Cow stud service started as a hobby
Bill Barbknecht calls it a hobby, but it's an unusual one at that. Think of him as Barry White for cattle.
It started about eight or nine years ago when he got into the business when a friend sold him about 10 bulls. From there, his cattle collection grew to almost a 100. And what do you do with a 100 bulls?
You have them do what bulls most naturally do.
During the summer months, Barbknecht, who also works full-time as Underwood's postmaster, rents his bulls out to other farmers for them to provide stud services and stay in their cow pasture for the entire season. If, for example, you have 25 to 30 cows, Barbknecht guarantees that "he'll get them all, no problem."
"The bull follows the cow around constantly," he said. "They're like teenagers or newlyweds," Barbknecht said.
Well, not quite -- Barbknecht said a bull can mate with a cow anywhere from 10 to 12 times a day. That effort produces anywhere from 1,800 to 2,000 calves a year.
As you can imagine, Barbknecht is a big backer of beef, keeping two freezers full of assorted steaks and hamburgers meets in his rural Underwood home. He's also an incredibly nice guy who will gladly talk your ear off about the care he provides for the animals, always making sure they constantly have feed, water and a farm donkey, Fred, who scares away the dogs and coyotes.
"There's not big money in it," he said. "I did it as a bit of a hobby and still do it as a bit of a hobby."
And fortunately, he also has a good sense of humor about a business he jokes he got into "accidentally."