is a top priority and has been achieved through the use of good soil and pasture management practices. Our conservation program started with early involvement of contour farming. Extensive terraces (32,000 ft.) have been built on acres that were considered highly erodible. On our cropland, we use a sod-based rotation and our crop sequences are rotated with meadow. Minimum tillage practices are utilized, which contributes to the retention of moisture, as well as erosion control. Land with the least amount of slope is considered tillable crop production land with the exception of land adjacent to steams. Filter strips are used extensively, pastures surround all streams and ponds, contouring strip cropping, field borders and extensive use of grass outlets and waterways have helped us obtain our goals of decreasing erodibility and increased fertility and productivity.
Forage is our principal crop and the quality and care of this crop is directly related to cattle productivity and efficiency. Several of our pastures we own have been in continual grass since 1904. Plant diversity has been achieved by inter-seeding a wide variety of legumes and grasses and rotational grazing has been practiced since 1982. Weed management is an important part of pasture care and has been achieved by the inter-seeding of legumes and grasses to offer active competition to weeds and clipping. Limited spraying is practiced and the evaluation of our pastures regarding plant population, diversity, vigor, number of legumes and usage helps us make our decisions regarding fertilization, inter-seeding, weed management and herd rotation.
Water management practices have been accomplished through the use of water collection systems. 4 pond systems have been built and streambank protection has been achieved by the use of rip rap, grasses and limited cattle access to natural water areas. Establishing wetland areas has improved water quality in the ponds, protected wells, and significantly reduced soil erosion and flood damage.
Our tree planting program began with the development of our first pond in 1964. Since then, over 300 trees have been planted annually for more than 15 years in an area of Iowa that was virtually treeless. In 1993, a nursery of 600 trees was developed to provide a source of deciduous and conifers trees to be transplanted in shelterbelts throughout the operation.
We believe that areas devoted to fish and wildlife habitat contribute to the beauty and diversity of the rural landscape. Our grasslands, water systems, wetlands and shelterbelts provide habitat for deer, pheasants, ducks, geese and other small animals indigenous to Iowa. Numerous fenced tree bands provide habitat for a variety of birds and small animals. Free public fishing is allowed throughout different times of the year as access may be limited to protect water fowls during nesting times.
Wiese & Sons LLP has also worked with the Nelson Irrigation Corporation of Walla Walla, Washington placing emphasis on environmental concerns such as waste management issues, feedlot dust suppression and livestock comfort concerns.
For over a century, we’ve been committed to producing dependable, practical, and profitable Hereford genetics. Our end goal is to ensure that our bulls, females, and feeders cattle are able to perform to the highest standard in any environmental condition. We’ve established a strict breeding program which pays close attention to structure, disposition, longevity, udder quality, growth and performance, milk and beef production, and mothering ability. Along with these traits, we also understand the importance and roll that EPD’s play for both commercial cattlemen and seedstock producers and although we’re not seeking chart bending numbers, we look to have a steady balance across the board to ensure our genetics may work in any breeding situation.
Throughout every calf’s upbringing, we try to take the proper steps to ensure that each individual has every opportunity to excel and reach their highest potential. At birth, each calf will receive a full vaccination protocol to assist with immune system health and build a resistance to certain pathogens and illnesses. We’ll also collect various performance data by assigning a Herd ID tattoo in both ears, collect birthweights, see whether they’re horned or polled genetically, and take a pigmentation score. We’ll also conduct a similar procedure for the calf’s mother and score their disposition, calving ease, mothering ability, udder suspension, and teat size. This information is then used later to assist us in making educated decisions come breeding season
Following calving, Cow / Calf pairs will then spend a majority of their time together on pasture. A few weeks prior to weaning the calves will go through another vaccination protocol, dewormed, and provided a corresponding Herd ID ear tag with access to creep feed to assist with bunk breaking. When the time finally comes to wean the calves from their mothers, we’ll collect another set of performance data for each individual, which includes weaning weight and a chute disposition score. At this time, each calf must meet a certain criteria to allow them to continue forward into our registered Hereford development program. Calves failing to meet the criteria will be placed into a separate group to later be feed out as feeder cattle.
From this point forward, the cattle will be fed a high roughage silage ration with access to free choice hay, salt and mineral, and pasture to allow for a more natural upbringing. We believe that by using these practices, it allows each individual to show their true colors and provide a more accurate representation of how they’d perform in a real life setting. At a year of age, the cattle will then go through one final stage of examination to ensure they meet our satisfaction. At this time, we’ll collect the last set of performance data which includes yearling weight, scrotal measurements for the males and pelvic measurements for the females.
The individuals that make it to this stage and have met the Wiese & Sons criteria and will then be available for sale by private treaty. It’s how we’ve done business and how we’ll continue to do business going forward as we want to get to know each and every customer on a more personal level and ensure we find the right genetics to meet your breeding goals. No bull will leave the premise without a breeding soundness evaluation and every animal sold is sold with the “Wiese Guarantee”. We’re available at your convenience, so we invite you to come on down and visit our operation and let us help you add profit to the bottom line and get the very most out of your cow herd.
Kelsey, Chance, Shayne, Trey, Dave, Diana