4-H cattle built the base for Vogel Shorthorn Farm

Vogel Shorthorn Farm of Rogers, North Dakota, started with Whitney (Haux) Vogel's cattle from her 4-H herd, and the ranch has produced champions at shows in the region.

Whitney and Justin Vogel started Vogel Shorthorns at Rogers, North Dakota, in 2011, with what started as Whitney's 4-H cattle. They now sell annually at three consignment sales in the region, show their cattle at shows and plan to grow in 2023 with an online fall sale.
Contributed photo

ROGERS, N.D. — Whitney (Haux) Vogel started showing cattle at the 4-H level at age eight. Both her grandpa and dad had raised and shown Shorthorn cattle, but the cows were gone by the time she started.

“My grandpa started with Shorthorns in the 1940s. My dad had been out of the Shorthorn cattle business since the early 1990s, but I just had such an interest in it. We basically started over again,” she said.

She started with Shorthorn steers, and then Shorthorn heifers, reestablishing Hauxdale Shorthorn Farm. Haux is Whitney's maiden name and the 'dale' was added to represent the valley of the Red River Valley, where her grandpa started the herd at Kindred, North Dakota, Whitney said.

Vogel Shorthorns won champion Shorthorn bull and female at the the 2023 Black Hills Stock Show in Rapid City, South Dakota. Pictured are Justin and Whitney Vogel with the bull. Both champion animals were sold at the sale. The Vogels build connections and relationships at livestock shows that build their cattle business, said Whitney Vogel.
Contributed photo

Vogel Shorthorn Farm of Rogers, North Dakota, started with Whitney “keeping those show heifers to build up my own herd. By the time I met Justin, I had probably 10 to 15 cows to base the foundation of our herd on.”

Growing up in Marion, North Dakota, Justin wasn’t raised on a farm. He helped his maternal grandparents on their farm and worked for a farmer in high school and college. His dad was a grain elevator manager.


A large man in a black vest and yellow hooded sweatshirt walks behind a red bull.
Justin Vogel looks at a Shorthorn bull. He and his wife Whitney raise and sell Shorthorns. Their herd started with Whitney's 4-H cattle. Photo taken Feb. 27, 2023, near Rogers, North Dakota.
Jaryn Homiston / Agweek

Justin’s paternal grandparents raised Shorthorns at Rogers, North Dakota, in the 1950s and 1960s but they “actually were much more into raising pigs. My dad, uncles and aunt all showed pigs.”

Whitney, 36 and Justin, 39, met at North Dakota State University where Justin was a crop and weed sciences major with a minor in ag economics and Whitney majored in animal science with minors in extension education and ag communication.

In 2010, Justin and Whitney purchased the Rogers farm from Justin’s grandma and married in 2011.

“Once we got to know each other, he knew if he got me, the cows come with,” Whitney laughed.

A man and woman walk through a corral toward some red cattle.
Justin and Whitney Vogel are the fifth generation on the original homestead of Justin’s family near Rogers, North Dakota. They raise Shorthorn cattle, and Justin also farms. Photo taken Feb. 27, 2023.
Jaryn Homiston / Agweek

In 2022, the American Shorthorn Association celebrated 150 years. The breed is known as the oldest American beef breed. Whitney likes Shorthorn cattle for “their maternal characteristics, great mothering ability. As far as attitude, we really like the attitude that most of the Shorthorn cows have.”

Off the farm, Whitney works full-time as a state meat inspector.


Justin is full-time on the farm, growing soybeans, corn and barley with a partner, outside of the cattle. During the day, he’s the primary one to work with the cows but at night the couple works together, bedding the barn, tagging calves and processing calves. Whitney checks cows a couple times a night during calving season.

Vogel Shorthorn Farm sells cattle usually at three consignment sales in Rapid City and Watertown, South Dakota, and on March 5 at the Minnesota Shorthorn Association sale in Cannon Falls, Minnesota, as well as selling off the farm.


They also go to some livestock shows only to show livestock, not to sell but to build connections in the cattle business. In late January, Vogel Shorthorns won both champion Shorthorn bull and champion Shorthorn female at the Black Hills Stock Show in Rapid City, South Dakota. They sold them both at the show.


“It’s a great way to get your animals out there, to promote your livestock. By going to some of these shows like National Western Stock Show or Minnesota State Fair, we’ve built these connections that’s allowed us to meet people that have eventually bought animals off our farm just by getting to know them,” said Whitney.

For the future, the Vogels hope to expand their carcass data for a next step to know how the animals will grade. They also plan to start an online sale this fall.

A group of red cattle in a corral.
Vogel Shorthorn Farm sells heifers and bulls throughout the year at a few sales. Justin and Whitney Vogel also show the cattle and build valuable relationships at livestock shows. Photo taken Feb. 27, 2023, near Rogers, North Dakota.
Jaryn Homiston / Agweek

“We did one for two years when we first started, but online sales have grown so much now. We have good luck with our bred females so we want to sell those late fall with an online sale versus people just calling and buying off the farm for those who want bred heifers,” Whitney said.

Vogel Shorthorn Farm's primary customer base comes from commercial beef breeders or Shorthorn commercial producers who don’t register their cattle.

“A lot of the Angus guys had Shorthorns in the 1970s and 1980s and then come back to it now for a generation," said Justin.

This season, the Vogels will calve out approximately 120 cows. They do most of the work together, with occasional support from neighbors. Their cows that were artificially inseminated will start off in the first part of March, and the entire month will be filled with calving.

The Vogels choose March for calving for a couple of reasons.


“For what we do, as far as selling bulls and females, they’re a little older when we go to sell them in December, January and February. I farm with a partner so when we get to the field, we’re committed to the field. Usually by that time of year, if we get into the field by late April, early May, the cows are on their own, the weather is better. We’re not babysitting like when we start in March, in the cold and winter, checking every couple hours. Then we can concentrate on field work,” said Justin.

Whitney also serves on the North Dakota Winter Show board in Valley City, North Dakota, in their backyard of Barnes County, scheduled for March 7-12.

Farm equipment in the snow.
Barnes County, North Dakota, is the home of Vogel Shorthorn Farm. It's also one of the top soybean planting counties in the country. Justin Vogel farms along with he and his wife's livestock enterprise, and he sees more people adding livestock to their operations. Photo taken Feb. 27, 2023.
Jaryn Homiston / Agweek

Soybeans and corn dominate the landscape in Barnes County, in east central North Dakota. It's one of the top counties annually for planted soybean acreage in the entire country. However, the Vogels have seen some farmers expand into livestock and view it as an opportunity for a next generation to come back to rural areas with another source of income.

With more than a decade of experience together on the farm, Whitney offers insight to younger agriculturists wanting to expand into livestock or with a goal to come back to the farm:

“Any cattle producer will tell you, it’s not an easy industry. Basically, you just have to stick with it. Make connections by going to shows and sales. Talk to other producers in your area, learning from them, what worked for them, what didn’t work for them. If you’re passionate about it, stick with it. Accept the hard days. On the good days, it feels like it really pays off.”

Justin adds, “If you don’t farm with a parent, find a partner. Help is always an issue. I farm with a buddy. We share labor back and forth. We share some equipment just to make it work, 'cause it’s tough to find good help. Find a mentor, a neighbor or if not a neighbor, someone within your breed. Someone you can know, follow a little bit and ask advice.”

The Vogels are proud of their work in cattle and how far their herd has come since Whitney's 4-H days.

“I had a neighbor tell me one time, anyone can grow a crop, but it takes a really good person to raise a good animal. That’s stuck with us. Whitney picks out our breeding and bulls. It’s fun to see the calves grow,” Justin said.


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