An engineer, dancer, and a Simmental breeder…

Walk into a bar.

I’m kidding.

Though you typically do not put all of those professions into one sentence (or joke) together it does explain a past Simmental operation from the state of Ohio.

When we began thinking about the beef expo’s this spring, and DP is a lover of the history of the breed, we began thinking about long time Simmental breeders in the states that are having expos. When you think of Ohio you can quickly run off a list of names of Simmental breeders that have been raising Simmentals for many years. One of those is K B J Ranch owned by the late Erv Nutter and his wife Zoe Dell (ASA # 3295).¬†

Zoe Nutter pictured with Dave Greenhorn

If you want to read about someone interesting please google them. Erv is a graduate of the University of Kentucky and a large benefactor of the university. Ervin was an engineer. He passed the state of Ohio’s state test; the youngest ever to pass after his sophomore year at the University of Kentucky. Though he passed the test, but did not have a degree he had to return to the university to finish his degree. My personal favorite story I read was that he worked at Memorial Coliseum for Adolph Rupp. Erv’s job was to keep the light on for the UK Basketball games, and I believe he made around $2 a game. The article said that the lights never went out under his watch. His company Elano is still in operation today. His wife Zoe, who turns 103 this spring looks to be quite the spit fire. I would like to be her friend. She was a dancer, model, commercial pilot, philanthropist, and Simmental breeder. She still owns a few cows today with Greenhorn Cattle Co. She was even said to be the most photographed women in the world¬†appearing on Life magazine in February 1938.

UK basketball and modeling aside, let’s talk cattle. KBJ Ranch, Xenia, Ohio has been raising Simmentals since 1972. They were home to the first embryo transplant center east of the Mississippi in 1974, and the Ohio Junior Simmental Association was formed at a KBJ Ranch Field day in the late 1970s. They co-owned and co-exhibited the first black Simmental female to win the National Western Stock Show in 1993 with their partner Randy Favorite. Over the years they exhibited 6 National Western Stock Show Champions, 5 NAILE Champions, and held 13 successful club calf sales.

As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Simmental breed it is important to take a look back at the cattle and operations that have shaped the legacy of the breed. KBJ Ranch was a huge supporter of the American Simmental Association and the breed for many years. Outsiders are quick to stereotype livestock producers and farmers, but you can look across the industry and find some very interesting and unique individuals who all shared a love of raising and producing cattle.






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