The Early Years
Operating as J Bar C Ranch, John and Carla Shearer ran commercial cattle before purchasing their first registered Gelbvieh female in the early 1990s from Louise Leathers of Manhattan, Kan. After moving north of Canton, Kan., in 1995, the Shearers purchased 12 Gelbvieh and Salers females and rebranded to become Circle S Ranch.
John’s passion for Gelbvieh cattle began during his senior year of high school when he worked for a local rancher who introduced about 50 Gelbvieh cows to his Angus-based cowherd. The Gelbvieh cows made quite an impression on John.
“Their maternal traits, disposition and performance were not like anything I had ever seen,” John stated. He was convinced of the breed and has never looked back.v
The Next Generation
Circle S Ranch entered into the second generation of producers in 1998 when the Shearer’s two children, Kaycie and Johnny, sent letters to Gelbvieh breeders in Kansas asking if they had any orphaned calves needing a good home. They were both in the Bucket Calf project in 4-H and thought that this would be a good start. Jim French responded that he did have an orphaned heifer calf due to lightning striking her dam. Johnny became the new owner of “Phoebe” who remained in the herd until 2010. She never failed to be the lead cow, bringing in the herd and her own calf every year. That little orphan calf who grew into a herd contributor influenced 79 Gelbvieh animals in the Gelbvieh Herdbook.
Kaycie and Johnny continued their investment with Gelbvieh cattle at the Kansas Beef Expo Gelbvieh Sale in 1999, where each bought a “Futurity Heifer.” Johnny’s heifer, Miss Foxy Roxy, was named Champion Gelbvieh Female at the Kansas State Fair. The very proud 8-year-old could barely see over the heifer. The next week, Kaycie showed her heifer, Miss Infinity—aka “Tiffany,” at the Kansas Junior Livestock Show and took home the Champion Gelbvieh Female ribbon.
The Next Generation
Over the Years
Over the years, the Circle S Ranch crew has experienced success both in and out of the showring. The family has taken home accolades from the Houston Livestock Show, the North American International Livestock Exhibition, various state fairs, the National Western Stock Show and its National Gelbvieh Show, Junior Nationals and many other livestock shows. They traveled to every Junior National from 1999 to 2013 and have not missed a National Gelbvieh Show since 2001. If you ask the Shearer family about their experience showing, they will tell you it is more about giving their ranch and their program exposure rather than the competition of the show.
Along with the ranch’s show success came new opportunities. As a result of exhibiting at the Houston Livestock Show, Circle S Ranch sold a bull to the Dominican Republic. Likewise, as a result of exhibiting at Junior Nationals in Greeley, Colo., in 2005, the Shearer met an Australian Gelbvieh breeder who later purchased semen from them.
“Going to Grass” Production Sale
On the first Saturday of every April, Circle S Ranch hosts its Going to Grass Production Sale, which features Gelbvieh, Gelford™ and Hereford genetics. We have been hosting this event since 2008 and have had the opportunity to see Circle S genetics influence many other herds over the years.
** Source: Information from this page included in American Gelbvieh Association History Article **