Online at Windy Ridge

The blog today jumps from the live auction world to a world centered around the click of the mouse; online sales! With the growing response to online bidding, and being able to serve our customers no matter how large or small operations; we decided to jump into the world of online sales. Tom and Kristi Rathje of Windy Ridge Simmentals have been great clients to DP Online Sales, and we enjoy working with them for their online sales twice a year in March and October. Their online sale Oktoberfest at Windy Ridge Simmentals opens today on DP Online Sales, and closes tomorrow evening at 8PM EST. They had a great open house this weekend at their farm with lots of visitors and great hospitality. 

Take a moment to get to know Windy Ridge Simmentals, their program, and their online sale open now.

Windy Ridge Simmentals was founded in 2004 by Tom and Kristi Rathje, along with their children Katie, Grant and Josie.  As youth, Tom and Kristi were both involved in their family’s purebred cattle operations and were anxious to begin their own operation that not only afforded their own children the experiences associated with livestock production, but also assists other youth in this industry.

Both Tom and Kristi attended Iowa State University and the University of Nebraska, with Kristi completing her B.S. in Animal Science and Tom his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in livestock genetics and an MBA degree. Kristi is the operating manager for Windy Ridge and is the primary contact for sales and customer service. Tom spends his daytime hours as the Chief Technical Officer for DNA Swine Genetics where he is responsible for the genetic improvement program and implementation of new technologies in the nucleus herds. Improving genetics is a part of everything we do and a lifelong passion.

After becoming discouraged by the lack of land availability and affordability near Seward, a neighboring community of Lincoln, NE, Tom and Kristi took a leap of faith and purchased their first two Simmental heifers in the fall of 2004 in the hopes that God would provide a solution.  Within a month, a 40 acre piece of land became available and was purchased!  The first and most notable donor purchase that changed our operation was KA TCF Independence S30L, who carries on her legacy as one of the highest number of progeny registrations in the Simmental breed.

Windy Ridge strives to produce cattle that have the ability to help you achieve your goals. Few things are more important to us than customer success. Whether you define success in the show ring, the donor pen or in fulfilling your production goals, we produce the type and kind of cattle that will help you to be successful. Customer service, earning your trust and ensuring your satisfaction are very important to us. At Windy Ridge Simmentals, you will be treated with respect and will find a group of people who love to talk cattle and find ways to help you be successful. We recognize and support the youth that are the future of our industry and do our best to assist them in any way possible. We stand behind all the cattle and embryos we sell, so you can buy with confidence.

Tom and Kristi aim to stay very progressive in their operation, and utilize social media, advertising, and marketing to promote their operation. As their operation continues to grow, the online sale avenue began their sale journey. They started the ‘March Madness’ online embryo auction in 2011 and is still held every March, now hosted by  The inaugural ‘Oktoberfest at Windy Ridge’, featuring mostly open heifers with some embryo, bull and donor lots, began in 2016 and is held the 3rd week of October. Taking the online sale route is not without its obstacles. They find that the most difficult hurdle with an online sale is gaining exposure and awareness since a full-scaled catalog does not get delivered to your target customers.  The advantages of an online sale are that it is a better-suited sale format for businesses that have smaller numbers of select genetic opportunities and, buyers have the convenience of viewing the sale and bidding from their home or on the go. Online sales are an excellent platform to market genetics for all sizes of operations, but are a real advantage over live auctions for small to mid-sized producers. Reduced sales costs and the ability to have several marketing opportunities throughout the year are the most notable advantages for our operation.

We all know that the cattle business is much more enjoyable when you can share it with your family. Tom and Kristi have three children: Katie, Grant and Josie, and two grandchildren: Charlotte and Samuel.  Katie and her husband, Kaleb, live in Orange City, IA where she is a nurse at Orange City Area Hospital and he is a Sr. Marketing Manager with Staples Promotional Products.  Grant is a field rep for Elanco Animal Health and remains very active in Windy Ridge’s daily activities.  Josie is a Freshman at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln and loves to work with the cattle when she has free time. Besides attending as many cattle sales and shows as time allows, we enjoy spending time at the lake and boating during the summer months with family.  Grandchildren are a great source of joy and we always look forward to spending time with them, watching them learn and grow.

Tom, Kristi, their family, along with their herdsman Stewart Hardin invite you to contact them at anytime to discuss their operation whether it be the Oktoberfest or future genetics. Also check out their newly updated website ( and find them on social media under Windy Ridge Simmentals.



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