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He’s 5th-generation cattleman

By Staff | May 7, 2011

Dru Kenny feeds some cattle on his family’s farm near Schaller.

SCHALLER – Raising and showing cattle runs through this 16-year-old’s vein much like his family members before him.

Dru Kenny is the fifth generation from both his maternal and paternal sides of his families to actively raise and show cattle something he said he thoroughly enjoys. His great-great-grandfather, JP Turin, was selected in 1940 to judge The Feeders Stock Show in Denver, Colo., now known as The National Western Stock Show. Kenny’s great-grandfather, Edwin Turin, exhibited the grand champion carload of Hereford steers at the International Livestock Exposition in Chicago in 1932. The cattle were taken to Chicago by train and accompanied by numerous family members.

“I have always enjoyed cattle. I’ve been around them my whole life,” said Kenny.

The son of Brian and Sue Kenny, of Schaller, is currently a sophomore at Ridge View High School where he keeps busy competing in football, wrestling, track, baseball, FFA, and 4H.

Not only does Kenny come from a long line of beef producers, he follows in the footsteps of his brothers,Dustin and Tyler Kenny, who have been active in showing and raising their own cattle.

“I have always enjoyed cattle. I’ve been around them my whole life.” —Dru Kenny Schaller-area catleman

The Kenny’s are active farmers and also own and operate a 100-head purebred Angus cattle farm. According to Sue Kenny, the family sells breeding stock. In order to promote and display their product, the Kennys attend various cattle shows throughout the winter and summer in addition to the kids showing at county and state levels for 4-H and FFA.

“Our herd is based on total artificial insemination and embryo transplant,” Sue Kenny said. “This way we can use the best genetics in the country at the most reasonable price, thus enabling us to produce top quality breeding stock for our customers quickly.

The boys have always assisted with heat checking for AI and this spring Dru Kenny attended the AI instruction program offered at Iowa State University, being the youngest in the class.

The Kennys’ breeding stock is marketed at the Iowa Beef Expo, Iowa Angus Bull Test, National Western Stock Show and our own bull sale at Dunlap in the spring.

Dru Kenny began showing his older brother’s cattle in some pre-4-H shows and then when he was old enough he began showing his own at the county and state levels in 4-H and took on those other competitions as well.

“I like to be around the cattle,” he said. “It’s my favorite hobby in the summer.

“I spend all day working with them, getting them ready for shows. I have fun with that.”

Sue Kenny added, “Showing is a great experience for him. He goes along to sales and talks to buyers. It’ll be a valuable experience for him when he gets out on his own.

“It’s like on the job training for 16 years. Our oldest son Dustin also went with me to sales and now he is an auctioneer for breeding stock sales in several states, including a record-breaking sale for Hoover Angus in Tingley this year.” Recently Dru Kenny earned the National Junior Angus Association’s bronze and silver awards for participating in local, state and national shows and showmanship competitions.

According to the NJAA, these awards are the first two levels of the NJAA recognition program that began in 1972. Junior Angus breeders must apply for the awards, and then meet point requirements in many areas of participation before receiving the honors.

Applicants are evaluated in areas of junior Angus association activities and leadership, participation in showmanship, contests and shows, using performance testing to improve herd genetics and production and merchandising Angus cattle.

Kenny said likes to get heifer calves from his own cows, and then he canbuildup his own herd. When he gets a bull calf, he tries to convince his parents to trade one of their best heifers with him.

“He’s always thinking and planning,” Sue Kenny said.

At the National Junior Angus Show, he’s participated in the livestock judging, team sales and quiz bowl contest. He also submitted weight data to the Angus Herd Improvement Records and has consigned cattle at the Iowa Angus Bull Test Sale and the Iowa Beef Expo.

Kenny earned the Star Chapter Greenhand Award in FFA, which goes to the top FFA individual in the freshman class. He has also been successful on the FFA and county judging teams.

After high school, Kenny said he plans to major in animal science, as well as business, with hopes to gain some experience to bring back to the farm some day.

“We would like to pass the farm down to the boys,” said Sue Kenny. “It would be a great for family tradition and the best place to raise a family.”

Contact Kriss Nelson at jknelson@frontiernet.net.

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