GARNER, Iowa – All it took was a little horse trading to get the Greiman family into the Angus business more than a century ago.
“My great-grandfather came here from Germany, and there weren’t a lot of Angus cattle around,” Ted Greiman says. “He rode the train to Chicago to sell his cattle and saw an advertisement for Angus and thought he would buy a bull. But it would have cost more than what he got for his cattle.
“He went home and found someone willing to trade an Angus bull calf for a Percheron stallion. The bull was small but he grew and produced a lot of offspring, and it’s just kept going from there.”
The north-central Iowa family was named the 2023 Outstanding Seedstock Producer by the Iowa Beef Breeds Council.
Ted’s grandfather Addis eventually took over the herd, replacing commercial cows with purebred Angus females. Ted’s father Don and his uncle Cliff expanded the herd and improved the genetics.
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Don and Cliff both retired in 1990, with Ted and his wife Mary taking over Don’s operation, renaming it Greiman Family Angus.
Today the operation also includes Ted and Mary’s two sons, Kyle and Cole, although both work full-time off the farm.
Over time, the family has steadily worked on improving herd genetics, bringing in bulls and purchasing replacement heifers. He says cattle must also be functional, with heifers having the ability to raise a calf once her show days are done.
“When we took over, there were three of the original bloodlines left, and now we are down to just one,” Ted says. “We’ve worked hard to produce the best cattle we can.”
Kyle and Cole both enjoyed success in the show ring, and the operation has gradually shifted to focus more on show cattle, particularly heifers.
“We use a lot of sexed semen since females have more value to us,” Ted says. “We also use embryo transfers quite a bit.”
The family holds an online each fall, selling heifers, embryos and semen. This will be the fourth year for the online sale.
Ted says service doesn’t end with the sale. His sons work with customers on clipping and other things that help improve the chances for success in the show ring.
“Our customers’ success is our success as well,” he says.
Ted and Mary have been active in the Iowa Angus Association as well as the auxiliary group, serving as officers. Mary served as an officer on the American Angus Auxiliary and continues to be involved on national committees.
They also worked for many years with the National Junior Angus Show and as advisors for Angus youth.
It’s been 128 years since the Greiman family got into the Angus business, and Ted says this award is a tribute to everyone who has been a part of it.
“I believe we have the third oldest continuously owned Angus herd in the U.S., and there is so much history behind this award,” he says. “It’s truly a family honor, and we appreciate it.”