The Goldmine of Louisburg

At the moment, we are traveling west toward St. Louis headed toward the 15th annual Head of the Class Sale. Though the drive from Louisville to St. Louis isn’t very scenic, it seems that everyone always travels to Louisburg, Kansas with great anticipation. It is always exciting to drive through the gates of Sanders Ranch onto Steve Sander’s property and be present for another Head of the Class sale. 

Steve began raising Simmentals in 1974. If you look back through the memory books you might even find a few red Angus photos in the Sanders Ranch album. Steve is always the attentive observer. He recognized that the Simmental breed was really gaining some ground, and having Angus cattle decided to cross them with Simmentals. Steve’s attention to pedigrees and outstanding operations, he purchased cattle from Bud Finch, Breck Ellison Farms, Woods Knoll, and Latta.

Though a purchase in 2000, changed the game of Sanders Ranch. Steve purchased SVF Breath Taker from Cheryl Wagner. A few months later she went on to win Grand Champion Female at the American Royal. A few weeks after that she claimed Grand Champion honors at the NAILE. Could it happen? Three in a row? The triple crown of cattle showing? In January 2001, SVF Breath Taker won the National Western Stock Show, and clinching the third show needed to succeed the triple crown. You might remember back to this ad designed by Connie Barbour, wife of Sanders Ranch manager and owner of Barbour Marketing created to showcase this prestigous title. Still one of my favorites to this day.  I remember vividly the day they ran Breath Taker on the screen shavings of the Head of the Class ring. It was quite the emotional sell as an iconic piece of the Sanders Ranch herd was headed to her new home in Maryland at Anvil Acres. 

In 2002, Sanders Ranch purchased herd sire SS Goldmine from Nick Sloup. Upon arriving in Louisburg, Goldmine was re-pictured, semen collected, and within a few weeks of promotion had paid for himself. ABS leased Goldmine, and he continues to sell semen. He was featured on a print by CJ Brown for the American Jr. Simmental Association as one of the most influential bulls in the breed. Today he has found his final resting place at Sanders Ranch, and will always be a very important part of the history of Sanders Ranch and the Simmental breed. For more on the Goldmine tribute – read here.

Steve attributes the success of a sale based on two things: having GOOD cattle for that sale, and GOOD people to be in it with you. If you have ever been to the Head of the Class you will find that very true. The consignors at the Head of the Class, lead by Steve and Margaret Sanders are always opened armed welcoming you and inviting you to view the cattle, have a drink, and eat some great food. We all know that hospitality is one of Steve Sander’s finest qualities. He enjoys meeting people, having a good time, and eating well. The eating well is the help of his good friend Greg Toller who cooks the meat for the Friday night meal. Of course, it wouldn’t be a Head of the Class without mentioning the blow up slide and kids activities on hand for the family. It is truly a well rounded, family cattle event.  Steve’s goal is simple: satisfied customers because those become repeat customers purchasing a type of cattle they can make money with. This combined with the experience they have at the sale; how they are treated, and the atmosphere bring people back to Louisburg year after year.

Of course, Steve isn’t superman. He has a great team and support system around him. His fabulous, fashionable, sweetest wife Margaret (who I adore), his daughter Daydree and son-in-law chiropractor extradionare Brian, daughter (and soon to be author) Keylee, and the three KLD’s, his granddaughters Kodie, Karsen and Kanyen. Steve has a great family who share in it welcoming personality and generous hospitality.  We can’t leave out his long time manager Darrin Barbour, his wife Connie, and their two sons. 

When Steve isn’t chasing the ladies in his life around, he enjoys fishing and traveling. Steve and his family is a great family, and long time friends to our family. Steve and Margaret have opened their home up to us, attended our wedding, and I have even attended one of Steve’s birthday parties.

I’m sure that as we near St. Louis Steve is already waiting at the ranch to welcome each of you to the 15th annual Head of the Class Sale. I can already smell Greg’s meat cooking for Friday night. See you in Louisburg!









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