OUR PHILOSOPHY & MISSION
The herd at Thistle Farms is high-marbling and true, superior Aberdeen Angus.
Thistle Farms offers rare, valuable, and endangered Native Aberdeen Angus seed stock to registered and commercial cattlemen throughout the world. This genetic treasure incorporates traits of economic importance, including efficiency, superior carcass quality, calving ease, excellent disposition and outcross potential. Become a part of this unique legacy.
Lillian Yontz | Proprietor
“My grandfather gave me a horse and a cow before I was born.”
The story of Thistle Farms began generations ago in the Valley of the Cauca River in Colombia, South America. Lillian’s illustrious and highly regarded grandfather, Alfredo Orozco, was a farmer and a rancher. His love of the land and the animals he raised on it was passed on to Lillian and then later, her daughters, Jennifer Yontz-Orlando and Mariclaire Yontz.
Lillian is fascinated by biology. As a young woman, she traveled to the United States in the 1960s to go to college in Columbus, Ohio…
What I Do
- Genetics Marketing
- Export Consulting
- Quality Auditing
- Genetics Sourcing
While there, she earned her undergraduate degree in Biology at Ohio Dominican College and researched at Ohio State University. At that time, Lillian also met a young farmer and cattleman named Phillip Yontz, and after a few years, they married.
Lillian and Phil eventually settled on a farm in Ohio. After Phil passed, Lillian and their daughters decided to continue farming and raising cattle.
To gain a competitive advantage, Lillian utilized her contacts in South
America to expand the operation there, and for a time, Thistle Farms owned a working cattle farm in Colombia. Also, Lillian traveled to the UK and began to select and collect the few remaining live Native Aberdeen Angus cattle in the world.
Today, Thistle Farms continues to blossom. The farm has been moved to Keswick, Virginia, and remains steadfast in its mission to raise and promote the endangered Native Aberdeen Angus breed.
A Map of Industry Success
Finding the Perfect Angus Cattle is a Global Effort
Colombian by birth, Lillian Yontz emirgrated to the United States when she was 19 years old. She has since been responsible for exporting the finest Angus cattle to Colombia and ensuring their care and proliferation.
Lillian’s primary commercial farm in southeast Ohio was once home to 1000 head of cattle. She oversaw all operations and marketing with her husband until 1995. Between 1995 and 2016 she managed the ranch by herself, overseeing a staff of 25.
In search of the best cattle in the world, she traveled to, and consulted in Aberdeen, Scotland where she sourced and exported the genetic material that would make her American farm a success for decades.
Yontz now owns and operates Thistle Farms in Keswick, Virginia. She keeps a small herd of cattle and focuses on raising the highest quality beef in the United States – the culmination of a career that has been a labor of love.