Rodney and Sadie Derstein

“This is our little paradise; we work side-by-side every day and put everything we have into raising beef. The cattle here are comfortable and their needs are put ahead of ours, every single time. We are proud to be able to play a small part in the beef community.”

Young Married couple thrive in role as cattle caretakers

Rodney and Sadie own Cimarron River Cattle Company, a custom backgrounding operation, which means they get calves from cow-calf farms once they’re weaned from their mothers and give them specialized attention and care as they continue to grow and mature. One of the most critical things Rodney and Sadie do is ensure that the cattle have a well-balanced diet, so they work closely with a nutritionist who formulates the cattle’s diet with the best mixture of protein, carbohydrates, fats, minerals and vitamins the cattle need to thrive and grow.

Read more about this young couple and their part in the beef community below.

Meet Your Rancher:

How do you play a role in raising cattle?

Sadie Derstein (SD): We believe that high-quality beef starts with high-quality care, so we follow cattle industry standards, called BQA (Beef Quality Assurance), when handling cattle, making sure that we move animals quietly and in low-stress ways—and we also educate our employees on proper cattle handling. We want the cattle in our yard to be as comfortable as possible, so this means they have clean water tanks, as much shelter as possible and clean pens.

How is your operation unique? What are some of the challenges?

Rodney Derstein (RD): You could say being a young, married couple who work together every single day makes us unique. When we first bought our ranch, it was just the two of us doing it all. We work well together and have found ways to divide responsibilities.

SD: We are also unique in that Rodney, besides helping run our ranch, works full-time for a feed company! While there, he sources unusable by-products, such as wet and dry distillers’ grains (the unfermented grain byproducts that contain protein, fiber, and fat) and uses them as part of a scientifically-balanced diet for cattle.

How do you use antibiotics on your ranch?

RD: When it comes to our antibiotics usage, we have a written treatment plan developed with our consulting veterinarian, Dr. Nels. We use that plan to determine the right antibiotics for any illness and we only use them for the right amount of time.

Some may see your operation as a “factory farm.” How would you respond to that label?

SD: Well, we would have to invite them to come and spend the day with us. Ride around on horseback and see what actually goes on and how the animals are treated. This is our little paradise; we work side-by-side every day and put everything we have into raising beef. The cattle here are comfortable and their needs are put ahead of ours, every single time. We are proud to play a small part in the beef community. We work from sun up to sun down…early mornings and long days are worth it when you know you are working to feed safe, wholesome beef to our customers.

If readers want to follow your ranch activities on social media, where can they find you?

Instagram: @rderstein and @sderstein
Twitter: @CimarronRiverCC


Cimarron River Cattle Company

Kismet, KS

Backgrounding

Between 6-12 months of age, cattle spend time at stocker and backgrounder farms and ranches where they graze on a variety of pastures. Here they gain weight and convert forage and grass into lean protein.

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