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Stewards of the Land: Geier Ranch raises cattle and hay with conservation in mind

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

The Geier family has been ranching for over 125 years and have been stewards of the land for four generations, with a fifth in training. 

Marlin and Mary Geier, who have been married 40 years, run Angus-cross cattle on private and leased land on the plains of eastern Wyoming at the edge of the Black Hills. 

Better forage varieties and self-sufficient cows

“We’ve always been interested in finding better grass varieties for our dryland hay, and over the years, we have developed ways to improve pastures using a number of varieties for haying and grazing,” Marlin says. “And, I hope it can help others. It’s why God put us here – to help others.” 

The Geier Ranch is home to a variety of forages, including orchardgrass, fall rye, alfalfa-grass mix, millet and wheat, which is grown utilizing crop rotation and center pivot watering. 

“To keep our crops growing, we are able to tap into the Madison formation for irrigation,” Marlin states. “Through the use of Wyoming grants, we have been able to put in an extensive watering system, running miles of pipeline to numerous stock tanks with three large storage tanks.” 

The Geiers donated their time and land to assist the Natural Resources Conservation Service and the University of Wyoming when they conducted a forage-grass study, which took place over several years and was published in 2005. 

The family was  also honored by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department in 2009 as the  Landowner of the Year in the Casper region. 

The Geier Ranch is a cow/calf operation, functioning on a May calving schedule, along with a substantial yearling operation. 

“Our cows are hardy and calve out in big country on green grass. We use quality Hereford and Angus bulls,” Marlin says. “Calves are summered as yearlings, along with calves purchased from neighbors and sold in the fall or finished in feedlots in Nebraska and Iowa.” 

A small but mighty crew

Marlin adds, “We run on a large operation with little help, but the crew I have is the best. It’s my wife who keeps it all together.”

Marlin notes Mary spearheads all ranch projects, while maintaining the books and helping with organization. 

Additionally, Mary and Marlin’s daughter Emily, son-in-law Shane and granddaughter Kori live at the feedlot, where they oversee daily operations.  

“Lucas Stolhammer and his family live next to the property and help with the day-to-day operations, while  running their own cows as well,” Marlin explains. “Lucas not only works on the ranch, but he is an Elder at the local church and leads Bible studies and the worship team.” 

“We have a small but mighty crew, but all of them do a great job,” Marlin expresses. “We have a gentleman from the high school, JR Graham, who works for us part time and another gentleman, Mike Marshall, who hails from Alaska and has been onboard with us for about a year now.” 

Wes Busenitz, the local saw mill operator, is another main employee, who also runs cows on the ranch.  

“We could not do it without this Godly group,” Marlin  reiterates. “We hire several day workers to help brand and work cattle. The community always helps each other out here. We really do have the best neighbors.” 

He continues, “Mary and I are extremely blessed, we have three wonderful daughters, and we try to do everything in God’s name. Sharing God’s love is the key. I am almost 72 and hope to continue that the rest of my life.”  

Melissa Anderson is the editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to

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