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Our Family Tradition

No progress without tradition. Since 1890 when Sherman and Mary Mertz settled in the Kaw River Valley and established what would become River Creek Farms, our name has been closely associated with animal husbandry. What began as a modest herd of purebred Angus and Hereford cattle in the late eighteen hundreds has evolved over the decades into one of the premier Simmental and SimAngus herds in the country. Our guiding principles throughout have remained the same: calving ease and disposition, a sincere focus on end-product value and harnessing the benefits of hybrid vigor. These cornerstones remain in place to this day and characterize every bull we sell, even if much has changed over the past 125 years.

Bob & Mary Mertz Joe & Kim Mertz
  • 1890

    Sherman Mertz and Mary B. Thierer begin farming near Manhattan, KS. In 1891, they establish their own farm near Wabaunsee, KS. Sherman and Mary will eventually raise seven children on their farm in Wabaunsee.

    Sherman Mertz and Mary B. Thierer
  • 1924

    Harold A. Mertz and Edna Hutchinson marry and begin their life together in a farmhouse just down the road from his father’s (Sherman) residence – establishing the present day headquarters of River Creek Farms.

    Headquarters of River Creek Farms 1924
  • 1948

    Harold D. joins the family farming and ranching operation. He talks his father into switching from commercial to purebred cattle. They purchase their first purebred polled Hereford bulls shortly after.

    Harold D. joins the family farming and ranching operation
  • 1950

    Harold D. marries Leola Jeanne Kueny, and begin married life in the house located at present day headquarters. They will eventually raise 5 children on the farm, including Joe and Bob - present day owners of River Creek Farms.

    Harold D. marries Jeanne Kueny
  • 1951

    The Great Flood of 1951 devastates the region/ Jeanne and her 1 month old son, Joe, are evacuated from the farm by a small boat.

    The Great Flood of 1951
  • 1970

    Joe joins his parents on the farm. Shortly after he convinces his father (Harold D.) and Grandmother Mertz to let him A.I. their Polled Hereford Cows to Purebred Simmental bulls.

    Herd shot
  • 1977

    Harold D. is recognized as Kansas Master Lamb Feeder; feeding 5600 head of sheep.

    Harold D. with sheep
  • 1980

    Jeanne begins erecting “One Kansas Farmer Feeds” signs around the state on behalf of Kansas Agri-Women. Eventually, she will be elected national president of American Agri-Women.

    Jeanne with 'One Kansas Farmer Feeds' sign
  • 1980

    Joe Mertz marries Kim Newell. They begin their married lives together in the same house that Harold A. and Harold D. began their married lives. Joe and Kim raise 4 kids on the farm – Asher, Lincoln, Malia and Abram.

    Joe Mertz and Kim Newell
  • 1985

    River Creek Farms begins offering Purebred Simmental Bulls for sale private treaty.

    River Creek Farms Private Treaty newspaper clipping
  • 1987

    Bob returns to the farm and marries Mary Debartollo. He spent the previous six years working in Chicago for the National Livestock and Meat Board. Bob and Mary raise 2 kids on the farm – Lisa and David.

    Bob marries Mary Debartollo
  • 1991

    River Creek Farm’s hosts their first annual Bull Sale. Held at the Manhattan Commission Company. 64 bulls average $1440 per head.

    River Creek Farm's first annual Bull Sale
  • 1993

    Great Flood of 1993 devastates the region, again. The Mertz Family is forced to evacuate to high ground.

    Great Flood of 1993
  • 2004

    River Creek Farm’s offers SimAngus bulls publicly for the first time.

    River Creek Farms 'Performance Tradition' Sale
  • 2009

    Abram is elected President of the American Junior Simmental Association. He and big brother Lincoln establish LivestockDirect in 2010.

    Abram elected President of the American Junior Simmental Association