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> Department > Home > Beef > Beef/Cattle > Profiles
Beef/Cattle Extension Program

Strong family tradition and attention detail make Centennial Livestock unique

By John Maki, Beaverhead County Extension Agent Describe your operation

"The beef produced on Centennial Livestock are for the most part all natural beef."

Over 80 years ago, Les Staudenmeyer went into the ranching business. His keen business sense, hard work and ability to take advantage of opportunities enabled Les and his family to build what is today Centennial Livestock. Les passed away in 2001 at 103. Les's son Bill and his wife Judy, Bill's daughter Debbie and her husband Tom Tamcke and Bill's son Will and his wife Patti Jo carry on with Les's strong sense of development and diversification.

Centennial Livestock is a diversified operation raising Black Angus cattle, paint and quarter horses, wheat, malting barley, alfalfa and native hay. The ranch also includes a recreational hunting and fishing business and a very popular Ranch Cookhouse. The Ranch Cookhouse has served people from all over the world at its "authentic" sit-down-with- the- ranch-hands family style dining. The cookhouse always features ranch home-grown beef, and with the beef comes the opportunity to promote and educate people about the beef business and Montana agriculture. The ranch contains about 60,000 acres, including a 3,000-acre farm in Dillon, a summer grazing unit in the Centennial Valley and the Cross Ranch in the Horse Prairie that provides native hay and a place to winter and calve their 2,400 Angus cows.

What have been your most effective management strategies in recent times?
Centennial Livestock takes advantage of new technology. They are continually looking for ways to improve their beef cattle production through better nutrition, by using the highest quality bulls, obtaining carcass data on their steers and using that data to help with management decisions. The beef produced on Centennial Livestock are for the most part all natural beef. They use a good mineral nutrition program to improve immunity and reduce sickness. They feel that most calf sickness can be treated with natural remedies. Debbie admits that occasionally they have to use antibiotics to save the life of a calf, but that identified and is not included in the natural beef

What are your biggest challenges?
Will, Patti Jo, Tom and Debbie all agreed that of the biggest challenges is maintaining profitability. Tom said there are consumers who want their natural product and are willing to pay for it, and do pay premium at the meat counter, but the ranch does receive this added value.

What are the biggest challenges of the livestock industry?
Will and Tom agreed that one of the biggest challenges facing the livestock industry is trying to stay ahead of the consumer demands. The consumer wants a high quality product that is safe, wholesome and is consistent in flavor and tenderness. To this quality and consistency, the producer has to what he is producing and it is sometimes difficult get the carcass data to make the best management decisions to improve the product. Another challenge of the industry is meeting the demands placed on it by people and groups outside the industry. This is why Debbie and Patti Jo use every opportunity their Ranch Cookhouse to educate the public on the importance of the livestock industry and that the people on the land are its best stewards. Yet another challenge is finding ways to allow young people were raised on farms and ranches to come back to those farms and ranches. Learn more about Centennial Livestock by visiting its website

Beef: Questions & Answers is a joint project between MSU Extension and the Montana Beef Council. This column informs producers about current consumer education, promotion and research projects funded through the $1 per head checkoff. For more information, contact the Montana Beef Council at (406) 442-5111 or at

View Text-only Version Text-only Updated: 08/14/2009
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