Thistle Farms - Only the Best Genetics

Cattle at Thistle Farm

Our cattle are chosen for tenderness and intramuscular fat. The ever-evolving market demands a consistently higher quality beef. Thistle Farms has been successfully raising this type of beef for decades.

We are the calving ease & efficiency specialists.

Genes need to be diverse. Genes within a heard will naturally get weaker. That’s why we went to the UK.

Ultra high-quality genetics for a market that keeps evolving.

Quality in. Quality out.

Our calves are treated with the utmost care. We believe in treating our cattle with respect and reciprocity. High-quality inputs lead to high-quality harvest. Our cattle are:

  • Not confined to a feedlot
  • Not exposed to hormones
  • Not exposed to unnecessary antibiotics
  • Chosen for carcass quality
A Closed Herd

Our animals are kept healthy and not exposed to outsiders. Our cattle and sheep remain uncontaminated through purposeful segregation. Learn more about our Story and Philosophy here.

“We need to produce the largest amount of quality beef in the shortest period of time on the smallest area possible.”

Because this is my retirement farm – and it is a small farm (120 acres) and about 30 donor quality cows – I will continue to refine our blood lines and market the genetics. Three commercial American herds are using our bulls on first calf heifers, and we eagerly await their results.

These cow are very moderate in size and weight. The maintenance cost of excessively large cows has proven difficult to offset with increased weaning weights. Therefore the cows we’ve bred at Thistle Farms are ideal for quality and genetic traits.

“I used 2 bulls on 32 first-calf heifers and had NO complications at calving. The calves are growing well and I still retain ownership of them. I’m planning on using the bulls again on heifers this year.” -Matt Good, Cattle Rancher & Breeder

Genetic Characteristics:
  • Average between 1100–1300 lbs
  • Calving Ease
  • Moderate Growth Rate
  • Moderate Frame & Weight
  • Excellent Fleshing Ability
  • Adequate Milk
  • Sound, Proper Structure
  • Adequate Rib Eye
  • Superior Carcass Quality
  • Excellent Disposition

Richard McClung

Although individual calf weights will be lighter, total calf weight based on calves produced per acre will be greater, resulting in more total pounds of calf per given area. Cows with this kind of bred in goodness offer a number of valuable options:

  • One is to fine tune what they already are.
  • Another is to mate these smaller efficient cows to a large terminal bull thereby substantially increasing weaning and yearling weights without increasing maintenance costs.

Dr. Kris Ringwall, Beef Specialist, North Dakota State University, makes the statement: “Let the cow save you money and let the bull make you money.”

The bulls produced in the last few years by Thistle Farms have been sold into commercial herds where cows are too big, very inefficient, and needed carcass value improved.

See What Thistle Farms has to Offer

Click on the thumbnail images to see larger photos.

Discover the philosophy and story of Thistle’s proprietor – Lillian Yontz.

Lilian Yontz’s life has been dedicated to breeding and raising the finest cattle in North America, the EU and Colombia, South America. She has managed to successfully navigate the competitive environment and prosper by maintaining extremely high genetic standards.