A deep love for cattle seems to run through the veins of Jeff Penz.
“I love every aspect of the cattle industry,” Jeff said. “I live, eat, sleep and breathe cattle.”
Jeff and his wife, Paula, raised their children, Derek and Presli, on the family’s registered Angus seedstock operation in southeast Oklahoma’s Bryan County.
“Jeff is right when he says he eats, sleeps and breathes cattle, because he does,” Paula said. “He has just a passion for it.”
Knowing the extent of Jeff’s love for cattle, Paula’s parents offered to give the young couple a few cows in the place of a wedding.
“You can imagine what Jeff picked,” she said, laughing.
“I said, ‘Well, absolutely, give me the cows,’” Jeff said. “It’s the best deal I ever made.”
The couple purchased their first registered Angus cattle in 2001 that became the foundation for their herd today. The Penzes began selling bulls the next year, and the family’s cattle soon became in high demand thanks to word of mouth from customers.
“Folks were showing up right after we weaned the bulls and wanted to be first to be able to pick through the bulls,” he said. “When that started, we knew we probably should transition to an auction.”
Joining with a nearby producer, the Penzes held their first President’s Day Angus Bull Sale in February 2012. Today, the family markets around 120 Angus bulls at the sale each year to producers locally and in eight to 10 states across the country.
The Penz family’s goal in producing quality cattle begins with a focus on developing functional females.
“All good bulls come from good cows,” Jeff said. “We keep the very best replacement heifers that we produce and put them back into the herd. Over time, you put pressure on your herd and eliminate the ones that don’t perform to the standards to which you set and which your customer demands.”
Understanding the role his bulls play in commercial cattle operations, Jeff aims to produce cattle that perform well in any environment.
“We’re relied on by the commercial producer to increase their productivity from their product so they can retain more dollars in their pocket,” Jeff said. “That’s what we’re relied on to do and the way we do that is through functional cattle.”
Feeling fortunate to have both new and repeat customers every year, Jeff enjoys the connections he has developed with customers over the years.
“It’s more than just selling a bull,” he said. “For us, it’s the relationships that we built with the customers.”
Ultimately, the friendships Jeff has formed across the cattle industry are what drives his involvement in agriculture.
“I don’t think anybody’s in agriculture for the money,” he said. “It’s never about the money, it’s about the ups and downs, the trials and tribulations, the goods and bads, and to share that with one another in the business.”