By, Rhonda McCurry
For some people, showing and raising livestock is more than a profession; it has become a passion. One of those families is the Pfeiffers of Orlando, Oklahoma.
Kelsey Pfeiffer helps manage his fifth-generation family ranch consisting of registered Angus cattle and meat goats. The goats are newer to their operation, added ten years ago, but they’ve run Angus cattle in central Oklahoma since 1907.
With 800 does, the Pfeiffers offer 14 goat sales a year. They got into the business when Kelsey’s youngest sister, Karisa, had a desire to show goats. That’s when the passion they had for agriculture and livestock escalated even more.
“We are in the business of raising good livestock, whether it’s cattle, sheep, hogs or goats,” Pfeiffer says. “Agriculture is in my blood. It’s all we know.”
Pfeiffer says his passion for the business continues each time he helps a calf or saves a kid goat born in zero-degree weather. He says it is a feeling of accomplishment to produce something real. Raising cattle and goats feels so right for him he’s never questioned doing anything else – Pfeiffer knows it is what he was meant to do as a career.
Raising livestock is not always easy, and being a diversified operation has been important for the Pfeiffers It has allowed them to make a living off the land, while continuing the legacy Kelsey’s ancestors started.
When it comes to showing livestock, Pfeiffer is especially passionate about helping young people raise show animals. He says in a country where fewer and fewer people are raised on a farm, he sees the need to give kids a chance to be hands-on and raise a livestock project. The best way to teach people about production agriculture is to let them learn as children so when they grow up and hear negative things about agriculture they will be willing to combat those misconceptions.
“On the goat side, we’re developing a younger generation by helping to raise junior projects for kids,” he says. “Agriculture will grow more with people who raise junior projects whether it’s pigs, cattle, sheep or rabbits. In a world with animal rights activists around the corner, the only way to know the difference in how ranchers treat livestock is to have the hands-on experience. Showing junior livestock does that.”
Pfeiffers’ passion for agriculture has grown for nearly 30 years and will continue for the next 100 if possible.
“Showing is more than just buying the high-dollar one,” he says. “It’s about taking care of it and learning responsibility at home and being proud when your animal goes in the ring. Showing means making connections you’ll have your whole life, that’s something to be passionate about.”