Red Angus herd unites four generations in joint business venture at Middleroad Land & Cattle

By Charis Prunty

The scenic farmland in rural Chandler, which has been in Bill Post’s family for generations, has a long history of productive dairy farming. Bill and Merri Post have run a dairy there since 1995, following his parents, Frank and Arlene. Both of Bill and Merri’s children, Sarah and Jake, studied dairy production at South Dakota State University. So then, how is this story about beef?

It started soon after Sarah and her husband, Jacob Bierstedt, were married. It was 2018. Jacob’s stepdad, Mike Fruechte, offered the young couple 10 Red Angus cows from his herd. Really nice, docile, good-looking cows, Merri added. And they bought them.

Mike made sure Jacob and Sarah had 100 percent calf crop that first year, in spring 2019. And then, in 2020, he offered 20 more cows. This time, Jake and his wife, Megan, took him up on the offer. Bill and Merri also purchased two older cows from Mike that year, “just to make things even.”

And so, while all four of the younger generation work full-time jobs in the ag industry, they also found themselves with their own little herds of beef cattle. It meant the men were working with the cattle nearly every night, and everyone would work on the weekends, but they were happy to do it.

In 2021, when Mike offered a final group of 40 cows that had accidentally gotten on a fall calving schedule, the Post and Bierstedt families decided it was time to make their cooperative arrangement official. Playing off the name Frank and Arlene had given their own farm, Middleroad Acres, they created Middleroad Land & Cattle, LLC.

“There were so many checks and things getting split up between us all, trying to help each other, we were like, ‘Alright, it’s just time to put this all together,’” Merri explained.

The Post’s longtime herdsman, Daryl Rylaarsdam, now helps with the beef cattle as well. He can do anything that’s needed, including the breeding. Bill, Jake and Sarah all know how to artificially inseminate as well, and Jake and Jacob conduct genomic testing on each bull. This helps them know which bulls they want to keep for future breeding.

“With the genomics, we can start to tell which ones are more maternal, which ones are more paternal, or terminal,” Jake explained.

The cattle remain purebred Red Angus. The farm retains about 40 percent of its heifers and a few of its bulls each year for breeding. The rest go to a local feedlot. The grown bulls can sometimes be found for sale on the Middleroad Land & Cattle Facebook page.

They decided to let those fall calvers wait before breeding again, so that now all 80 Red Angus beef cows are on a spring calving schedule. That works better, Jacob said, because the family is busy with crop harvest in the fall. It also gives them a larger group of calves to sell at once.

The family raises all the crops it needs to feed both its dairy and beef cows.

“We grow corn, soybeans, alfalfa, oats and rye, and sorghum,” Sarah said. “There’s a lot there.”

They also plan to try TEF grass this year.

In the winter, the cattle live on a dry lot and are fed their rations. In nicer weather, they graze pasture near the farm. These pastures are hilly and rugged, and the Red Angus are well suited to them. They also are not as picky as the dairy cattle, so they graze more evenly. Because of this and the high nutrition of the pastures, the cows are in good shape, Jake said, and they don’t need to put much weight on when they come indoors for the winter.

“About the time that we got them 45 cows, a neighbor offered us 80 some acres to rent,” Bill said. “So, it was a God thing, that it all worked together.”

He added that, when they bought the next group of cattle, a neighbor offered another pasture that hadn’t been used since the tornado in the 90s. Their pastures are now at capacity during the grazing months, so if they want to grow their herd in the future, they’ll have to find additional pasture.

Merri said they had always intended to add on to the dairy but, instead, they expanded into beef. And when it comes to profitability, getting into beef is really going to help.
“Milk is in the tank right now, so I’m really glad we have the beef cows,” she said. “Actually, beef are looking to do really well right now.”

And let’s not forget the older and younger generations, who are very much a part of the operation. Sarah and Jacob have two boys, Coby and Aiden, and Jake and Megan have two girls, Addilynn and Willa. They like to watch and help out where they can, but all are still quite young. Fortunately, Grandma Mavis Kruisselbrink and Grandma Arlene Post both live within a mile or two of the farm and, though they’re both in their 80s, they jump in to help with kids and with making lunch whenever needed.

“So, we’re very, very blessed,” Bill said.

Stay Connected

Follow us on Social Media

Auction Calendar

Screen shot 2014 07 09 at 1.29.37 pm20140709 17595 1j418y4
View auction calendar listings from SW Minnesota, Eastern SD, and NW Iowa. Our calendar of events continues to grow as auction companies take advantage of this great marketing tool.

All of the events can also be seen in the twice monthly print edition of the Farm Market News.

Many of the events are complete with links to the auction sale bill.

Follow this link to our Online Auction Calendar.

View the Online Edition!

Read the latest edition of the Farm Market News in it's entirety online. Flip through the pages, link to businesses, and view archives of past editions. Click the image below.