We have a great group of people dedicated to raising TOTAL PERFORMANCE Cattle. They average 14 years of service. Their combination of experience and talent is why we say TOTAL PERFORMANCE is not a slogan at Wagonhammer, it’s a PROGRAM.
Jay Wolf is a 3rd generation cattleman from Albion, NE. Jay and his family own Wagonhammer Cattle Co. which celebrated its 100th year in 2010. Jay is a University of Nebraska Lincoln graduate. After spending four years as a banker in Denver, he returned home in 1984 to manage the family business. Jay is a Past President of the Nebraska Cattlemen, has served on the board of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the Cattlemen’s Beef Board. In 2016 Jay was inducted into the Nebraska Cattlemen Hall of Fame. He is a member of Ag Builders of Nebraska and the Nebraska Hall of Agricultural Achievement. Jay is active in supporting the University of Nebraska and was the 2008 Block and Bridle Club Honoree. He is also active in local community organizations. Jay and his wife, Susie, have been married for over 36 years and have 3 children. Mitchell is an occupational therapist in the San Diego area, Alex manages a grain purchasing group for the Scoular Company in Omaha, and Hilary is veterinarian in a small animal clinic in Omaha. Hilary married Ryan Opdahl in 2017. Ryan is a chemical engineer and a great addition to our family. Hilary and Ryan welcomed their first child, Willa Taylor Opdahl, on 8/11/2020.
Joe is Director of Genetics and Sales for our Angus and Charolais programs. He grew up on a diversified livestock operation in central Virginia comprised mainly of registered Angus seedstock along with commercial cattle, quarter horses, sheep and goats. Joe also spent much of his youth heavily involved in the family livestock market as well as 4-H, FFA and the National Junior Angus Association. He received his B.S. in Animal Science from Virginia Tech where he was on the livestock judging team and worked on the college research farm. Prior to joining Wagonhammer, Joe worked for the North American Limousin Foundation for seven years, first as the Director of Commercial Marketing before becoming the Assistant Executive Director. He has served on the board of the Beef Improvement Federation and the International Limousin Council. He enjoys judging cattle, fitting calves, and golf. Give Joe a call to set up a ranch visit or just talk cattle. (303) 884-3900
Chance is the Ranch Manager and joined Wagonhammer Ranches in November 2020. Chance and his wife Jentry live on the East Ranch. Chance is from St. Francis Kansas and attended Fort Hays State University where he received his B.S. in Animal Science. After graduation from FHSU Chance worked on operations in Kansas, Nebraska and Colorado. In 2018 Chance graduated from the prestigious TCU Ranch Management program in Fort Worth, Texas. Following graduation from TCU, Chance worked on and managed a yearling ranch in Southwest Kansas. Jentry was born and raised in Wheeler County and attended Fort Hays State University where she received her B.A. in Human Resource Management. Chance and Jentry enjoy going to and participating in ranch rodeos, listening to live music, and working on their quarter horse business where they raise ranch and rope horses.
Bret is the South Ranch foreman and joined Wagonhammer Ranches in November 2020. Bret grew up in NW Iowa where Bret and his family raised quarter horses and ran their family tack business. We moved to Nebraska in 2008 when Bret went to work at the Pitzer Ranch. After being in the area, we decided that the Sandhills was where we wanted to stay and raise our family. We enjoy the lifestyle that goes along with ranching and being able to do it as a family. In our spare time, we can be found in the arena riding horses we have raised. Bret a 2005 graduate of Northeast Community College’s Animal Science program. He and his wife Shawna reside near Ericson, Nebraska with their five children, Braelynn, Paige, Calvin, Bentley, and Evelyn. Shawna is the preschool teacher at Wheeler Central Schools.
Steve and his wife Ashley joined Wagonhammer in 2016. They have a couple of growing boys, Ty and Garrett. Steve works with the registered cattle on the East Ranch. Steve and Ashley grew up in NW Missouri. Steve enjoys roping and hunting.
Donnie’s career at Wagonhammer began in 1982. He lives at the West Ranch with his wife, Peg. Donnie looks after several hundred commercial cows and has a high standard of care for both the cattle and the range. Donnie has two sons & a daughter. Chelsey and her husband Dave and their two children live in Big Springs, NE. Chris lives in Lincoln. Trevor ranches around Whitney, NE and is engaged. Peg has four sons, Marcus & Jen and their three children are living in CA. Dannis & Jennifer have three children and reside in AZ. Dallas & Shelly and their two daughters are also living in AZ. Dustin & Jessica have two daughters and make their home in FL. Donnie & Peg enjoy their 13 Grandchildren, They all have helped on the Ranch, or are willing to, as time and travel permits.
Matt joined the Wagonhammer team in August of 2019. He will be working with Steve and the commercial cows at the South Ranch. Matt studied animal science at Northeast Community College. Matt and his fiancee Alyx enjoy spending time with their daughter Wesley, along with hunting and fishing. Matt also enjoys working with and raising his horses. Alyx is attending Northeast pursuing her nursing degree.
Tim was born and raised in Texas, he met his wife Emily, a Nebraska native, in college. Tim and Emily have two daughters Madison and Mallory, they both love the outdoors and animals. Tim also enjoys the outdoors hunting, fishing, and spending time with his family.
Al looks after the South Ranch Registered Charolais herd. Al and wife Kathy have been with Wagonhammer since 1997 and have raised their family on the South Ranch. Daughter Randi is married to Keith Brown and they have 2 children. Daughter Cara lives in Bartlett and is the Clerk for Wheeler County. Son Monte lives in Wheeler County and trains horses. Son Kent (Goober) lives in Sutherland and is married to Danielle and they are expecting their first child. The Sniders love rodeo and Kathy is an accomplished photographer.
Justin and Liz Sprague joined Wagonhammer in 2018. They and son Emmett live on the South Ranch where Justin looks after the commercial cows. They enjoy rodeos and ranch living. This year the Spragues have the honor of hosting an exchange student from Spain. Fran joined the family in August and attends Wheeler Central High School.
Arlyn Wilke is the Feedlot/Farm manager at Albion. His responsibilities include purchasing and marketing the feedlot cattle, managing rations and consumption, commodity purchasing, crop production, and overseeing the feedlot/farming crew. Arlyn has a great deal of industry experience. After graduating from South Dakota State, he farmed and fed cattle with his brother on the family operation near Columbus NE. Arlyn then joined Cargill, first working on the management team at the Schuyler processing plant, then at the Leoti KS yard where he was cattle manager. When long-time feedlot manager, Jim Brown, retired in 2009, we were fortunate to be able to convince Arlyn to return to NE and take up his present position. Arlyn and his wife, Theresa, have five children. Joni and husband Jesse Hegemann have two daughters and a son. Son Eric and wife Chantelle have a daughter and a son. Son Trenton completed his doctorate in chemical engineering, lives in Seattle, and is engaged to Sarah. Son Ethan is employed by Pokey Feeders in Scott City, KS. Lauren is a registered nurse at Faith Regional Health Center in Norfolk. She is engaged to Bryce Jensen.
Bill Ketteler is Assistant Manager for the Farm/Feedlot. He supervises the day to day activities at the Albion operation. Bill became employed at Wagonhammer in 2009. He is a native of Boone County and has spent his life farming and raising livestock in the area. Bill and his wife, Sharon, are parents of Amber, Anne and Abby. In the family photo are Bill and Sharon; Amber, Bryan and their daughters Leah & Emmy; Anne, Nick & children Lucas & Lucy; Abby & husband Nick.
Taylor joined us in 2017 after graduating from Northeast Community College. He works at the Albion Feedlot feeding, irrigating, working with cattle and more. Taylor is a proud member of the Albion Volunteer Fire Department. He and Shayla have two daughter, Emilyn and Kaysen
Fernando Flores joined the Wagonhammer Crew in September of 2017. Fernando brings to the crew vast knowledge of the cattle industry. Fernando received his Bachelors of Science, Animal Science degree from California State University Fresno in May of 2016. Fernando works at the Albion yard caring for the cattle there. Fernando and his wife Yoana were married in September of 2019.
Shawn is the Cattle Manager at Wagonhammer’s Albion Feedlot. He joined us in 2015. Shawn has worked in the Albion area with livestock for many years. His wife Sandra is an Albion native. They have two sons. Dustin is a teacher and Spencer is employed at Bomgaars in Albion.
Jim joined Wagonhammer full time in late 2015 after working for us several years on a part-time basis. Jim operated heavy equipment just prior to coming to work for us, but has many years of varied experience including working in feed yards. Jim works at the Albion Feed Yard as a feeder, equipment operator, and about anything else that needs done. He has a passion for Harleys and enjoys cruising when the weather is good.
Jon grew up in Colorado and graduated from Ft. Lupton, CO in 1985. He started his trucking career in Fall of 1988 in the oil field. He moved to Albion in the spring of 1990 and drove for Coash for the fertilizer season. He bought his first truck in 1994 and been driving otr since. He met his wife Denise, an Albion native in 1996 and got married in 1997. They have 3 girls Amber, Erica and Crystal. In his free time he enjoys time with family and friends, hunting, fishing, camping, stock car racing, drag racing and muscle cars.
Micah is the Office Manager. She handles the day to day operations in the business office. Micah joined Wagonhammer in April of 2017. She and her husband Scott live in Albion and have two children. Tate attends the University of Nebraska and Hannah is a student at Boone Central Schools. Summer weekends will find Micah and family camping near the Missouri River in Yankton and cheering for the Kansas City Royals.