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, Ratliff Sambo Martina, and the reserve winner twice (Ratliff D Dean Allie in 2006 and Ratliff Impression Donner-ET in 2017).
Ratliff Jerseys received the Premier Breeder award at The All American Jersey Show for the fifth straight time in 2017.
Ratliff Impression Donner-ET was named Reserve Winner of the 2017 National Jersey Jug Futurity.
Ratliff Jerseys has been named Premier Breeder at The All American Jersey Show each of the past five years (2013-2017) and three other times. It also earned the banner for Premier Exhibitor in 2008 and for Reserve Premier Exhibitor in 2007 and 2017. The Ratliffs were Premier Breeder and Premier Exhibitor at the Central National Jersey Show four straight years (2006-2009) and earns the prestigious banners at several state and regional shows on a routine basis.
Ron and Christy have also been honored with the most prestigious award a Jersey breeder can earn -- the AJCA Master Breeder award. They will be honored at a banquet held during the AJCA-NAJ Annual Meetings in Canton, OH, in June.
The Ratliff Jersey herd is enrolled on REAP, the core performance program of the American Jersey Cattle Association (AJCA). The 2019 lactation average of the herd is 21,662 lbs. milk, 1,160 lbs. fat and 817 lbs. protein. With the latest appraisal, the farm in east-central Kansas is home to 29 Excellent and 24 Very Good cows (none lower) and has an average appraisal of 90%. Fourteen cows achieved their maximum lactation score.
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.
Billings Impression of Boo Boo was the high seller of the Post Time at Ratliff's sale, purchased for $34,000 by the partnership of Budjon-Vail, Lomira, WI, represented by Travis Krohlow, second left.
The Ratliffs have hosted five sales in the past nine years. The most recent in May 2019 -- Post Time at Ratliff's II -- reported a sale average of $2,784.22 on 122 lots. The high selling lot was a first choice female sired by River Valley Venus V I P-ET and out of Avonlea Premier Chocolate Chip. Lorne Ella of Rock Ella Jerseys, Hornby, Ont., placed the final bid of $18,000 on the offering―first choice of nine implants due in December 2019. Avonlea Genetics was the consignor.
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 year.