For the Love of Cattle

May 10, 2024


Sara Clausen
Director of Communications

 

May is Beef Month!


IF YOU PASS THROUGH the petite town of Reasnor, IA, then drive on down the winding gravel road of Monroe, you’ll arrive at a farm like many others in Jasper County. This particular farm is a four-generation cattle operation that is home to the Dop family. The Dops are passionate about caring for their land, their animals … and the next generation of farmers. “It was always my hope and dream to raise our cattle,” said Matt Dop. “I enjoy farming, but my passion is cattle.”

When Matt’s grandfather retired, he was able to buy out his herd and intends to do the same when his father decides to retire. “One of my earliest memories is picking up hay for the cattle,” recalled Matt. “The best part of having cattle is that it’s a family activity and builds work ethic!”

As a family, Matt, his wife, Allison, and their three children—McKenzie (10), Cooper (7) and Owen (4)—all enjoy riding in the Gator to bale hay and run farm errands. Though Owen is only four years old, it’s reported that he has the most drive for farming and
cows.

“I’m very interested in helping the next generation understand what it takes to raise animals safely and humanely, “said Matt. Beyond his own kids, Matt loves to share what he calls “the true ag story” with young people through his work as a board member of the Jasper County Farm Bureau and involvement with the Diamond Trail FFA.

In addition to the four generations of family history, another chapter of the Dop cattle story that Matt likes to share is his time as an Agronomist at Key Cooperative. His understanding of soil health and how it impacts his animals is a unique advantage that not all producers have. “Our Simmental Angus cows and calves are often out on pastureland, which helps maximize the use of our acres,” said Matt. “We also utilize cover crops by rotating rye and alfalfa.”

The Dops have doubled their cattle operation over the past 10 years, which has required Matt to have better tracking records than ever before. Correct ear tag numbers, rations and weight are just a few items that are critical to track. Matt does not shy away from trying new practices or incorporating new technologies. There are some “wish list” items that he has his eye on leveraging in the future: “I have a goal of installing cameras for calving season. A drone would also allow me to check pasture cattle that are hard to get to.”

May is National Beef Month, and with the mild weather, it’s the perfect time to visit with local cattle producers like the Dops to thank them for the work they do in our state! To participate in all the excitement of Beef Month, visit www.iabeef.org.






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