S.D. Farmers Union Celebrates the Wonnenberg Family Ranch
South Dakota Farmers Union has served South Dakota farm and ranch families for more than a century. Throughout the year, we share their stories in order to highlight the families who make up our state's number one industry and help feed the world.
This month, we're highlighting the Wonnenberg family who ranch near Dallas.
As its mother protectively stands guard, her newborn calf, supported precariously by its wobbly legs, looks curiously at its surroundings and then begins nursing. For four generations, this heart-warming scene has signaled spring on the Wonnenberg Ranch near Dallas.
And, even though it's been a part of his life for as long as he can remember, Steve, 61, still enjoys calving season.
"From the time I was really small I enjoyed working with cattle and doing chores," explains Steve, who raises a registered Black Angus herd, which his dad, William, began in the 60s.
"For their FFA project, my older brothers decided to get into raising registered Black Angus," Steve explains. "My dad liked them so much that he kept expanding the herd after my brothers left the ranch."
Like his father before him, the third-generation rancher still does business with a handshake. "Our family still has the old mentality where a shake of the hand still means a lot," explains Steve and Joan's daughter, Casey Wonnenberg King. "When my dad sells registered Angus bulls, he always tells buyers that if something doesn't work out, he will make it right - and he always holds true to his promise."