Ludvigson Stock Farms was founded by Lars and Joan Ludvigson in the early 1950’s in Cushing, Iowa. Originally the operation was formed as a conventional farming business which included row crops of corn and soybeans, hay, a farrow to finish swine operation and a cattle feeding enterprise. The cattle feeding enterprise garnered attention by topping the Chicago International Market during the height of its run in the 1950’s and 1960’s.
A commercial Angus cowherd was added to LSF in the 1970’s. Lars and son, Park, spent several summers in Montana in the early 1980’s selecting club calves and they recognized the increased productivity of crossbreeding Angus cows with continental bulls. LSF implemented a crossbreeding system and began to produce club calves which were sold in annual sale during the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. Lars and Park were very impressed with the growth of their Simmental calves and began to gravitate to breeding up their Simmental F1’s.
LSF moved into the seed stock business in the early 1980’s producing Registered Simmental bulls and females. LSF Hosted annual female and bull sales throughout the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. During this time Lars and Joan were active leaders in the local, state and national Simmental and Cattlemen’s organizations serving as directors and committee members. LSF was a well known prefix in the Simmental breed during this time and can be found in the pedigrees of bulls in AI studs today.
RED ANGUS BEGINNING
Lars and Park took a trip in the summer of 1992 that would shape the future of Ludvigson Stock Farms forever. Park had become interested in Red Angus cattle in the year prior through discussions with friends in the cattle feeding industry. Park researched the breed thoroughly and selected several breeders to visit to evaluate the qualities of the Red Angus breed. The trip proved to be exciting for both Lars and Park and in the fall of 1992, Park purchased 10 females from Panhandle Red Angus and Redland Red Angus as a test group.
This “test” turned into an immediate approval of the breed through calf vigor, survivability, milking ability of the cows, body condition scores, timeliness of breed back and pounds at weaning time. Saying everyone at LSF was more than excited about Red Angus is an understatement. LSF would go on to add genetics from Panhandle, Redland, Buffalo Creek Red Angus and Sodak Angus Ranch.
THE LEACHMAN CATTLE COMPANY YEARS
LSF made the decision that to correctly evaluate the bull progeny produced in the operation, the bulls would be performance tested in large Red Angus genetic pools. LSF contributed bulls to the Leachman Cattle Company program from 1996 to 2002 with an amazing run of all LSF bulls selling for an average of over $4,700. This run included the high selling bull in 1998, LCC Bullseye 1379G at $67,000 and the high selling bull in 1999, LCC Sharpshooter 1369H at $42,000. All in all LSF had over 18 herd bulls sell for more than $10,000 in the 7 years in the Leachman program.
Leachman Cattle Company had a great effect on LSF through the education of the Red Angus breed and the approach that that company took to evaluating sires and to develop breeding programs. Ryan was the head of marketing for Leachman Cattle Company from 1997 to 2000. The Ludvigson and Leachman families continue to have a close relationship to this day and still exchange thoughts as well as collaborate on breeding evaluations and strategies. It is an understatement to say that the LCC years had a profound effect on the development and success of LSF.
THE MIDWEST YEARS
LSF began its ignaugural Focus on Females Sale in September 2000 held at the main headquarters in Cushing, Iowa. This elite female offering was the largest Red Angus female sale in the country at that time. This event would be carried on every fall until 2008 when LSF began its expansion in the west. All females have been retained since then to fuel the large expansion that LSF has went through during the last years.
LSF made another significant decision in the fall of 2002 to begin testing and marketing bulls with Neo-Sho Farms in Southwest City, Missouri. The move was made to enhance the strong customer base that LSF was developing in the Midwest and to bolster Neo-Sho’s current customer base. LSF topped the event in 2003 with the sale of LSF Combination A301M for $46,000 to ABS, Bieber, Paul, Sonstegaard and Jinglebob. The next year LSF once again topped the event with the sale of LSF Canyon Classic 3037N for $20,000 to Wood Red Angus in Oklahoma.
Ludvigson Stock Farms began holding its own bull sales in 2007 at the Iowa Headquarters but for only 2 years.
THE MONTANA MOVE
In the fall of 2008, Ludvigson Stock Farms made the decision to move its bull sale west to Park City, Montana. We held bull sales in Park City from the spring of 2009 until the spring of 2013. Ludvigson Stock Farms continued to grow over those years and outgrew the development facility in Park City and moved in the summer of 2013 to the Weschenfelder Development Facility in Shepherd, Montana which provided the needed size for its growing expansion. The Weschenfelder facility is still today the home of Ludvigson Stock Farms development center for its bulls and replacement females along with its Montana sales center.
A year after the bull sale was moved west, LSF moved part of the cowherd to Montana and began to run cows in Stillwater County in Montana. In 2010, the majority of the cowherd was moved to Montana with only the donor cowherd left in Iowa. The cowherd was run for 4 years just south of Columbus, Montana in the beautiful Yellowstone River valley.
In the fall of 2013, LSF merged it Red Angus herd with Steve and Shelley Newberry’s Strawberry Ridge Reds herd to form LN Cattle Company. LSF was experiencing an accelerated demand for its genetics and the opportunity to merge allowed LSF to better service its growing customer base. LN Cattle Company purchased a ranch just south of Lewistown, Montana and is the home to the elite nucleus herd. LN Cattle Company supplies the majority of genetics for Ludvigson Stock Farms.
LSF markets bulls throughout the U.S. and has one of the most geographically diverse customer bases in the beef seedstock industry. Wanting to better serve this diverse base, LSF began developing regional sales to better serve locales throughout the U.S. The first regional sale was held in Diamond, Missouri in March 2014. LSF added another sale in Mandan, North Dakota in February 2015 and another in Madras, Oregon in March 2016. These sales continue to provide genetics on an ongoing basis. LSF plans to continue to develop additional sales throughout the U.S.
In addition to these sales LN Cattle Company maintains cow herds in North Dakota and New Mexico along with cooperator ET cowherds in South Dakota and Wyoming. LN Cattle Company will continue to expand through partnerships and ET cooperator herds throughout the U.S.
Ludvigson Stock Farms and the LSF prefix are well known throughout the Red Angus breed as well as the entire beef industry. The cattle bred by LSF are known for their low birth, growth, carcass and maternal characteristics while maintaining some of the most eye appealing Red Angus in the breed today. Be assured that when you purchase LSF genetics you can have the confidence that your investment will be worthwhile and will be in high demand in the industry.