– The Crew after our 2015 Bull Sale-
Frank, Jan, Tanner, Amy, Trey, and Karl
A Solid Foundation
Jan and Frank Lyons started the Lyons Ranch Angus cowherd south of Manhattan, Kansas, more than forty years ago.
Jan was raised on a small Angus farm in eastern Ohio, helping her dad and brother with the farm and taking care of their cattle. She and Frank, whose family farmed as well, wanted to raise their daughters to appreciate good cattle and the ideals and work ethic they valued so much.
They started to put together a registered and commercial cowherd in the late 1970s, with some of the females originating from Jan’s father’s herd. From the beginning, they never chased industry fads, but focused on the solid traits inherent in the Angus breed – moderate, easy fleshing cattle, with great carcass and maternal quality. In the early 1980s, Lyons Ranch invited cattlemen and women to come by to select herd sires from a small group of registered bulls. Jan sold bulls privately behind the old chicken house for many years. When the demand grew so much that so many customers asked to have “first pick”, it was time to host a production sale. They held the first Lyons Ranch production sale in February 1988. The Lyons family was humbled by the acceptance by the crowd who came that day. They recognize their good fortune to know and work with some of the best cattle people in the world. On March 1st, 2021, Lyons Ranch will host its 33rd Annual Lyons Ranch Superior Genetics Angus Bull Sale.
Over the years, Jan gave much of her energy and time to the beef industry and people she loved. She first volunteered as a 4-H leader at the local and county level and the Kansas Junior Angus Association. Over the years, Jan’s service included years as the first woman president of the Kansas Angus Association, chair of the Kansas Beef Council, president of the Kansas Livestock Association, chairman of the Cattlemen’s Beef Board, and, finally, president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association in 2004.
Frank was a practicing radiologist for more than 45 years and recently retired from Kansas Regenerative Medicine Center, a stem cell therapy clinic. He has always loved medicine and, in a quiet way, has worked to help people improve their quality of life.
Today, Lyons Ranch consists of Jan and Frank and with their daughter Amy and her husband Karl Langvardt. In addition, the third generation is making it’s mark.
Amy and Karl now manage the Lyons Ranch cowherd. Amy was appointed to the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board and the Kansas Beef Council Executive Committee in 2020. She served on the board of the Kansas Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom and on several Frontier Farm Credit nominating committees. Karl has been a representative for Kansas at the American Angus Association Convention and served a term as Wabaunsee County Kansas Livestock Association Director. He was a volunteer football and baseball coach when the kids were young — the whole family enjoyed years of cheering on the boys at horse shows, 4-H events, and ball games at all levels. Karl and Trey like to compete at team ropings and ranch rodeos when they can.
A COMMERCIAL FOCUS
Karl grew up selling cattle. His family, his mother Ann and brothers Mitch and Lynn Langvardt, own and operate two livestock sale barns — JC Livestock Sales Inc. in Junction City and Clay Center Livestock Sales in Clay Center. That 50-plus year family business was started by Karl’s father and grandfather, Howard and Vern Langvardt in the 1960s. (We greatly miss their leadership and strength and sense of humor!) With the family, Karl and Amy have worked to market thousands of commercial cattle from the area to cowherds, backgrounders and feedyards in the central part of the country, including many Lyons Ranch sired calves at the two sale barns’ regular and special calf sales.
The family counts its blessings daily, and they continue to grow. Trey graduated from K-State in Animal Science in December 2019 and returned to the ranch, with a fiancee in tow! Trey and Bailey Allen plan to marry in fall 2020. Bailey is a cowgirl and a talented silversmith — she has a great following as BA Silver. Tanner starts his second year of medical school at the University of Kansas this summer. He and his high school sweetheart Shelby Morgan were married in 2018. Shelby teaches first grade at Gardner Elementary and gives her students an appreciation for and better understanding of agriculture.
Amy’s sister Debbie and her husband Duane Blythe stepped back from Lyons Ranch in 2008. With their children — Meghan, Allie and Jeff, Tyler, Eric, and Trent and Brier — they make up Blythe Family Farms LLC at White City, Kansas. Debbie is active in state and national beef organizations and educates about beef sustainability in her blog Kids, Cows, and Grass. The Blythes have many ventures, including Level Creek Outfitting, a guided bird hunting service started and managed by Trent Blythe. We are proud of them all and wish them luck in all their endeavors!
TEN YEARS GOES QUICKLY
This photo is of Jan and Frank with their seven grandchildren and her father Harold Ferguson, who started the legacy of Angus in the family. Jan was named 2008 Kansas State University Livestock and Meat Industry Council’s Stockman of the Year.
The second picture was taken at the Main Pasture — the Lyons and their seven grandkids, one decade later.
Going Forward with You
Many things have changed in the last half century. We know there are challenges ahead. Please be assured that the Lyons Ranch commitment to proven, profitable cattle and to our customers hasn’t wavered.
Lyons Ranch has a history and a future. We want to be your partner in taking the beef industry forward.
It will always be our pleasure to be Your Source for Superior Genetics.
Amy & Karl, Jan & Frank, Trey & Bailey, Tanner & Shelby