With four registered herds of four different breeds (Angus, Scotch Shorthorn, Ayrshire and Yorkshire), Mr. Studer with sons, Paul, Ben Jr., Nate and Mark farms 900 of the 1200 acres using four sets of buildings and three tenant houses. Born on the old homestead, shown here in 1890, Ben has spent a lifetime in building one of the very finest purebred livestock establishments in the entire United States.
From Father’s 320 Acre Homestead to 1220 Acres, Four Purebred Herds
The Studer family with five daughters and four sons has come a long way since Ben’s father homesteaded on the farm site in Wesley, Iowa. Along the way have been many highlights that thrill any breeder—the time he paid $10,000 for a boar which later became Grand Champion at the National Swine Show in 1920—the starting of his purebred Angus in 1940 which now number more than 325 head, many of which were imported, including 30 matrons.
The longest established purebred herd on Studer Stock Farms is the Scotch Shorthorn herd mentioned on page 70. It was started around 1920 and now numbers 100 head. The Ayrshire herd was established about 11 years ago and now includes sires and matrons that were largely imported. The herd of 45 includes 25 milk cows.
The Studers generally plant around 350 acres of corn, 150 acres of soybeans, 150 acres of oats, with the balance being in hay and pasture on a rotation basis. A farming operation of this size takes a lot of power machinery and most if it is the 4-row size, as it makes an hour of labor and tractor time cover more acres.
Of special interest to livestock breeders is the double usage the Studers get out of the five silos on the farms. In the early summer part of the silos are filled with chopped oats and hay silage. This is fed out in later summer and they are refilled in the fall with cane and corn silage for winter feeding.
The largest of their barns is 120’x40’, a second is 80’x40’, a third is 80’x36’, and several are open loafing-style barns. Both inside and outside elevators make it handy to handle and store more than 30,000 bushels of corn and small grain in cribs and granaries.
The Studer family gets its greatest reward in purebred work when they see calf club and young farmer buyers of the seed stock enter County and State Fairs and walk off with winner ribbons.