The Future of Sandmeier Charolais
Matthew Sandmeier, son of Calvin and Janet, will be taking
over the Sandmeier Charolais operation.
Matthew graduated SDSU with his associates degree in general agriculture, returned home to work on the ranch each spring semester, and ultimately completed his degree in Agricultural Science in December of 2014. Matthew has been a part of the ranch with his dad, Calvin, and Uncle Gary, from day one! If you look at our "Show String" pages, you can see Matthew as he advanced through the classes of 4-H showmanship. On the "Feedlot" page, you see him out with the heifers, long before he was responsible for their selection and feeding.
History of Sandmeier Charolais
Calvin and Gary have always worked side by side. They grew up helping on the small family farm. By the time they were school age, each was responsible for their chores, including gathering eggs and milking their allotted number of cows, by hand.
When their dad suffered his first severe heart attacks at age 38, the boys stepped up to assume more responsibility. At age 45, their father passed away. Calvin had graduated from high school and was attending SDSU. Gary, John, and their mother kept the farm going. Calvin joined Gary in the operation of the farm upon his graduating from SDSU with a double major in Animal Science and Economics. John left the farm to pursue a career in diesel mechanics.
The Sandmeiers got their start in the Charolais business in 1967 when they began AI'ing their commercial cows to Charolais bulls. The next year they bought their first Charolais bull and were on their way. Prior to using Charolais bulls, their calves were always grouped according to color when they were sold. However, after using Charolais bulls, which produced calves that were white, smoky, or cream colored, they were all grouped together. "After going Charolais, we never took a dock selling commercial calves. Instead we got a premium for selling all the calves in one draft," Calvin has stated.
Because of the success they had with crossbreeding Charolais in the early 1970's, they decided to go all the way to registered cattle. They began marketing purebred Charolais bulls private treaty in the mid-70's and in 1981 they had their first production sale. They will have held their annual sale on the first Friday of March for 33 years.
The Sandmeiers were named the SD Charolais Family of the Year in 1987. They were awarded the SD Charolais Seedstock Producer of the Year in 1993 and SD BIF Seedstock Producer of the Year in1994. AICA (American International Charolais Association) recognized the Sandmeiers as the National AICA 1994 Seedstock Producer of the Year.
The Sandmeiers, in addition to the 650 to 700 purebred registered Charolais cow herd, operate a grain farm, and feeder calf backgrounding. The Sandmeiers also do custom forage harvesting in the area.
Gary has served as a director for the South Dakota Charolais Association. Gary and his wife, Rosemary, have three daughters. Rosemary is a hair stylist and works in the local drug store.
Calvin has also served on the South Dakota Charolais Association as well as the South Dakota Beef Industry Council. He was president of the South Dakota Cattlemen's Association,1998-2000, and served on the SD Ag.2000 Task Force. Calvin and his wife, Janet, each have two children from previous marriages. Together they have one son and one daughter. Janet is a Postal Support Employee based out of the Bowdle, SD Post Office. (Here's a Link to Janet's other endeavors.)
Created & Maintained by Janet Sandmeier