“Know Your Ranchers” – Fagerhaug Cattle
Ranch Name & Family Members Involved?
Tyler and I (Cam) operate as Fagerhaug Cattle, along with our two young sons Lawson (6) and Cecil (3). We help my dad, John Christensen with his large seedstock operation, 3C Christensen Ranch.
Segment of the Beef community?
Our family is blessed to be involved in more than one segment of this great industry. Together Tyler and I operate a higher concentration of SimAngus commercial cow/calf pairs as well as market commercial SimAngus bred females. We are lucky to be included in my dad's seedstock operation and assist in all aspects of his registered Simmental program, which just celebrated its 50th year of selling bulls in March of 2021. We have a small herd of registered Simmental and SimAngus cows and continue to grow that genetic bank as we expand our operation.
Where is your ranch located?
Our operation rests in the rolling Wessington hills, in southern Hand County, SD.
How long have your ranched?
Both Tyler and I grew up on a multi-generational, family operated ranches and were always involved with day-to-day operations. Our boys are the 5th generation of our family to be involved in beef cattle production in this area.
Tell us a little bit about yourself, your family and about your ranch?
Both Tyler and I graduated from South Dakota State University with agriculturally related degrees. Tyler worked as a crop adjuster for Great American for several years as well as rodeoed and trained horses while building his commercial cow/calf operation and helping on his dad's ranch. I worked for a cattle genetics consulting business, Allied Genetic Resources, as well as for Farm Bureau for a few years until finding my way to the newspaper. We were married in 2013 and in 2018 we purchased our own smaller ranch, that conjoins my dad's operation.
The majority of our cows are commercial and we typically wean and background our steer calves, marketing them at public auction 60 -90 days post weaning. This year, due to drought, we will market our steers right off the cow for the first time ever, hoping to conserve fall grazing/winter feed options for our momma cows.
We retain our top end of commercial females and develop them to be marketed as bred females, as well as retain a few for ourselves.
Our small, but profitable seedstock operation consists of Purebred Simmental and SimAngus cattle in which we market our bull calves on my dad's annual bull sale in March every year. My sister (NaLani Dunsmore) and her family are also involved in the seedstock side of things, with their own Sim-influenced program, NLC Ranch. We are truly a family operation.
Along with the cow/calf side of things I (Cam) also design and create sale catalogs and other promotional materials for a handful of producers each sale season. I thoroughly enjoy this process of helping other producers market their hard work. My graphic design talents also found their way to my hometown newspaper, the True Dakotan, located in Wessington Springs, SD. This opportunity has also afforded me the ability to create feature stories and editorials showcasing the ranching lifestyle and heritage behind it, reaching a different readership than what I may have ever touched just through my own social circle.
We are also still involved in marketing a handful of rope/ranch horses for sale each year by private treaty.
What do you want consumers to know about the Beef industry?
The best place for a consumer to gain knowledge of a product is to go directly to the source. Ask a producer if you have a question, not the internet. There is a lot of misinformation that gets passed around about the practices and principles of the cattleman, and agriculture in general. We are some of the most meticulous and nurturing members of society and are also held to the highest of standards in food quality in the WORLD. We present our BEST products with pride and we would love to take the time show you that.
This is also a reminder to producers to never hesitate to share their world with those that may not be properly informed on our goals and intentions as cattle producers and true stewards of the land. Take the time, whether it's social media, the clerk at the convenience store or your child's classmate to educate someone in the process of "pasture to plate" and how much care and concern goes into each step to ensure a high quality, nutritious and safe food source.
One word to describe your life as ranchers and why?
While commonly stated, BLESSED is simply the best way to describe our way of life. It is a beautiful, burdening, always educating, faith required, exhausting yet rewarding way to raise our family. It proves that challenges can present opportunities and I am proud to raise my children in that kind of environment, in an industry they can become involved in at such a young age. Whether my boys decide to pursue a passion in agriculture or delve into a different industry, they will always have the knowledge their heritage has provided to help tell our ranching story to those less familiar with our lifestyle.
Favorite Beef Dish?
A good home raised steak on the grill is unbeatable and what we all enjoy! On big work days like working calves or ultra-sounding cows my go-to’s are always crockpot meals!I throw a frozen roast in with onion soup mix and a can of cream of mushroom soup- it is always a delicious, filling way to keep the cowhands happy.It can be served with potatoes and carrots cooked right with it or sometimes I shred it for sandwiches.