The Karges family of Wanette was recognized as Oklahoma Farm Bureau’s District Eight Farm and Ranch Family of the Year at the organization’s 82nd annual meeting November 11 in Oklahoma City.
Brock and Sheila Karges own and operate Triple Heart Ranch where the family and their eight employees care for cattle the family purchases from local sale barns.
The cattle are closely monitored, cared for and carefully fed until they are ready to be sent to feedlots.
Sheila said the family and their employees focus on close animal care to ensure the cattle are healthy and thriving.
“We really like to go back to the bare basics of animal husbandry: are they taken care of, do they have clean pens, do they have clean water?” Sheila said.
“There’s hardly ever a day that the thought doesn’t cross my mind that this animal that I’m taking care of is going to be on somebody’s plate. And it’s a very humbling experience to know that you are directly responsible for what somebody’s going to consume, and it makes you very aware of putting out a quality product.”
Brock and Sheila raised their daughters, Karena and Jessica, working cattle alongside them, and today, Karena has returned to the ranch to work alongside her parents. Jessica is also involved in agriculture as an equine veterinarian technician.
“Family is everything,” Brock said. “You cannot put a dollar value on family. It’s a culture, it’s a way of life – it’s not necessarily about the dollar.”
The family also raises cutting horses that they both use on their ranch and in cutting horse shows.
In addition to the livestock side of the ranch, the Karges family also sells compost to local gardeners and landscaping companies that they make using the natural ingredients their cattle provide.
“We started making compost three years ago,” Brock said. “We took a product that we make every day – the cattle make for us every day – we capture that by-product, and we make it into a product that is re-marketable.”
The family relies heavily on hard work and years of record keeping that helps them continually assess their progress and predict – as much as possible – how the cattle in their care will perform.
“You have an occupation here that makes a difference,” Brock said.
OKFB’s Farm and Ranch Family Recognition program celebrates nine farm and ranch families from around the state who carry on the best traditions of Oklahoma agriculture and our rural communities.
“Our Farm Bureau women are proud to show the important role these nine farm and ranch families play in Oklahoma agriculture and our local communities,” said Mignon Bolay, chair of the OKFB Women’s Leadership Committee, which sponsors the recognition program. “The work these families do both on and off the farm each and every day is inspiring, and we are excited to honor the effort, dedication and legacies these families represent.”
As part of their recognition, the family received a cash award and a custom sign to hang at their farm gate. The family was also recognized at the 2023 OKFB convention with a video sharing their agricultural operation and heritage.
The Oklahoma Farm Bureau annual meeting is the organization’s largest gathering of farmers and ranchers every year.
At the event, members vote on grass roots policy, elect leaders and award outstanding individuals. OKFB has a presence in all 77 Oklahoma counties and serves as the voice of agriculture and the rural way of life.
To learn more, visit okfarmbureau.org.
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