Preserving a Cattle Production Legacy, Apr. 3, 2018

The year was 1988. Gary and Cathy Schafer had worked side by side the previous two decades building a registered Angus cattle farm and life was good. Until, tragedy struck and Cathy faced a very uncertain future on the farm.

Cathy LaRue couldn't get enough of 4-H when she was a kid, "It's always been my thing, any kind of animal that I can get a hold of that's what I was going to do."

Cathy had some big goals in mind when she married Gary Schafer in 1968, And she didn't mind sharing them with her new father-in-law, "I told daddy, I said, 'Well, my dreams is that someday I'm going to have one of the best Angus herds around."

Cathy's dream came true. But in a flash, that dream would be interrupted by a nightmare in 1988. Cathy explains, "He hit the bridge on highway 15 and the pickup spun around in several circles and he got threw out and the pickup landed on top of him."

Cathy had some big decisions to make after her 40 year old husband had passed away, "His folks were here and Daddy came up to me and he said, 'Well, you can't give this up and I said I never will."

Cathy didn't know just exactly how she would continue, "But I just knew that I was born and raised on a farm and I knew I had two girls that could help me and I knew I could make it."

There were those around Daykin who had major doubts as to whether or not a woman could run a farm by herself. Cathy, on the other hand, did not, "I guess I never really looked at what I did as a man's job because I worked right alongside Gary."

Today, this 68 year old cattle producer is celebrating her 50th year in the Angus cattle business and Cathy says she wouldn't have changed a thing, "I truly believe that behind all of this, it was meant to be and this was God's plan for us and He knew I was going to need my kids to make it through."

Cathy will be the first to admit that she's had a lot of assistance over the past 30 years. She often gets a helping hand from her second husband, Alvin, who spends most of his time driving a truck. And Cathy's friendly neighbors have also been very important in seeing Cathy's dream live on in Jefferson County.