The story of Ratliff Cattle began back when farms had a little bit of everything to them; sheep, hogs, cattle, a hen house, and some farm ground. Gail Ratliff, or Tub as he’s better known, was born in 1938 and grew up near a small town in eastern Kansas known as Westphalia. Tub grew up showing sheep and in 1955 had the Grand Champion Market Lamb at the Kansas Junior Livestock Show. However, it wasn’t until he had a family of his own when his only son, David, came to him with the desire to show cattle. Liking the muscling and added thickness they saw being developed by the Limousin breed, and knowing several prominent area breeders, they decided to purchase their first registered Limousin female in 1979. Their female was purchased from Ron and Carolyn Holland who were instrumental in getting the first Limousin bull to the United States. With this purchase, Ratliff Cherry Creek Limousin was born.
Throughout the 80’s and 90’s Cherry Creek Farms exhibited at several shows including the National Western Stock Show in the yards as well as on the hill. They also attended Limousin Junior Nationals showing in the open show, exhibiting at the American Royal, Kansas State Fair, the Ozark Empire, and countless others.
During this time, David and his wife Michelle had started a family and raised their 5 children in the heart of the Limousin breed. Morgan, Cheyanne, Madison, Chase, and Maycee attended the Limousin Junior National show for roughly 20 years, only missing a couple in between. Morgan’s first Limousin Junior Nationals being held in Kansas City in 2000 and ending with Maycee’s last in West Monroe, Louisiana in 2020. Throughout this time, the kids had many accomplishments in the ring with steers, heifers, and bred and owns.
For several years, the farm also had an annual registered Limousin bull sale and occasionally an open female sale. In 2010, the family farm had a dispersal of their Limousin herd. However, growing up in the breed, David, Michelle, and the kids just couldn’t seem to stay away from Limousin Cattle. The kids stuck to their roots of showing Limousin but diversified in other breeds throughout their show careers. They were fortunate enough to show a few good ones along the way that are now an important part of their donor arsenal. It was when David’s kids began showing different breeds, that the farm became better known as Ratliff Cattle.
In the fall of 2015, Herman and Judy Symens convinced Tub to take a vacation, something he had not done for several years. The 3 went up to Canada where Tub found a Purebred Limousin by the name of Riverstone Charmed. When he came home he showed pictures and videos he had taken on his iPad, convincing his family how great of a female she really was. Despite the low quality photos he had taken, the family was convinced to try and buy her. A few weeks later Tub and David purchased the female over the phone, all while sitting in the kid’s high school parking lot between Chase, Madison, and Maycee’s basketball games. This would be the moment that the family credits in forever defining their operation.
It was Madison Ratliff, the middle child, that showed Riverstone Charmed. Charmed, or as the family nicknamed “Larissa” gave the family an unforgettable show career, with their biggest success being the first ever Limousin female to Supreme the North American International Livestock Expedition in 2016. Not only did Larissa have a huge impact on the families show career, but it’s the impact she’s made as a donor that has forever changed Ratliff Cattle. Their second biggest accomplishment is being able to say they raised the 2021 Supreme Champion female at NAILE 5 years later. (Ratliff HowBoutIt 008H, shown by Sara Sullivan) Not only are they the first two Limousin females to win NAILE, but they are the first mother daughter duo to ever supreme the show to date.
The family credits a great deal of their success to Tub and David, not only for providing the kids an amazing show career growing up, but also for all their hard work over the years in establishing what Ratliff Cattle is now today. In an industry where family is everything, the Ratliff kids couldn’t be more thankful for their parents and Tub for allowing them to grow up in the show industry. Because of two generations of hard working and driven men, the kids grew up seeing the work it takes to be separated from the Average Joe to what it takes to win. They pride themselves in the countless hours spent alongside each other learning not only about cattle, but the greater attributes the industry has to offer.
Currently, David and his son, Chase, manage Ratliff Cattle together. It consists of a commercial cow/calf operation in eastern Kansas that focuses on embryo transfers for not only themselves, but also as a satellite for others. The donor’s the family accumulated throughout their show careers have become a vital role in producing females for their annual sale. These consisting of Riverstone Charmed, Purple Ribbon, Danica 5017, MRRC Forever Charmed, CZRC Fashion, and Ratliff Gabby. The first sale was held in the Fall of 2019 with the most recent being this past October. The family has been extremely fortunate over the last couple of years in capturing some success with females that they have sold. It could not have been made possible without the great families and homes that continue to trust the genetics of their program. They look forward in continuing to grow their operation and work alongside many future families to come. •