Breeding Simmentals Since 1970

River Creek Farms is a diversified family operation owned and operated by the Mertz families. The family’s interest in cattle began in 1891 with Sherman Mertz, who fed cattle and sheep in Wabaunsee County. His son, Harold A. Mertz, started his operation three miles west on the land that is now headquarters for the farm. Today, the business continues with third generation Harold D. and Jeanne Mertz, fourth generation Joe and Kim Mertz and Bob and Mary Mertz as operating partners. Joe manages the cowherd and Bob manages the crops. Mary and Kim provide all the administrative support required to the run the business. And Harold and Jeanne contribute critical insight and advice on an ongoing basis.

The farm headquarters is located approximately nine miles east of Manhattan along K18, in the Kaw Valley River bottom. Our main crops are corn and soybeans, with some wheat and alfalfa on leased and owned cropland. Most of this cropland is in the river valley with some upland ground. We do some irrigation with center pivots and flood irrigation. During the summer the cattle graze Bluestem pastures in the beautiful Flint Hills south of our farm and utilize the cornstalks in the fall and winter.

Joe introduced Simmental to our Hereford cowherd by way of artificial insemination 1970. Around the same time we became members of the American Simmental Association. Our breeding philosophy is the same today as it was 43 years ago. We have concentrated on producing cattle that will thrive under range conditions while focusing on the economically relevant traits for Calving Ease, Growth, Maternal and Carcass Value. Recently, we have used proven Angus sires to produce SimAngus to give our customers more breeding options.