Constant improvement is key
Published on Feb. 22, 2020
Growing up the fourth generation on the Kretschman Ranch, Galen Kretschman was born into the farming and ranching lifestyle and was constantly outside on the ranch from a young age.
“My parents never had a babysitter, so I spent my whole childhood out on the ranch with them or with my grandparents,” he says. “I really started helping out around the ranch when I was about 10.”
Kretschman notes he does a little bit of everything on their operation, which includes a commercial cow/calf herd, a registered Angus herd and a farming operation.
“I do a little bit of everything,” he says. “Whatever needs to be done, I’m there. It doesn’t matter if its farming or doctoring and branding cattle.”
The Kretschman family historically ran exclusively commercial cattle until 2008 when the family was able to secure additional leases and pastures.
“My dad and uncle found a lot of papered, registered Angus pairs that were actually going for less than commercial pairs at the auction,” he says. “I remember riding up to go look at them and we bought them that day and hauled them home.”
“We are pretty picky about cattle,” he says. “We really don’t like the super feminine looking cows. At the end of the day, we want to wean as many pounds as possible, so we select more of a broodier cow that is fleshy and will raise a big calf.”
He continues, “These types of cows will be heavier because of the way they are built. Our type of cattle tend to be moderate and pack more pounds in a smaller package.”
Kretschman notes the family has an annual production sale for their bulls.
“We try to separate ourselves from the competition by the way we stand behind our bulls,” he says. “We have a really great guarantee for our buyers. If something goes wrong, we will refund their money, give them sale credit or send them a new bull.”
“Publications such as the Wyoming Livestock Roundup are full of Angus bull sale ads this time of year and we want to separate ourselves by the way we treat our customers and the quality of cattle we are producing,” Kretschman says.
“It has always been my plan to be here,” Kretschman says. “Even if I have to have an outside job to support myself, this is where I want to be.”
Kretschman is currently attending Sheridan College and intends to finish his degree in agriculture business online through University of Wyoming.
“With this degree, I can apply what I learned directly to the ranch,” he says. “So far, it has taught me more ways to make an operation profitable and how to think outside the box for different farming and ranching methods.”
“I am still two years out from finishing my degree, but I am doing it online so I can still work,” he says. “I never stayed at college over weekends and always came home to work.”
Ideally, Kretschman would like to grow the operation and involve more cows.
“Cattle pay the bills for us,” he says.
“Cattle production is always a work in progress,” he says. “It doesn’t matter how good the cows are, we are always wanting them to be a tick better.”
He continues, “We can’t ever settle with what we have at the moment, we are always wanting to improve them going forward because there is no such thing as the perfect cow.”
Callie Hanson is the managing editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to firstname.lastname@example.org.