Schrag Shorthorn Farms is a four-generation family-owned purebred operation. At SS, we strive to produce functional cattle of high quality.
We believe great herd sires plus proven cow families equals successful results. We are fortunate to have owned the legendary WHR Sonny 8114 bull and some of the most famed cow families in the breed; the August Prides, the Jealousy Pars, the Dream Girls, and the Dream Ladys. Shorthorns have and always will be our only business.
If you are looking for show heifers, herd sires, steers, semen, or embryo packages, give us a call and let our 100 years of experience work for you.
Generations of Family Involvement
Reprinted from the July 2004 Shorthorn Country
Story by Stephanie Cronin
“Keeping the momentum going” is what Cory and Melissa Schrag of Schrag Shorthorn Farms, Marion, South Dakota, have in mind for the future. Cory uses his knowledge gained from past American Junior Shorthorn Association and American Shorthorn Association endeavors to keep the upbeat momentum of Schrag Shorthorn Farms going through its four generations now.
Family Affair from the Beginning
Schrag Shorthorn Farms always has been and always will be a family affair. Cory’s great-grandparents have records of raising red polled cattle in Russia, most likely Shorthorns. Cory’s grandfather continued the tradition in Marion, South Dakota. Then Cory’s father, Doug, a past ASA board member, developed the program from there and now Cory branches off keeping the tradition of Schrag Shorthorn Farms growing.
Cory recalls his father has taught him the necessity of selecting “a main herd bull and sticking with him.” They view a herd bull as the sole generator of a super foundation of their herd. Doug believed in AF Dividend’s Impact and he created a strong foundation with outstanding females for the Schrags. Today, the influence of WHR Sonny 8114 *x, even though he is deceased, is the foundation of the herd. Cory feels that a main herd sire will generate great things; however one must not look past the foundation females.
Equally important, Cory noted, are the foundation females. “We are most proud of the Augusta Pride’s genetics originated here” and are still highly used and sought after genetics. The Augusta Pride family is many generations; however SS August Pride 3127 began the hype by capturing the 1994 Junior National Champion Female honors. 3127 continues to pass on her legacy through several notable offspring.
Cory, along with his wife, Melissa, daughter Samantha, 5; son Jaxon, 2; believe that it is important for their two children to grow up through Shorthorn cattle.
“This is our business, passion, hobby; it makes us a family unit,” Melissa states. The Schrag children will show Shorthorns like their father. Samantha has no objections to this. She pointed out her female named SS Miss Kitty. While looking through the Schrag cow herd, Jaxon spoke two words, “cows, babies,” over and over.
Cory was an active member of the AJSA. He served his peers as the 1994 AJSA President. Cory recalls his experiences as AJSA President as a “valuable experience.” He feels that the “junior experience, no matter what level,” holds merit. Cory recalled conversing with other AJSA for hours about the benefits of running for a position on the junior board. He did, and continues to encourage members of the AJSA to run for the junior board and be actively involved. Cory also served as an Australian beef ambassador for the ASA.
Cory learned some amazing life lessons while traveling through Australia. He sums up his Australian adventure as a “good experience”. In fact, Cory bought and shipped a herd sire home from Australia when he was there. Dunbeacon Venture x was Cory’s first selection for a Schrag herd sire, and he is still used today. The experience of getting Venture x to the United States was quite a remarkable one. The bull was shipped in a wooden crate and flown from Australia to the United States. It was a two-to-three month delivery process by the time Venture x was quarantined, shipped, and delivered to the farm in Marion.
Cory has been attending Junior Nationals since he was 14 years old. His most memorable Junior Nationals was traveling with Lawrence Grathwohl of Powhattan, Kansas. Cory would have released the details of the trip, but he just grins about the experience. Today, Cory remains active in the AJSA. He is the chairperson for the 2004 Shorthorn Junior Nationals to be held this June in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. He also is active through his livestock judging endeavors. Cory eagerly participates on the junior committee of the ASA. This committee put together the recently unveiled Junior All-American points program. This program is modeled after the open P.A.C.E. program. Juniors are able to accumulate points for their participation in exhibiting top placing purebred females at sanctioned national junior shows. Cory and Melissa said “this is the first national junior program of this nature.” They are both extremely excited about its possibilities.
Melissa Schrag, formerly Bush, of Bush Angus, was an active junior member of the American Junior Angus Association (AJAA). She served as Miss American Angus. Now, Melissa is actively promoting the AJSA. She is a chairperson for the National Shorthorn Lassies. The tradition of the tartan plaid ‘Makes a Shorthorn show a SHOW,” explains Melissa. She would like girls to know that the Lassie program is available for those girls who are willing to apply. There are great benefits to those who wish to run, including, but not limited to, a $1,000 scholarship.
Cory and Melissa both see a great future ahead for the AJSA. They are planning on staying active in the junior program. They would like to see more scholarships offered and the junior association continue to grow.
Here and Now
Today, Schrag Shorthorn Farms consists of 80 purebred Shorthorn females and 60 commercial recips, carrying Shorthorn embryos. There is also a state of the art, year-round embryo transfer facility, Dakota Transfers, that Cory and Melissa run. The Dakota Transfer facility allows them to multiply top Shorthorn genetics in a relatively short period of time. This embryo transfer facility allows them to recover, freeze, store, and transfer embryos. Cory and Melissa firmly believe in the embryo transfer option. They agree that it allows “even the smallest breeder to utilize top genetics.”
With the ability to flush donor cows, Cory and Melissa have created their Embryo Sharing Program, ESP, which coincides with the “Family Event” Shorthorn Production Sale. ESP is a top notch program that allows the purchaser of an ESP designated female to bring the female back to Schrag Shorthorn Farms and have that female flushed absolutely free. Schrags retain one-half of the embryos flushed. Cory enjoys flusing cows. He feels that it really “compliments” the Schrag Shorthorn Farms program. People come from several states to have their females flushed at Schrags. Schrags are big on marketing and feel that ESP gives a unique option to those interested in purchasing their seedstock.
Schrags also belive that advertising plays a vital role in the marketing of their seedstock. Cory believes it is “very important to stay consistent in advertising.” He frequently advertises their A.I. sires and foundation females, believing that advertising is one of the necessary elements to make a program move. Cory sees advertising as an “investment, not an expense.”
Generations of family involvement is more evident now more than ever. Four generations have actively contributed to the success of Schrag Shorthorn Farms. The families active involvement in the AJSA and ASA activities has contributed in a great way to much of their success. Their family attitude and eagerness to help others is marvelous and admired by many. The future for Schrag Shorthorns looks as if it will become even brighter!