The Rancher’s Way with Daniel Ulmanis
The next generation of ranching and ASA Field Representation
By Courtney Wesner
Every cattleman knows the tranquility that comes over as you check cows in the pasture. Whether you hop on a horse, jump in the truck, straddle the four-wheeler, or slide across the bench of an ATV to get to the herd, the peacefulness and satisfaction of the duties remain constant regardless of how you get there. American Simmental Association (ASA) Field Representative, Daniel Ulmanis shares this feeling with the ASA
breeders he serves. Danny says it best in, “Checking cows is my favorite part of the day. It is my chance to unwind, and the clearest place to think and reflect. In a world where these kinds of places are becoming harder and harder to find, I am truly blessed that I know what silence feels like each day.”
The recently rejuvenated ASA Field Representative program is a more localized program based on members’ advertising dollars through promotion with ASA publications. In his role as an ASA Field Representative, Ulmanis will be available to attend SimGenetics sales and events. Danny will put his in-depth knowledge of the cattle industry, enthusiasm for the future, and willingness to help to use through the aid and education of ASA members, with the overriding goal of successfully marketing their Simmental and Simmental-influenced genetics.
Along with serving the ASA membership with their marketing needs as a Field Representative, Ulmanis ranches alongside his mother, Holly Meyer and helps run the family feed store in the town of Koshkonong, Missouri. The Bub Ranch is located in the south-central part of the state on 900 acres of rolling fescue grass where Danny and his mom run 150 head of purebred Angus cows. Cooperator herds play an integral part in the family operation, eventually giving the Bub Ranch a total cow base of 275 head. Each year the family markets 125 head of forage developed Angus bulls to a commercial bull buying battery, serving as the family’s primary source of income; ultimately giving Danny valuable experience and expertise in the art of running a successful cow/calf operation and selling registered bulls to commercial buyers.
Raising and caring for cattle comes as second nature to Danny, along with an in depth knowledge of the Angus breed and pedigrees (something that should prove valuable to the progressive Simmental breeder that utilizes Angus in their breeding schemes but is unfamiliar with breed lineage). “You do something long enough, you learn it, you learn it so well that it becomes a part of you and who you are. That’s how ranching and running cows has become to me. I couldn’t imagine myself doing anything but this”, says Danny. The Bub Ranch started raising Angus cattle 25 years ago. The operation was originally formed in Michigan where they dabbled in a multitude of breeds, including Simmental, Shorthorn, and Limousin. Their first purchase of Angus genetics from Nichols Farms in Bridgewater, Iowa was pointed at producing herd bulls for their own use. The family had success in selling purebred progeny to neighbors and eventually converted their operation to a solely Angus herd.
With a pair of broken-in boots and callused hands to prove his practical experience, Ulmanis has also experienced the more technical side of the industry through his experience as the ASA Carcass Merit Intern, a member of the livestock judging and meats teams at the University of Missouri. “I could never say enough as to how my experience as an ASA intern allowed me to become a better cattleman and Field Rep for ASA. Not only did I get to experience the business side and workings of a large ranch, but I also had the opportunity to see how a breed organization and its programs work behind the scenes. I learned past the fundamentals of EPDs from Dr. Lipsey and Dr. Shafer, not many people have the opportunity to have those two gentlemen as teachers, and I can now educate on these fundamentals and better incorporate them into my family’s operation. It made me a better breeder and gave me the skill set to help others become better breeders,” commented Ulmanis on his experience.
Danny has always loved the cattle industry. The Simmental membership will benefit from his practical knowledge, eye for cattle, and unique understanding of breed association workings. Naturally, his attitude towards the business has matured right alongside his age. “One of my fondest memories will always be getting bulls ready to sell in the fall. I didn’t realize how much it meant to me at the time, I was in high school. I would cut school for two weeks and work right alongside my family preparing bulls for sale. The one moment that you have, when you just stand for a minute to look at all of the work you have accomplished, that is the best feeling in the world. This operation is very much so a family operation, we do the work. We make or break it with blood, sweat, and tears just like everyone else. That’s what this is all about; that’s what life is about,” says Ulmanis. His commonalities with so many cattle producers should prove as a very valuable asset to the ASA membership.