River Ranch was established in 1973, and began as a commercial beef cow operation along the Chippewa River just north of Montevideo, MN. In the process of purchasing Charlois bulls through Pioneer, Gary became familiar with Red Angus cattle at the Pioneer Bull test station at Inwood, IA. The first Red Angus cows were purchased from Cornie Folkerts at Inwood, but they were not registered females. The first registered females were bought from Pioneer at the research farm near Des Moines, IA. River Ranch grew to around 100 head of females on additional purchases from Mid-America Cattle Co. and Bieber Red Angus. There were also 100 commercial cows in the operation during the 1980’s. In the late 1980’s Gary sold the balance of his commercial cows and began building the Registered Red Angus herd. After the initial purchase, the rest of the herd has grown from within using extensive A.I breeding.
In 2002, Gary’s youngest son, Tyler, joined the operation and they formed a Limited Liability Partnership and changed the name to Sonstegard Cattle Co., L.L.C. In 2007, Gary's middle son, Tory, joined his father, mother and brother in the partnership. The operation now calves 230 cows every year and has 2 production sales annually. Our female sale is held the first Saturday in December, selling 300 females, both bred and open, registered and commercial Red Angus. The Bull sale is held in the middle of April, selling 75 yearling and 2yr old Registered bulls. Both these sales are held at the River Ranch in Montevideo.
2011 marks our 35th year of raising Red Angus cattle. Our philosophy is to raise cattle that will perform well and are balanced for calving ease, growth, carcass, and milking ability. We try to choose A.I. Sires that maintain and improve those traits. Our goal is to help our customers improve their herds and be more profitable. We invite you to join us at one of our sales and to visit the Ranch anytime you are in the area.