The Janssen Family...Dedicated to Breeding Profitable Seedstock for Five Generations!
Jon and Chris with John H. Janssen, our great grandfather!
Janssen Farms was established nearly 100 years ago by Jon and Chris Janssen’s great grandfather, John. John was the son of a prominent farming family in Pocahontas County, Iowa that settled on the original Janssen Farm, where David and Anita live today in the first decade of the 19th century! John grew up during the Great Depression, and knew that only hard work and dedication to being the very best at what you do, would keep your family fed. He started Janssen Farms Herefords in the 1930s with the purchase of a group of top end females that he selected from prominent breeders in Iowa and the Dakotas. This launched the seedstock entity on the farm and fueled John’s resolve to grow the herd and eventually switch to almost entirely polled cattle shortly after the first one was born in the B.O. Gammen herd here in the heart of Iowa! John and his son Harold grew the herd to over 150 mother cows and were private treaty selling 2-year-old bulls to local farmers.
Harold and David - delivering bulls, circa 1971
Harold Janssen with KHR Spidel 3
David Janssen, the father of Jon and Chris, teamed up with Harold after John retired in the early 1970s and together they built one of the most powerful Polled Hereford herds in the Midwest. The Janssen Polled Hereford bulls were sold into many Midwest states and were sought after by commercial cattlemen seeking performance and maternal traits in an era that was totally dominated by only phenotype. David used AI as the main source of outside genetics but also brought in herd bulls like GH Banner 382J, bred by Gullickson Herefords SD and KHR Spidel 3, bred by Kleppe Hereford Ranch, SD, to strengthen the bloodlines in the growing herd.
GH Banner 382J
SOSF Ebony's Joy L123
In the mid-1970s David made the decision to add a second breed to offer his commercial bull customers some genetic diversity and heterosis. The “Exotic Boom” was resounding across the country as David teamed up with neighboring breeders to purchase several foundation Simmental Herd Sires. In 1986 the tough decision was made to privately disperse the 150 cow Polled Hereford herd and move in a different direction with the Simmental operation, BLACK! By the late 1980s and early 1990s Jon and Chris were actively involved with foundation cow purchases, and started the embryo transfer program that built the Janssen Farms Black Simmental nucleus herd that still exists today and traces back through cow family’s like Ebony’s Joy, Lady and Action. The most influential cow ever to graze the pastures at Janssen Farms is SOSF Ebony’s Joy L123, her influence is the backbone of the JF program!
CNS Dream On
From its inception the Janssen Farms Simmental operation has produced influential genetics that have propelled the Simmental breed into commercial acceptance. The purchase of CNS Dream On L123, was a monumental move for Janssen Farms and truly was a blessing for the entire Simmental industry. Dream On was the most used AI sire in the breed’s history and led the breed in registrations for 6 consecutive years. He was followed by JF Mile stone 999 as a heavily used sire in the breed. Milestone is used even today, nearly 10 years after his birth as a performance, maternal sire that produces daughters with longevity and udder structure and teat placement like none other before or after him. The legendary JF prefix is revered throughout the industry today as cattlemen from all over the world make the trek to Iowa to purchase foundation females or herd sires in annual sales. JF has hosted 21 production bull and female sales in its history.
Janssen Angus History
After graduating from Iowa State, Jon went to work for 21st Century Genetics, one of the many predecessor cooperatives for what is now known as Genex Cooperative Inc. Jon sold semen in the state of Nebraska from 1995 through 1999 when he was promoted to Beef Programs Development Manager, and moved to Shawano, WI, where he became a distant partner with David and Chris in the Simmental enterprise back home.
Daughter of SAV Madame Pride 0075
While traveling extensively promoting Genex Beef Sires and educating Genex Beef Sale Reps, Jon developed a key relationship with legendary Angus breeder, Kelly Schaff, Schaff Angus Valley! During an SAV herd visit in the fall of 2001, Jon had the chance to see firsthand the power and performance and overall goodness in the SAV cattle and identified as a weaned heifer calf, SAV Elba 1094, as his favorite SAV heifer calf, and SAV Madame Pride 0075 as his pick of Kelly’s replacement heifers. Even though Jon “struck out” trying to purchase these two females, this monumental visit started a campaign to bring Schaff Angus Valley genetics to Iowa.
Great Grand Daughter of SAV Madame Pride 0075
Jon soon turned his focus on building a genetic partnership with Kelly Schaff that turned into the Janssen Angus bulls being featured in the SAV production sales for nearly 10 years. During that time, Jon continued to work for Genex, eventually becoming Beef Sire Procurement manager and all the while, building Janssen Angus, from key private treaty purchases from SAV and keeping all replacement females! The Janssen Angus herd is 100% built from SAV cow families including Blackcap May, Madame Pride, Elba, Emblynette, Priscilla, Miss Bobbie, Greystone Janet and others.
In 2015, Jon and Maradith decided to begin a new chapter in their lives and start selling their Angus in their own production sale! Four years later, the Janssen brand is stronger than ever, and continues to supply the Midwest with scale crushing, maternal, SAV bloodlines through annual bull sales in February and female production sales in November!
We believe Family Comes First! That value was instilled in us originally by our great grandfather, John, to his son, Harold then to his son David and will be passed on to Jon and Chris’s children and beyond. David, Jon and Chris are very fortunate and do not take for granted being raised as 5th generation Janssen cattlemen by good parents that set such a demanding precedence.