Ratliff Jerseys is owned and operated by Ron and Christy Ratliff in Garnett, KS. The Registered Jersey herd is 60 milking cows and an equal number of replacement heifers.
The Jersey herd got its start as a 4-H project for Christy more than 30 years ago.
From the beginning, it was Christy's goal to breed and exhibit a National Grand Champion. She realized her dream in 2008 when Ratliff Price Alicia was named Grand Champion of The All American Jersey Show. She has subsequently earned the prestigious purple banner two other times and is the only cow in breed history to be tapped as National Grand Champion three times.
Alicia also earned laurels as the first-ever Supreme Champion of the North American International Livestock Exhibition in 2009 and received the honor again in 2010.
But Alicia is not the only star in the line-up at Ratliff Jerseys. The couple has bred or exhibited a top six-placing at the National Jersey Jug Futurity held in conjunction with The All American Jersey Show many times. They showed the winner of the glamorous class in 2007 and 2020 and the reserve winner three times (2006, 2017 and 2020). They showed four of the top seven of the prestigious class in 2020, including the winner, Ratliff Irwin Vancey-ET, and the reserve winner, Ratliff Ricochet Vegas.
Ratliff Jerseys received the Premier Breeder award at The All American Jersey Show for the ninth time in 2020. They also received the Reserve Premier Exhibitor banner in 2020.
Ratliff Jerseys showed four of the top seven placings at the 2020 National Jersey Jug Futurity, including the winner, Ratliff Irwin Vancy-ET, left, and the reserve winner, Ratliff Ricochet Vegas.
Ratliff Jerseys has been named Premier Breeder at The All American Jersey Show nine times, Premier Exhibitor once and Reserve Premier Exhibitor three times. The Ratliffs were Premier Breeder and Premier Exhibitor at the Central National Jersey Show four straight years (2006-2009) and earn the banners at several state and regional shows on a routine basis.
The Ratliff Jersey herd is enrolled on REAP, the core performance program of the American Jersey Cattle Association (AJCA). The 2021 lactation average of the herd is 18,316 lbs. milk, 983 lbs. fat and 699 lbs. protein. With the latest appraisal, the farm in east-central Kansas is home to 17 Excellent and 10 Very Good cows (none lower) and has an average appraisal of 90%.
Cows are housed in a pack barn, with box stalls on the side for show cows. Feed is pushed up to cows in the alley by "Ronnie," the Lely robot.
The Ratliffs also operate a small herd of beef cattle and use several of the beef cows as recipients for embryos from their high-end Jersey cows.
Ratliff Jerseys has merchandised heavily in recent years. Their consignments have topped the Midwest Spring Special Sale, the Wisconsin State Sale, the Kansas State Sale, the Oklahoma State Sale and the Top of the World Sale and earned top dollar at other leading Jersey Sales.
Christy with Ratliff Irwin Vancy-ET, winner of the 2020 National Jersey Jug Futurity.
The Ratliffs have hosted six sales in recent years. The most recent -- Post Time at Ratliff's III -- was held in June 2020. In all, 111 lots sold for an average of $2,206. The high seller was Ratliff Astro Prize, who sold for $13,600 to Diley and Williams Jerseys of Ohio. This partnership also purchased the third high seller, Ratliff Colton Avalon-ET, for $7,000. The second high seller was RJF Gentry Shot. She was purchased for $7,400 by Rocha Jerseys of Oregon.
Christy is president of the Kansas Jersey Cattle Association and serves on the Kansas Dairy Commission. She is a member of The All American Show Committee and the dairy cattle exhibitors committee for World Dairy Expo. She serves on Kansas Farm Bureau's agriculture commission, which evaluates the impact of dairy in Kansas agriculture. In 2008, she received the AJCA Young Jersey Breeder Award.
In 2010, Ron and Christy were named Kansas Distinguished Dairy Family. In 2016, they received the Milk Drop Quality Award from Dairy Farmers of America. In 2018, they were named AJCA Master Breeders.
Ratliff Price Alicia was named inaugural Supreme Champion of the North American International Livestock Exposition in 2009 and earned the title again the following two years.