Linder Farm

Stark County cattleman Cliff Linder and his wife, Julie, started out with crossbred cattle 26 years ago, but decided they wanted something more. Their children were growing up and they knew they wanted them to show cattle. They eventually traveled to the Ohio Beef Expo and purchased a few purebred Simmental heifers.

For Cliff, the choice of which breed to produce was the easy part. He knew it could only be Simmental for him, because he grew up raising them and knew the breed’s strengths. He said the fact that Simmentals are known for being good mothers, producing milk and being very docile contributed to the decision.

In addition, he wanted something different. He knew a lot of people were breeding Angus and, while he feels there are good things in the Angus breed, he wanted something different on his farm.

Both Cliff and Julie grew up on dairy farms, so farming was going to be a part of their lives and their children’s lives. They have three children — Michelle, 26, Dusty, 23, and Rachel, 20, who is still showing.

As the children showed in 4-H and gained experience, the family began showing in the American Simmental Association shows, including the state and national shows.

Cliff said the experiences gained showing cattle can’t be measured in monetary terms.  “We’ve been very blessed to be farmers,” said Linder. “Farming is more about learning and responsibility than anything.”

Both Julie and Cliff agreed the farm experience helped their children become the people they are today. The oldest two are registered nurses; Rachel is a sophomore at Ohio State University.

The Linders have held off-farm jobs as they built their cattle herd. Julie works in the office of the Hoover Company and Cliff works for Hartville Hardware.

Today, the beef operation has 30 mature cows, two bulls, several replacement heifers and 16 calves.

Cliff also emphasized how important it is for farmers to tell their story to those not involved in the farming industry and to work together as farmers.

The family manages to give back to the agriculture community as well. They give a calf away every year to a 4-H participant in Stark County. Linder said it is their hope that a 4-H member who normally couldn’t afford a steer gets the jump they need to be successful in agriculture.

He said he knows the work ethic the cattle business has taught his children and he hopes that with the donation of a steer to another 4-H member, the cycle will continue.