Our Program



Mader Farms Inc. is a family owned farm and ranch located in Sheridan County Kansas midway between Kansas City and Denver.  Founded in 1939, Mader Farms has continuously been in the Registered Hereford cattle business for over 75 years.

The original Founders were Jim and Wilma Mader both born in rural Sheridan County.  Today it spans over 3,000 acres of grassland, irrigation and dryland properties that supports 200 head of purebred Hereford cows.

Mader Farms was started from scratch by the Founders, through their labors the farm provided the means to raise and educate eight children.   On the farm, children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, local youth have learned how to care for animals, develop 4-H and FFA livestock projects, drive, hunt, work, and likely a few other things they won’t mention to their parents.  

“I am most proud of raising this big batch of kids” – Jim Mader

Jim Mader passed in December of 2013 at the age of 89.   Today, Mader Farms is led by his widow Wilma Mader, plus serving as Trustee are children Shelley Shaw, Dr. Terry Mader and Tracy Mader.   Keith Bowie a close to 30 year employee serves as Herdsman and Shane Bowie a 10+ year employee is Crops Manager.

The Mader cattle herd is foundation horned Hereford and is an outcome of seventy years of selection pressure for functional cattle that can be profitable on the short grass prairies of North West Kansas.  Today the genetic base is a blend of horned and polled Hereford genetics.
This arid environment requires that profitable ranchers keep their costs down by making the most efficient use of their available forage resources and easy fleshing cattle genetics.   Sustainability ole school.

Opportunistic describes the marketing approach of Mader Farms Hereford genetics, pending the needs of customers and the market place.  Mader Herefords genetics have proven versatility.   All females passing breeding service examines are marketed as replacement females to both purebred and commercial breeders.   A select group of bulls are sold private treaty each year, steers are fed out for retained ownership and/or marketed as feeder calves. 

These genetics are proven to adapt when the economics of ranching merit changes to cattle management.

Mader Farms cattle enterprises have always been complimented with crop and feedstuff production.  Crop diversity is ever present in production of dryland wheat, sorghum, alfalfa, corn and irrigated corn plus soybeans.

Our program

Our program

The objective – Improve the profitability of cow-calf operations for committed cattleman and women by delivering Profitable, Proven, Hereford genetics.

  • Mature Cows
  • Replacement Females
  • Bulls
  • Finished Steers
  • Return on Resources

Our aspirational breeding targets


Mature Cows

  • Between 1,150 to 1,300 lbs.
  • Wean calves with 205 day weight of 45%+ of their body weight
  • Structural soundness to provide longevity

Replacement Females

  • Early puberty, phenotypically correct
  • Breed at 14 months
  • Pass a breeding soundness exam
  • Moderate Milk EPD’s in top 30% of the breed but less than top 10% of the breed


  • That sire calves under 90lbs. at birth
  • EPD’s in Top 20% of the breed for scrotal, yearling weight growth and ribeye

Finished steers

  • Finish weight of 1250 to 1300 lbs
  • Yield grade 2
  • 13+ ribeye
  • 60% -70% choice

Return on Resources

  • Wean 60+ pounds of beef per acre of grass
  • Feed efficiency, low cost of gain vs. peer feedlot pens

Mader Herfords Difference

Mader Herfords Difference

How we strive to improve customer profitability and achieve our aspirational herd goals…

"Honesty and integrity in performance data will not be compromised.

  • Mader Farms provides transparency in performance data, continuous investment in the most modern science for heard health and genetic improvement.
    • We don’t just breed cattle by spreadsheet, the scale does matter!
    • EPD’s complimented with Actual Weights and Ultrasound Data.
    • DNA testing is starting to be deployed to verify absence of genetic defects and improve EPD accuracy.
Excel in Economic Traits - emphasis on economic relevant traits.
  • Fertility and gentle disposition are the only maximum traits for selection at Mader Farms.
    • We will never make an excuse for an open cow… 
      • A cow must produce and wean a calf every year to remain in the herd. 
        • A cow must breed back in a 55 day breeding season. 
  • Fault free and predictable performance.  
    • All problems are culled, poor disposition, dystocia, prolapse, cancer eye, udder problems and structural faults.
  • Life is too short for ornery cattle. 
    • Safety, less labor, better gains, and less dark cutters are all the enabled by gentle disposition. 
  • We feed’em ourselves….
    • Backgrounding and/or feeding out a portion of our herd each year is a for profit enterprise at Mader Farms.

Ensure Environmental Fit

  • The Mader Farms cow herd is managed in a real-world grass environment with less than 20 inches’ of annual rainfall.  
  • “No Hay Burners Allowed” - Excessive cow weight and extreme milk that prevents breed back is culled. 
  • Cow Longevity delivers profits for our customers and is enabled through Mader Farms selection of balanced genetics and phenotype.
    • We avoid extremes and fads that compromise fertility and fleshing ability.

Heifer Development Program

  • The Mader Farms heifer development program is a solid backgrounding program, but then applies management and data rigor to animal selection decisions. 
  • Heifers are grown at a modest pace and not feed to “show steer fat”. 
  • Basic data is always collected, such as pelvic measurement, ultra sound and weaning weights.
  • Synchronization technologies are deployed for both A.I. and natural sires.
  • Benefits to our customers of Mader Heifer Development:
    • Cow longevity and improved return on genetic investment.
    • More calves and heavier calves during the lifetime of the female.
    • Uniformity in type and subsequently these heifers offspring.
    • Flexibility to select for specific genetic traits to drive your herd improvement goals.

Provide a Better Buying Experience

  • No haggle pricing as our customer’s success equals Mader Farms success.  No auction pressure or price run ups at Mader Farms.
  • Common sense advisement on your cattle selection. 
    • We know the multi- generation pedigrees in the Hereford breed so you don’t have to.  
    • Pedigree knowledge, in combination with the real life, practical experience of Herdsman Keith Bowie and his three decades of in-herd experience.
  • Lease Options and volume discounts are always available.
  • Completed Breeding Service Examine and semen testing.
  • Free delivery within 200 miles of the ranch.