Our passion for the Simmental breed and developing “self-serving” cattle for our customers stems from NaLani’s dad’s (John Christensen) influence. In our part of the country, water can be a long distance from the best grazing and supplementation is used at a minimum. Our winters are long and harsh and often show up again in the spring during calving. It’s absolutely necessary our cattle can calve unassisted and their offspring be born with enough vigor to get up and nurse in adverse conditions without our help. We have our own kids to raise so we expect our cows to take care of theirs! If a female stays in our herd she needs to be able to maintain breeding condition on little supplementation and be able to travel from pasture to pasture and over the rocky hills and the rough terrain our area presents. We don’t creep feed. Studies prove that when a heifer calf is creep fed it decreases her overall lifetime milk production by 25%. The added expense just isn’t worth it to us.
A lot of thought is put into our seed stock program- when we plan a mating our customer is the first thing we think of… how would a bull of this lineage and phenotype be received by so and so? … We also think of our customers when developing that product once it hits the ground. We are very proud of the compliments we receive on our sale bulls’ condition- That they often look BETTER after servicing a group of cows all summer than when they were turned out. We “develop” our bulls to WORK, we don’t feed them to impress on sale day and melt after turn out.
Rick & NaLani both grew up in central South Dakota. NaLani was raised on a Simmental seed stock operation near the Wessington hills she now raises her own family on as well as her own herd of Registered Simmental and Angus cows. She met her husband Rick (Refield, SD) through the FFA Organization and the two were married in 1997. Together they have 3 children; daughter NaLea Nicole was born in 2003, son Chase Daniel in 2009 & and daughter Swayzee Rae in 2011. The three kids all play an active role in day to day activities and take a large interest in their own small herds of cows and meat goats.
Together with NaLani’s father (John Christensen) and her sister and brother in law (Cam & Tyler Fagerhaug) the families hold an annual production sale every third Friday in March. Over 200 Simmental and SimAngus bulls are marketed as well as 50+ registered yearling heifers. In order to maintain herd numbers the Dunsmores also occasionally consign bred females to different sales or offer them for sale private treaty.