Richard Mill - HRF

My dad, Richard “Dick” Mill, always said he worked so he could afford to farm. He loved cattle but thought the other parts of farming would be a tough way to make a living. Our family farm was called The Hanging Rock Farm (HRF), and he ran various herds for more than 40 years.  In later years, he settled into purchasing feeder calves in the spring and selling them in the fall but missed seeing the newborn calves.

Mom was a wonderful woman who was always supportive and active on the farm.  But having experienced herding cattle, she wasn’t keen on a couple of Dad’s ideas over the years: raising buffalo or raising longhorn cattle. A few years after Mom passed, we were sitting on the porch, reflecting on the past, and he said, “Your Mom was probably right about the buffalo, but I kind of wish I had tried the longhorns.” I simply replied, “Then do it.”

In his 70’s Dad learned to search the Internet pretty savvily, and in the weeks following our conversation he found there were longhorn cattle for sale just a few miles from his farm. That led to a conversation with Ed Callan, and Dad’s adventure with longhorn cattle took off from there.  His first longhorn purchase was in the spring of 2015 when he bought two bred cows from Callan Cattle Co.

Over the years, Dad had pulled many calves. Seeing how easily the longhorns birthed their calves was very exciting for him, and he was inspired to have more! The following year, he purchased a bull named Plumb Pinto from Dickinson Cattle Co, and a few more cows from Ed Callan. In the last few years of his life, Dad got tremendous joy watching his incredibly docile longhorns and never needing to pull a calf! In fact, to his dismay, the calves were generally born so quickly he missed a few births, but he got to watch them grow and play!

As I write this, a little choked up, I can’t help but feel a deep appreciation for my nephew-in-law, Slade, who volunteered to care for Dad’s longhorns over the winters while he was in Florida. Over the years, my nephew Cory also helped and was a major part of Dad being able to continue farming late into life. Cory and his family now live on Hanging Rock Farm.

Dad grew and maintained a small longhorn herd for four years. The calves were so much fun for him, though they were mostly bulls (which kept the herd small). Derek and I started raising longhorns on the Dozer family farm with Dad’s herd after his death. We still have Nuge Babe, Day Night Field (Daisy), Reilly Ann, and Mallory. Each of these cows have given us a heifer and a bull over the two seasons we’ve had them and bred them to our bull Real Jam. Those heifers, Daddy’s Real Pride and Joy, Bless Your Real Heart, Moulin Nuge, and SheDAISY, are a big part of the future of our herd and will always have a special place in my heart.

Enjoy your memories and live life passionately!