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Her love of cattle…especially Shorthorns

Written by Leah Peterson

Written by Leah Peterson @ Clear Creek Farm

June has arrived!

The weather is beautiful, and I suppose that is why it’s known by many as a month for weddings. It has been a popular choice for weddings in my family, including my Great-Grandparents, Frank and Hetty Haumont who were married June 1, 1919.

Shorthorn 7

Shorthorn 2I have thought of these two people quite often in recent months. They married just after Grandma Hetty completed her studies at Nebraska Wesleyan. After they settled, they purchased the beginnings of our Shorthorn Cow herd that we still have today. Great Grandpa and Grandma Haumont managed the herd until the 1970’s, and then my Paternal Grandmother Mary Bell (Haumont) Cooksley took the reins.Mary Bell (Haumont) Cooksley She continued the tradition until her passing in the fall of 2011, and then my father and mother purchased the herd. They, along with my husband, myself, and brother now manage this operation on our ranch.

Frank Haumont and The Defender

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In recent weeks, we have had many visitors to the ranch who are interested in our Purebred Shorthorn cattle. They are a novelty in the United States because they are true purebred, tracing their roots back to Native cattle, with no outside breed influence. Shorthorns originated in England and are either: red, red and white, white, or roan, the last named color being a very close mixture of red and white, and found in no other breed of cattle. They are considered to be very versatile in that they provide excellent beef, milk, and are terrific mothers.

Shorthorn Heifers

Our recent visitors have come from Nevada, Oregon, Illinois, and from within Nebraska. They come to appreciate the breed, as well as potentially purchase stock to add to their own herds. The efforts to maintain this unique herd of cattle are substantial and at times, stressful. Our goal is always simple, to improve the breed with every new season, and the reward has been the friendships formed with other fans of the breed, and the pride that has come with knowing we are still honoring the memories of my ancestors who worked to start the herd in the 1920’s.

Hetty Haumont

Shorthorn cattle are one of the most beautiful sights on our ranch. When they go to summer pastures, I never tire of watching the cows tend their calves; their beautiful coats glistening under the summer skies. I hope you enjoy these snapshots that tell the history of our herd, from the beginning to today.

Shorthorn cow/calf pair

About the author

Leah Peterson

Leah Peterson is a native Nebraskan, living on the ranch her ancestors homesteaded in 1878. She and her husband Matt, met at the University of Nebraska Lincoln, and returned to the ranch in 2012 after working and living in Central Nebraska the past 12 years. They are parents to two daughters, Maggie and Lucy. Leah has an undergrad degree from UNL in Communication Studies, and a MA in Leadership from Bellevue University. Aside from her work at the ranch and opportunity to be a stay at home mom, she enjoys writing, photography, community involvement, spending time with friends and family and trying new recipes in her kitchen. Leah published her first children’s book in 2011 titled “An Apple for Dapple” and enjoys traveling throughout the state to share her book with children and raise awareness about the importance Agriculture in Nebraska.

1 Comment

  • In my final three years in 4-H, my dad thought it would be a great idea for my sister and I to move from hefers and cow/calf pairs to market steers. For this he picked Shorthorns. Aside from a few stepped on feet and bruised ribs, the shorthorns were some of my favorite animals to work with. They were relaxed, smart, and always did well in the ring… or as well as a red breed can do in a black Angus-favoring county. We only had a total of six Shorthorns on our farm during those final years of 4-H, but I appreciated those six more than the dozens of Simmentals that we raised before.