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“Know Your Ranchers” – Butzer and Sons

The South Dakota Beef Blog continues to highlight South Dakota Beef Farmers and Ranchers throughout March in honor of National Agriculture Month. South Dakota is home to nearly 14,000 beef farms and ranches and this Know Your Rancher blog takes us East to Alcester, SD to the Butzer Ranch. Matt and Dawn Butzer tell us about their family’s cattle operation, Butzer and Sons and explain how they do things a bit different than the average South Dakota Beef Producers. Follow along to learn more about their family and their commitment to raising BEEF!


1. Farm Name & Family Members Involved?

Butzer and Sons - Matt, Dawn, Barrett (11) and Beau (6) Butzer.


2. Segment of the Beef community?

Procurement: Our main focus is to buy certain kinds of fed cattle to fill orders for certain harvest markets. We also have a feedlot and yards to work out of when we buy cattle. This allows us to have a place to care for them until they are ready to be shipped to the harvesting facilities or their next destination.


3. Where is your operation located?

Alcester, SD


4. How long have you been in the business?

We both have been in the beef business all our lives, but personally started on our own in 2011.


5. Tell us a little bit about yourself, your family and about your operation?

We both ironically grew up in sale barns, many miles apart, with a great affinity for fed cattle. Our passions led us to meet at a former job as cattle buyers in the Sioux City, IA area. We then had the opportunity to purchase our current home/farm in Alcester, SD. Matt’s grandpa, Bob Butzer Sr., started a cattle order buying business in Ohio in the 1950’s. I guess you could say it’s in his blood because that is our current business today. Matt attends a cattle auction almost every day buying cattle fit for harvest. Dawn plays the supporting role staying home caring for the cattle yard, books & our two sons. Dawn grew up trailing her dad and grandpa caring for livestock in SE Iowa, so tending to outside chores has been a role she’s played for a while. You don’t want me (Dawn) in the kitchen.


6. What do you want consumers to know about the Beef industry?

Oh, so many things but the one that comes to mind and means the most is care. God gave us the privilege to care for his animals. We take that to heart. From the way we feed, handle, load/unload cattle – it’s all with the thought “are they comfortable?”. Even our boys are taught to watch for a cow chewing her cudd. It’s one sign we’re doing our job right.


7. One word to describe your life in the cattle business and why?

We say busy and crafty are two words that we would use to describe our lives in the cattle business. Both are true: one day can include bi-polar markets (should I zig or zag?), lining up trucks to haul our cattle, taking care of a steer in the feedlot, or why did that cattle water freeze and letter “A” homework with the 6-year-old all play into the parts of being busy and trying to run a business! Every day brings something new and different.


8. Favorite Beef Dish?

Matt’s favorite beef dish is a prime strip with roasted little red potatoes and Dawn’s is a beef wellington. Barrett loves prime rib and Beau is still in kid mode with an all-beef hot dog!




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