Rifle Creek Cattle Company: Building from the Ground Up

In 1962 Lawrence and Thelma Reicks founded the Reicks Ranch in central Nebraska. They started their herd with registered Charolais cows and held their first two bull sales in Broken Bow, NE in 1981 and 1982. The following year, they decided it was time to build a sale facility at the ranch and proceeded to host their first sale at home in 1983. At the height of the Reicks’ Charolais business, they owned 400 registered Charolais females.

Thirty-five years later in 2015, with the Reicks Ranch serving as a foundation, Riley and Stephanie Seda established Rifle Creek Cattle Co. At the time, Riley owned a few Charolais cows and the Reicks brand. The couple wanted to increase their numbers to get the sale back up and running at their home place, so Stephanie contacted a fellow Charolais breeder about potentially purchasing some bred cows, and as luck would have it, they were able to purchase forty head. Every year since, Riley and Stephanie have continued to build their herd. “Riley and I have a way about us of building things from the ground up. Your foundation is everything, but the work you put into it is just as important,” says Stephanie.

The Seda family works side-by-side to accomplish their dreams and goals. Left to right: Paisley, Stephanie, Ridge, Maicey, and Riley.




A challenging industry

The cattle industry is known for its volatility, challenges, and struggles, but that hasn’t stopped Riley and Stephanie from thoroughly enjoying the ranching lifestyle. Ranching also allows their kids to work alongside them, providing numerous life lessons.

“We love ranching, and we’re pretty good at it. Both of us could easily get a nine-to-five job, but we choose this life even with all the struggles and headaches.”

A few of the major challenges the young couple deals with are the unpredictable cattle markets, Mother Nature, and sky-high input costs. When it comes to the cattle markets, it’s obvious that someone is making big money, but it sure isn’t cattle producers. This fact coupled with increased input costs makes operating incredibly difficult. From mineral, to fuel, to feed costs, the ranching lifestyle is undoubtedly overly expensive. 

Rotational grazing and water supply improvements have prepared Sedas for drought conditions like much of the Midwest is experiencing today.

Mother Nature has always had a way of keeping cattle producers humble, and the current drought is no exception. The drought hit Seda’s hard this year reducing their hay crop and grazing ability. Their ranch does have natural springs in many of its pastures and it also has Rifle Creek running through it, but with the hot, dry conditions, the creek was dry for much of the summer. Since establishing Rifle Creek Cattle Company, Riley and Stephanie have made numerous improvements to prepare themselves for drought conditions, such as replacing windmills with solar panels and trenching in new pipelines to ensure cattle have adequate water supply all throughout their ranch. The couple also implements rotational grazing to take care of their land. 

Hard work leads to rewarding outcomes

Life on the ranch allows Riley and Stephanie’s kids the ability to live a one-of-a-kind life working alongside their parents. 

Along with their children, Riley and Stephanie operate Rifle Creek Cattle Company solo. The workload may seem overwhelming from time to time, but the couple takes it in stride, one day at a time. Preparing for their annual bull sale is no easy task, but with the same goals and passion for cattle, the Sedas make a great team.

“We both enjoy raising cattle and bulls, so preparing for our sale is just part of our job and when sale day comes around it’s a day of celebrating with our customers, friends, family, and neighbors. We made it, I would say that’s a day worth celebrating.”

Coming from the Midwest, Seda’s Charolais cattle are known for being hardy. They’re also known for their strong maternal traits, along with being structurally sound. Sedas are sure to not push their purebred herd, along with their commercial replacements, they want their cattle to last and not fall apart, no matter what the environment. That’s another reason the couple chose to sell two-year-old bulls- stamina, less injuries and overall performance. The young couple do everything they can to produce the very best Charolais bulls for their customers.  

Rifle Creek Cattle Company focuses on maternal traits and structural soundness in their two-year-old Charolais bulls.

A testament of their strong Charolais genetics is exemplified in their commercial herd. The herd is built on heterosis with black angus and black angus cross cows bred to Seda’s Charolais bulls. This cross produces an attractive smoky offspring that packs on the pounds, a trait that is highly sought after in today’s competitive feeder calf market.

Rifle Creek Cattle Company will be hosting their 5th annual bull sale, The Two-Year-Old Advantage Sale, on December 17 at their sale facility on the ranch located near Anselmo, NE. The sale will start at 1:00 CST but be sure to come early and join them for lunch at 11:00. For more information and to view the sale catalog, along with sale videos, click here.

Got a Sale to List?

You can leverage the digital world to sell your real-world livestock! Just list and leave it to us. We understand the livestock business and digital advertising, so we’ll deliver a smooth and easy process that paves the way to your successful sale!