CATTLEMAN OF THE YEAR

Feb 10, 2015 - Harlan Tribune

SHELBY COUNTY Cattleman of the Year Jim Keller and his wife, Kathy of Keller Windchime Angus​

Cattle banquet a huge success

Jim Keller, Keller Windchime Angus

 The 2015 Cattleman of the Year has lived in Shelby County for nearly 15 years and has lived on a farm his whole life.
As a child his family milked cows, along with raising pigs, chickens,and ducks in Sarpy County, Nebraska.  He had his turn milking cows before and after school from an early age until he graduated from high school.  After high school  he went to Omaha to work at the Armour Packing Plant. 
He married a Nebraska farm girl, which gave him another chance to milk cows.  His father-in-law had a Holstein herd which he helped with.  After his father-in-law retired, he and his wife, Kathy, purchased the herd and milked cows for 22 years.  Before they sold the dairy herd, they purchased six registered Angus heifers in 1994.  It was always Jim's wish to raise Angus cattle like his childhood neighbor in Sarpy County.
In 2000 the family moved to Shelby County, Iowa and started Keller Windchime Angus.  They continued to raise registered Angus cattle.  They now develop bulls for a yearly sale at Dunlap Livestock Auction each April.
Their heifers are developed and put back in the herd with the hope of continuing to improve their genetics for themselves and their customers.  Buyers come from as far away as Wyoming, North Dakota, Ohio, and Georgia.  Their operation was first recognized nationally in 2010 by the American Angus Association for having 7 registered Angus cows listed in the 2010 Pathfinder Report. 
The Pathfiinder Program indentifies superior Angus cows based on recorded performance traits that are ecomonically important to efficient beef production.  

In the fall of 2012, Keller Windchime Angus added two wind turbines to their farm.  One powers the silos and the other powers the grain bins and the cattle development operation. 
They have two children.  Their daughter, Kimberly, lives in California with her husband, Charles, and their sons, Luke and Ben.
Their son, Jeff, and his wife, Amy, live on the farm with their three sons:  Colby, Connor, and Caden.   
Jeff has taken over many of the daily operational decisions, along with AI breeding the cows and choosing the sires.  Their goal is to produce bulls that sire profitable calves, which are structurally sound, have good dispositions and work for the buyers. 
Jim and Kathy are members of St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Irwin.  Jim is a member of Nebraska and Iowa's Cattlemen Associations, American Angus Association, Shelby Co. Cattlemen, and was a board member of the Shelby Co. Farm Bureau.  Kathy is a member of the Shelby Co. FSA committee.