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Sunday, April 10, 2011

Featured Member- Gary and Marilyn Reinke

(Profile Archive)

The Reinke Family – Thanksgiving 2010

Gari-Alan Farm began in 1960 when Gil and Esther Reinke moved their greenhouse business from West Allis to Muskego to build a new greenhouse on a 19 acre farm. In the fall of 1960, when Gary started college at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Gil bought 3 registered Polled Herefords from Laurence Holmes of Oconomowoc, a bred cow with a heifer calf at side and a bred heifer. The bred heifer later produced a bull out of their first herd sire “Khrushchev” (GHF Mischief 247) that was the champion bull at the state sale in Lancaster in 1968 and sold to Joe Lewis of Alfalfa Lawn Farm in Larned, Kansas who judged the show. The name Gari-Alan Farm comes from Gary and two sons of family friends whose first names were Alan. The name was kept as people got to know the Reinkes by the farm name. Nineteen acres and a little rented hay land weren’t going to be enough and Gary and Marilynn spent a lot of time riding the roads of Jefferson County and were led to the present 80 acre farm at Johnson Creek which was purchased in 1968, 4 years after Gary and Marilynn were married and 6 months after the birth of their first child Rachelanne. An additional 80 acres is rented from neighbors. For 43 years Gary commuted to his teaching job at Wisconsin Lutheran High School in Milwaukee while Marilynn chased cows, sold bulls, tended to newborn calves etc.

GAF Modernizer V11 - 1968 WPHA Champion Bull sold to Joe Lewis, John M. Lewis & Sons, Larned, Kansas

Gari-Alan Farm has always striven to raise productive cattle that grow and do well in their environment. The first herd bull born in March of 1962 was “too big” to show as a yearling, as the cattle of that day were small and short. Many of the GAF females trace back to heifer calves purchased from Hubert Glascock of Kingman, IN. in the 1960’s. Most of Hubert’s cattle never saw a barn. Gari-Alan Farm also believes in a breeding “program” where consistency and a degree of uniformity are important. Eighty percent of the cowherd carries the GAF prefix. On occasion a cow is purchased to bring in something new to the herd and two purchased cows who have had significant impact on the herd are DL Vicki 162A 28E bred by Dale Lacy and LJR Reba 211L, a D.O.D from Journagan Ranch. Both cows are in the pedigrees of one of the present herd bulls, GAF Thick Mister J 917U. GAF has always tried to be careful about chasing after the latest fads as that can result in a roller coaster breeding program. The truck license plate says “Bulls” and that signifies what keeps GAF in business-selling bulls to commercial and registered breeders. “We did 12 years of all A.I. from 1980-1992 and decided that it was more profitable to forego high semen and certificate costs and use natural service herd sires with a background that matched our goals.” Most of the 35 cow herd is bred to GAF Thick Mister J 917U, 1st place winner at both 2008 and 2009 World Beef Expo out of the Journagan D.O.D. LJR Reba 211L, his sire, GAF Thickfella Plus 836R, Reserve Fall Calf Champion at 2006 World Beef Expo, owned with BBC Farms, a double grandson of the Lacy cow, used A.I., and LHF P417 Sheridan W959, from Fred and Jerry Larson, whose first calves are eagerly being anticipated. A few cows and heifers are bred to selected AI sires to try new blood lines. “We strive to have balanced traits, combining productivity with an attractive visual appearance, trying to avoid extremes” The herd has been performance tested since 1968. Attention is also paid to carcass traits. Mister J ultra sounded a 14.73 rib eye and a 4.14 marbling score (Low Choice) at 11 ½ months.

 GAF Thick Mister J 917U - Class Winner 2009 & 2010 World Beef Expo

Remaining in Polled Herefords for 50 years would not have been possible without the hard work of the whole family. Marilynn (who never was going to live on a farm), Rachelanne, Matthew and David who all worked hard on the farm, especially when dad was away teaching school, and presently youngest son Nathan, now a college student, who is in charge of fitting and showing, teaching the grandkids, and working hard at rejuvenating “old dad”. Granddaughter Annah Dobson is in her fourth year of showing and her younger brother Connor is starting this year so it looks like the tradition is continuing. Of course, all of this would not be possible without the Lord giving us good health and all of His other blessings that have kept us going over the years. We are very appreciative of the many wonderful cattle people whom we have met over the years and we treasure our membership in the WHA, the IPHA and the privilege of being involved in the various sales, tours and other activities.
(Profile taken from Wisconsin Hereford Association website)