Schaffer Cattle Company of North Platte, Nebraska,
is the largest broker of bred stock in the Midwest, handling 38,000 head in the
past year, as well as quarter horse sales.
Schaffer and his wife, Tricia, are proud to have their children involved in the
present operation of Schaffer Ranches, which has been a family enterprise for
over 100 years. In recent years, the Schaffer family has grown to encompass spouses
and children. Son Cole, his wife Sarah, and their son Quinton reside in North
Platte where Cole co-manages Schaffer Ranches' day-to-day operations. Sarah, who
holds a doctorate in psychology, partners with her father in their private practice
Medicine Associates", in North Platte. Daughter Emily, along with her
husband Guy Smith, and their children, Brayden, Taylor, and Tilden live in Blair,
Oklahoma. Emily and Guy continue to raise and promote Schaffer-bred horses, and
Guy also coaches the rodeo team at Western
Oklahoma State College. Third child, Jacob, resides in Lincoln, NE where he
is a student at the University of Nebraska College of Law. Jacob is concentrating
in the taxation of business transactions and works when he can at the Omaha law
firm of Koley Jessen, P.C.
Hayley, the last of the four, is in her third year of college at Southwestern
Oklahoma State University in Weatherford, Oklahoma. Hayley rodeos for SWOSU, competing
in the Central Plains Region of the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association.
She is majoring in Communications and is involved in one of the University's choirs
Schaffers began operating in North Platte in 1988, when Dewey brought in their
bull lease business and added a livestock market (later sold). During this time,
he also partnered in the purchase and operation of the 200,000-acre Miller Ranch
in Laramie, WY.
Today, Schaffer Cattle
has grown to 600 Angus, Charolais, South Devon, Maine-Anjou, and Composite bulls
for lease, in addition to bred stock and quarter horse sales.
Dewey and Tricia
history of the Schaffer Cattle Company dates to the early 1900's, when Dewey's
grandfather, D.C. Schaffer, went to work in the Omaha Stockyards as a young man.
He soon grew tired of working for wages, and his entrepreneurial spirit took him
west to Chambers, NE in Holt County in search of his fortune. During the depression,
he purchased 3,500 acres, marking the official beginning of the Schaffer Ranches.
the 1960's, D.C. expanded the ranch to 40,000 deeded acres. This spread ranged
from southern South Dakota to south of O'Neill, NE, where the Headquarters were
located, and included additional land leased in Texas.
the 1940's his ranching operation brought the first Hereford cows into the Nebraska
Sandhills from the Pitchfork Ranch in Wyoming. The livestock inventory ranged
from 6,000 to 8,500 head of mother cows, with calves carried over to yearlings.
were an integral part of the ranching operation, playing vital roles in feeding
and caring for the livestock. D.C.'s son, Larry, (Dewey's dad) started raising
Quarter Horses in 1953. He and Johny Mohr bought a stud named Dutch Owens. Larry
hand-selected mares according to soundness and durability for breeding. The brood
mare band was around 100 head until 1985. Studs included such renown names as
AQHA Champions Smarty Cat (own son of Hardtwist), Smarty Boy, Spade Ace (own son
of Little Joe the Wrangler), and Triple Goldrush. Studs Corkey Barnes and Rooster
Roan were also used. To this day, Quarter horses are still used in the Schaffer
Cattle daily operations.
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son, Dewey, added the bull lease business in 1985 when he founded "Dewey's
Bull Bonanza". At the outset, he offered 148 bulls. This has evolved into
the large operation (at two locations) that he and his family operate today.
the fourth generation of Schaffers joins the family business entering the new
millennium, their contributions will surely bring interesting changes, as did
the hard work and perseverance of their predecessors.
thing that will remain unchanged, however, is the Schaffer Cattle commitment to
breeding, raising, and offering the highest quality livestock available.