For over a hundred years cattle have roamed the yards and fields of the Venner Farms located in the fertile, rolling hills of west central Iowa. Now in the fifth generation of cattle rearing, emphasis has returned to its original roots of a cow-calf operation, albeit it is now a seedstock rearing operation rather than the commercial herd which dominated the farm at the turn of the 20 century.
Jim’s great-grandfather, Henry Venner, arrived from the Netherlands in December, 1873 and within a few years, settled on the fertile landscape near Breda, Iowa. Henry was a typical stockman and a part of the operation was a small herd of commercial, non-pedigreed cows primarily of Hereford and Shorthorn breeding. A mounted sets of horns from one of Henry’s cows adorns the wall over the family business soffice providing the curent generation a reminder of its roots in the cattle industry.
Henry’s son Steve and grandson, Paul, maintained the cowherd until the 1950’s when farm economics dictacted that perhaps a better use of the soil was in crops with the resulting feed fed to steers and heifers in the feedlot.
In 1980 Jim and Becky moved back to Breda and joined the farming operation. The previous year, they had invested in 10 registered Limousin females from several dispersal and production sales including Bacon Farms in Missouri, Bell Woode Ltd from Osceola, Iowa and Garst Farms from Coon Rapids, Iowa and so with the arrival of these females, once more cows roamed Venner land.