History

Theodore and Elizabeth Praest Ridder moved to Callaway in 1907 from northeastern Nebraska in search of more land for their growing family. Both of their families had emigrated from Westphalia, Germany in the late 1800’s.

                                     Ridder Hereford Ranch west of Callaway, 1910.

Their son Paul, the youngest of 12 children and a Naval Aviator and pilot instructor during WWII, decided to forgo college and instead purchased the ranch from his parents who had been showing carloads of Hereford Bulls at the National Western Stock Show in Denver in the 1940’s.

Paul and Marianne’s oldest child, John, graduated from Colorado State University at Ft. Collins in 1971 with a degree in Animal Science and minor in Ag Economics. He took over management of the ranch in 1972 following the sudden death of his Dad. In 1973 John purchased the ranch’s first L1 sire from the then Cooper/Holden sale in Montana. John showed his first carload at the National Western two years later. Nine years later – in 1982 – he won the National Western’s Grand Champion Hereford Bull “on the Hill” with L1 Domino G081, known as Metric.

John purchased his first Line 1 Sire in 1973 from the, at that time, Cooper-Holden sale in Montana. He and Mary began purchasing Canadian Herd Sires in 1989, crossing Line 1 and Canadian Herd Sires with great success.
One of the most prolific and all-around outstanding Herd Sires Ridder’s have owned or used is K 64H Ribstone Lad 157K. Breeders across the United States and Canada, Horned and Polled alike, bred cows and heifers to 157K. He was a 13-trait leader in the Hereford breed, with the look, thickness, performance, milk, and the disposition that people loved.

Please see our Herd Sire page for our current Herd Sires.

2022 marks 115 years of Ridders ranching northwest of Callaway, NE. It also marks 50 years of John managing the ranch and cattle. We’ve been lucky with great neighbors, customers, and mentors along the way.