I’m a fourth-generation cattle farmer on both sides. Both of my great grandpas, both my grandpas, and my mom and dad were both farm kids. My mom and dad are both third-generation farmers, and they bought their own farm in 1994. That is where I grew up, and where we raised shorthorn cattle.
My dad is a cow-calf, start to finish farm. Meaning that we have the momma cows who have the calves, and we feed the calves out until they’re ready to go to market. My sister and I are the only two kids, so we grew up out on the farm. Dad didn’t have any boys, so he had two girls to help him with all of the farm work, which we were completely okay with.
My sister, Cassie, and I both enjoyed showing our shorthorn cattle. You could say that we weren’t really interested in the farming in middle or high school, mainly because our friends didn’t understand that we had to help on the farm – that we had chores to do and that our dad needed our help. So, we always thought it was kind of like a punishment to have to help dad outside because none of our friends had to do that. I was the only person in my high-school class that was involved in FFA and 4-H. I graduated with a group of 40 kids in a small community, so that was very strange. It wasn’t until my sister attended the Iowa Agricultural Youth Institute that she discovered her love for agriculture, and that there are other people out there who have the same love. For me, it was going to state conference for 4-H in high school that I discovered it.
So, my sister and I both led paths to Iowa State University, where we both received the same degree in Agricultural Communications. My sister and I are three years apart, and that that point we were very involved in the cattle industry. We were involved in activities at Iowa State, such as Collegiate Beef Team, where we were very active with other beef advocates at Iowa State. For Cassie and I, going to Iowa state made us realize how much we loved cattle, and that’s where we both ended up.
2016, I married my husband who comes from a Century Farm. He is a fourth generation Angus Cattle farmer, running a start-to-finish farm. My sister married a cattle farmer as well. So, we didn’t get very far out of the cattle industry. I live about 35 minutes from the home farm where my dad still raises shorthorn cattle, and I still help my dad out on the farm. I actually brought some of my shorthorns to my husband’s purebred Angus herd, which the town thinks is kind of funny.
Throughout my travels of discovering my true love for beef, I write a blog known as Kellie For Ag, where I share my love of agriculture and raising beef. I share the good, the bad, the ugly, and everything in between. I want people to know what actually is happening on a cattle farm, how they’re treated, and the incredible products that we get from these animals. I also teach agriculture in the classroom through the Iowa Farm Bureau, and that is really fascinating because students are so intrigued to learn that marshmallows come from cattle (I don’t tell them exactly where they come from, because I want them to continue to eat marshmallows!).
Last year, I started my own marketing and communications business. I call it Roan Marketing, because that incorporates my love for cattle and my background of shorthorn. I am also active within the National Cattle Women’s Association, and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association on the local and state levels as well. For two years, I have also been the Marketing Ambassador for the NCBA.
My favorite part of raising cattle is calving season. There literally is no better sight or feeling than watching a new baby calf come into this world, watching it’s mother lick it and greet it and help it along in it’s first few steps. That’s really fun and exciting, and when you raise shorthorns, they are also very colorful! You never know what they’re going to look like, which makes it extremely fun. I always give my husband and his family a hard time, because we know their calves are going to come out black because they’re angus. So, it ruins the fun of calving!
" My husband’s favorite joke to tell people is that 'She only married me for the cows', because I am such a cow fanatic. "– Kellie Lasack
My husband’s favorite joke to tell people is that “She only married me for the cows”, because I am such a cow fanatic. My house is covered in cows. People come in here and they’re like “Do you like cows or something?”, and I’m like “Really? Obviously!”. In every part of my life, cattle have affected it. From when I was little and showed bottle calves, to helping my dad on the farm, to helping pull my first calf, to understanding the necessities of having beef around. The thing I take for granted the most is having a freezer full of beef all the time. Not everyone has that luxury and can just pull a ribeye out whenever they want! I love having a great source of beef. I am borderline anemic, and by eating beef, that keeps my iron levels high and I think people forget just how important beef is in their diet. Through my blog, I advocate for not only eating beef, but just showing people life on the farm so they understand where their food comes from. It’s amazing how the life growing up on a cattle farm can introduce you to so many things, and create life lessons that you never thought you would have learned at such a young age.
Westwind Farm & Lasack Family Farms