by Bill Bush
Josh and Macey Mueller seemed destined to become ranchers. Macey grew up on a cattle operation in Cowley County and Josh is a fourth generation cattleman in rural Harvey County, outside of Halstead.
Now, not only do they work their own cattle, but they feed and care of customer cattle, have both served on the Harvey County Farm Bureau Association board, and they own the El Dorado Livestock Auction.
And they farm around a thousand acres.
“We kind of like it (busy) that way, I think,” Macey said. “We joke and make fun of ourselves that we picked up a lot of things over the last several years, but we really haven’t set anything down. It keeps us gong. We enjoy it.”
The Muellers married in 2015 and have four children, so add that to the list of things that keep them busy.
Prior to purchasing the livestock auction, Josh was a buyer for local farmers. Macey said he spends a lot of time on the phone talking with customers and helping them figure out the best strategy for marketing their cattle based on the markets and what kind of cattle they have.
As for the Muellers, they breed red Angus. Recently, they gave about 60 calves and their moms vaccinations to keep them healthy from things like respiratory issues, diarrhea, worms and other parasites.
“Since these are home raised and we have around here all the time, they’re not subject to a lot of other diseases like these shipped in cattle,” Josh said. “We do what we can to maintain them, keep them in the herd so we don’t have to replace them all the time. We don’t make any money doing that.”
He said the moms usually breed for ten to twelve years.
Macey said it’s a constant rotation.
“We try to add to our cow herd and keep it growing,” Macey said. “As long as they get bred and have a calve, we keep them around. They have to earn their keep.”
The calves will be weaned off their moms and sent out to grass for the summer. The calves will most likely be sold around the end of July, early August. Then the cycle starts over.
“We’ve been really lucky that we haven’t had any major health issues,” Macey said.
In addition to cattle, the Mueller’s farm wheat, milo, soy beans, and hay. They are currently at the start of the farming season for them.
“I always say if I want anything done around my house, you know projects or anything like that, I have to get it done before April, because once April hits it’s non-stop until the holidays,” Macey said.
They have help. They have one employee, Brady Stucky, that Macey said they wouldn’t be able to do all that they do without him. Josh’s dad also does a lot of work around their farm.
Macey said they haven’t hit it hard yet, but it’s coming really soon.
“There’s a lot of reward and a lot of satisfaction that we get out it,” she said. “We work for ourselves and take care of land that’s been in the family for a hundred years. That means a lot.”
The Muellers operate cattle under Circle M Cattle Company and their farming through Mueller Farms.