2013-03-07 / Front Page

Kalberer family receives 2012 Simmental Commercial Cattleman of the Year Award

By Terri Lang


Joe Kalberer contributes his success in his livestock operation to his father, Joe, and his late brother, Wayne. Joe Kalberer contributes his success in his livestock operation to his father, Joe, and his late brother, Wayne. At the North Dakota Simmental Association’s annual meeting and banquet in Bismarck in December of 2012, the Joe and Deb Kalberer family was presented the 2012 Simmental Commercial Cattleman of the Year Award.

“The N.D. Simmental Association feels the Kalberer family is a very deserving recipient of this outstanding award,” 2012 Association President Doug Bichler said.

Joe and Deb, along with their three children—Katie, Tyrell and Karlee—run a 325- head commercial Simmental and RedAngus crossbred cow operation. The cows start calving around the first of April. Kalberers retain about 50 replacement heifers each year, and the balance are sold to other producers as replacement heifers.

“Producers call me for replacement heifers because they love the Simmental/ Red Angus cross females,” Joe said.


North Dakota Simmental Association President Doug Bichler presents the 2012 North Dakota Simmental Commercial Cattleman of the Year Award to Joe and Deb Kalberer. North Dakota Simmental Association President Doug Bichler presents the 2012 North Dakota Simmental Commercial Cattleman of the Year Award to Joe and Deb Kalberer. He usually sells them to repeat customers at a premium, and noted they sometimes outsell the steers. The steer calves are backgrounded and marketed in January.

Joe’s first experience with Simmentals was in the late 1980s when he and his brother, Wayne, purchased their first Simmental Bulls.

“I always liked the conformation of the Simmental cattle,” Joe said.

After purchasing their own farm in 1995, the Kalberers decided to use Simmental bulls on their cowherd. They were surprised at how much progress was made with calving ease and vigor. They also noticed heavier weights on their calves in the feedlot.

Recently, the Kalberers began toAI their replacement heifers and about one-fourth of their cowherd to popular Simmental Sires. The balance of their cowherd is naturally serviced with Simmental Bulls.


This aerial photo shows the scenic landscape of the Kalberer farm. This aerial photo shows the scenic landscape of the Kalberer farm. “I recall when I went to bull sales, I could never afford the ones I wanted, so I decided to improve the genetic base by using the sires of those bulls in my own program,” he said.

The oldest females of their resulting AI program are now five-year old cows, and Joe said they are seeing the value of the AI sired females and their impact as they are tremendous cows. They plan to continue to utilize AI in their program and also continue using Simmental Bulls to cover their cowherd.

Background and Family


The Kalberer family has always been active on the family farm. Left to right are Tyrell, Joe, Deb, Katie and Karlee. The Kalberer family has always been active on the family farm. Left to right are Tyrell, Joe, Deb, Katie and Karlee. Joe is the son of Joe and Ella Kalberer of Hazelton. After graduating from Hazelton High School in 1981, Joe enrolled in the welding program offered at North Dakota State College of Science in Wahpeton. In 1982, he returned to the family farm and farmed with his parents and his brother, Wayne, until 1991. Joe married Deb Bosch in 1990.

Deb is the daughter of the late Tony and Bernie Bosch who lived in Linton. After graduating from Linton High School in 1984, Deb worked as an administrative assistant for the State Insurance Department in Bismarck for seven years. Since 1991, Deb has done bookkeeping from their home, mostly for farmers and a cattle buyer.

After marrying in 1990, Joe and Deb left the Kalberer family farm in 1991. They then leased some farmland west of Moffit until 1992. From 1992 until 1995, they rented a farmstead and farmland from Roger and Robert Dahl. In 1995, the Kalberers purchased the John and Tillie Wohl farmstead and farmland.


Simmental Association President Doug Bichler poses with the Kalberer family. Left to right are Bichler, Ella and Joe Kalberer and Joe and Deb Kalberer. Simmental Association President Doug Bichler poses with the Kalberer family. Left to right are Bichler, Ella and Joe Kalberer and Joe and Deb Kalberer. “John called me and asked if I wanted to buy his place,” Joe said. “I had often told him that I was interested as I always loved this location.”

The farmstead needed some work, and included an older two-story home that was not in the best condition.

“At first I was thinking we could fix it up,” Joe said. “But, I remember my dad giving me some advice and suggesting I build my wife a nice, new home.”

Joe and Deb did just that, and they both say they have never regretted it as it has been a comfortable home for their family.


The Kalberers run about 325 commercial Simmental and Red Angus crossbred cows in their operation. The Kalberers run about 325 commercial Simmental and Red Angus crossbred cows in their operation. The Kalberers started farming with 70 cows back in 1991, and 25 of them belonged to Joe’s father. They have been purchasing and expanding and raising them on their own. They keep back replacement heifers and purchase a few each year to keep up their herd number which is now at 325. The calves are weaned in the fall, backgrounded until February and selling them in late February. They also farm 1,800 acres of cropland.

Joe credits his success to his father, Joe, and his brother, Wayne, who passed away in November of 2012 with heart complications.

“Dad is the best cattleman that I have known in my life, and so was my brother, Wayne,” Joe said.

Joe said his dad and brother set the bar very high in the cattle business and that both of them were his mentors.

Joe’s father decided to retire in 1985 as the programs and farming became so complex.

“Dad continues to be a big part of the farming operation and helps out as much and as often as he can,” Joe said.

Joe and Deb also give much credit to the success of their farming operation to their children—Katie, Tyrell and Karlee.

“Our kids have always helped on the farm,” Deb said.

Katie graduated from Hazelton-Moffit-Braddock High School in 2010 and attended NDSU for two years. She is now enrolled at Bismarck State College in their surgical tech program.

“I remember that Katie was so anxious to get away from the farm, but now she comes back home to the farm and loves it, and says she wants to marry a farmer,” Joe said.

Tyrell is a junior at H-M-B High School and has no doubt in his mind what he wants to do—farm.

“Tyrell is the backbone on this farm,” Joe said. “I could not accomplish one-third of this if it was not for Tyrell.”

Joe said Tyrell has been sitting on a tractor since he was five years old.

“I remember when Tyrell was just a little boy, and he would get up very early in the morning and would be waiting for his dad at the table wondering what was taking him so long as they had work to do,” Deb said.

Joe said that Tyrell has saved up money and has already invested in some purebred Simmental heifers.

“I took him to a Herreid Livestock sale, and it was then that he saw the whole process, from raising to selling the livestock,” Joe said. “That is when he really became interested in buying his own.”

Joe has also appreciated that Tyrell started taking ITV classes on farm management at school, and has already contributed suggestions for their farming operation.

“Tyrell also puts in the entire crop as I am busy with the cows calving during seeding time,” Joe said.

Karlee is a freshman at H-M-B High School. In addition to being active in sports, she also participates in rodeos. Karlee enters in barrel racing and pole bending and plans to do breakaway roping this coming summer.

“Karlee has always been very active on the farm,” Joe said. “When we work cattle, she is always there on horseback. She loves it!”

The Kalberers have never regretted their decision to farm and look forward to their son continuing the farming operation they have established together as a family.

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