As a small youth growing up in rural Indiana my family raised livestock and grain farmed.  In the fall of 1979, having shown in 4-H as a youngster, I realized my two children were growing and wanted them to have the same experience. Looking at different breeds of cattle as both children were timid, I wanted to find the most docile breed and that is one of the main reason I chose Simmental cattle.

In Dec., 1979 I purchased 10 Simmental cows from local breeder Max Gordon, to calve in Jan., and Feb. of 1980. The first two calves I lost due to poor management skills. The local veterinary, Doc Howell, was called to assist and he lectured about the responsibility of raising cattle, needless to say I did not lose another calf that winter.

A couple years later, I recall my father, Leon Hendrickson sitting me down and explaining the necessity of selling a few cattle because my 10 cows had turned into 40.  About this time, one of the children became allergic to cattle, hay and straw, while the daughter discovered boys.  Gordon had explained that I would need a farm name and registration papers for the purebred operation.

I found myself spending more time with the cattle than my everyday job at Silver Towne Coin Shop, and that is how Silver Towne Farms began. My father approached me again in 1984 suggesting to hiring someone to manage with the cattle as I was needed at the coin shop. I recalled a young couple south of Winchester, Doug and Denise Smith and their new daughter Laramie, also raised Simmental cattle.  I set out to talk with the couple and hired them that fall.  I had just purchased a farm on St Road 32 west of Winchester.  After many long hours of bulldozing, clearing, and hard work Silver Towne Farms was ready!

The next fall,  Doug and I  traveled to  Charlotte, MI a gentleman named Dave Stough was having a sale, we purchased T-17, Red Lady for the outrageous sum of $5000. I was convenience I needed to be institutionalized for spending that kind of money, however Red Lady was the recognition Silver Towne Farms needed and the start of our embryo transfer program.  A few years later, Doug and I traveled to Montana, where we purchased 42-B.  The ET program was in full swing, cattle numbers were increasing and the need for more space was knocking at the door. I decided to purchase two adjoining farms.

I was aware I needed to sell some cattle; Doug and I decided to set an annual date so everyone could remember, and we agreed the second Saturday of September.  Our first production sale was 1987, the highlight of the sale was a heifer named Queena, selling for $7000.

I divorced and lived in the apartment on the farm, met Denise’s sister, Debbie and was married two weeks after the first production sale. Debbie had two children, of our four, showing any interest in the cattle was Cheyanne.  Cheyanne would help Doug and Denise at the farm during the summer. Wanting to show cattle, Doug gave Cheyanne a steer as her 4-H project; she was to prove her commitment to showing.  Soon after, Cheyanne joined the AJSA, by this time Laramie was already a member and showing.  Anxious to attend their first national classic, the girls packed the trailer, loaded their heifers and was about to head for Terre Haute, IN, when Denise reminded them to include the diaper bag, pack ‘n play, and stroller as Landon, the Smith’s 5 mo old son, would begin his début.

Through the years, adding other genetics, Silver Towne Farms tries to maintain top quality Simmental cattle for the show ring and commercial program.  Participating in most major shows, we have been fortunate to exhibit many champions, but seeing others benefit from our program brings great pride and satisfaction.

My goal was to have 100 head of Simmental cattle, however, my 10 cows has turned into 800, well over my expectations, but this could not have been done without the hard work of the Smith family.  To them I will ever hold a special place in my heart (even with 7 stents!)   To this day, my dad still reminds me to sell more cattle, as does Doug and Denise.

The last 25 years Silver Towne Farms has made many acquaintances, endured many short comings and tasted success.  Without you, this would not be possible; I sincerely appreciate each and everyone, and looking forward to the next 25 years and more!

David Hendrickson, owner STF