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The Competitive Drive

Updated: Nov 28, 2022

An athletic mindset earns Wyoming family Certified Angus Beef Commercial Commitment to Excellence honors (for Angus Journal).

Whether it’s in the curved panels of an auction ring or the arch of a boundary line on a wrestling mat, the members of the Wasserburger family of Lusk, Wyo., know what it takes to enter an arena, eager to compete.

The Bootheel 7 brand that marks the hips of their herd could stand for the seven state wrestling titles held between three boys in the fourth generation, but that mark far predates their competitive drive. It’s been the brand carried by Wassserburgers looking for the “W” since the homesteading era.

In September, their hands were raised in the winners circle again, in Phoenix, Ariz., as recipients of the 2022 Certified Angus Beef (CAB) Commercial Commitment to Excellence Award. The honor marks years of channeling such athletic intensity into success on the ranch.

Cousin Trey Wasserburger wrote the nomination. He and wife, Dayna, own and operate TD Angus at Rishel Ranch, North Platte, Neb. The Bootheel 7 steers handily won their TD Angus Feed Test “Highest CAB Percentage” category two years in a row with pens at 64% and 65% CAB and 100% Choice or higher.

Those moves are the work of JD and Laurie Wasserburger, with their sons Eric and Andrew and his wife, Anne, built on family legacies of pioneer great-grandfather, Henry, and his son, Henry Jr.

The 1916 homestead title started it all, but Henry felled cedar fenceposts in the Buck Creek Hills for neighboring ranches before he could claim one of his own. He spent those first years in a “soddy” of stacked native prairie adorned with a cowhide door flap, but then established a ranch and passed the Bootheel 7 brand down to the son who began buying other area homesteads and grasslands.

Henry Jr. built up the modern ranch with sheep and cattle that JD further diversified with new businesses to support the next generation. After the sheep were sold, JD started a freight company to serve the area’s oil and gas industry. His foresight paid off and two sons came back to the ranch, proudly carrying the Bootheel 7 brand into its second century.

“There’s no such thing as being OK with where we are, even though we are extremely grateful for every single thing we have,” Anne says. “We’re growing, looking for new ways every day to integrate all aspects of farming and ranching: raising our own feed, feeding our own cattle, following them through to the plate. Whatever it takes to understand the whole process and figure out how to be the best at it.”



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