FMG Customer Profile: Faber|Kober

If you’ve been following FMG, you know that our motto is “our FOCUS is you.” As a company, we are customer focused and wanted to take the opportunity to highlight some of the folks that have been with us the longest.

First up is Faber | Kober, a joint show cattle venture with locations in Iowa and Indiana. Thanks to Sara Kober and Dave Faber for answering our questions! Kyla recently pictured for the Faber | Kober Online Pasture Sale and WOW these cattle are good!

The Faber-Kober family

•  When did Faber Show Cattle and Kober Cattle get their start?

Faber Show Cattle earned a start in the show cattle industry in the early 90’s. We began with a small cow-calf herd, and as a young girl, I showed mostly calves that we raised ourselves. As the program grew, we began having a yearly private treaty sale. The program has continued to grow and evolve over time, and we are fortunate to still have a yearly sale. We are proud to sell calves from established females in our herd that were not only successful in the show ring for our family, but have proven themselves to be very successful as donors within our program.

Kober Cattle started with my husband, Patrick Kober. He also grew up in the show cattle industry, and as he finished his own show career he began selling calves to various families in the industry. When Patrick and I married, we decided to join forces with Faber Show Cattle, and that’s how Faber-Kober was started. Now, we sell cattle in both Iowa and Indiana. In Indiana, we sell calves that are derived from embryos and genetics that are from the Faber program, and additionally we buy and sell calves to local 4-H families. The sale in Iowa is still going strong – we have an upcoming sale on SC Online Sales on September 17 (shameless plug) – make sure you check it out!

•  Who’s all involved with the operations?

As anyone involved in this industry knows – it can be a lot of work. But, what makes it all worth it is that we work together as a family. As Kyla can testify, she gets to experience the (dys?)function of the entire Faber-Kober family. Dave, Tyler, Dan, myself, and Patrick are all there trying to ensure things go as smoothly as possible. We make breeding and flushing decisions as a team, and work as a team to promote calves each year. We are thankful to JD Morris who helps with clipping each year – he drives many hours and spends even more hours ensuring that they are sale-ready. In Iowa – we also work closely with the Rozeboom family. Not only do they consign calves to our sale, but they also provide invaluable support throughout the entire year. In reality – we couldn’t do any of it without Glen or Diane Broek who have contributed for many years to the success of our operation.

In Indiana – we also work closely with John & Maddie Jacobs and the Felton family – they are friends that have turned into family and we are thankful for their hard work and effort and even more so – their friendship.

•  Share some of your biggest wins or biggest accomplishments in the show ring for your families.

Both parts of the Faber-Kober families were fortunate to experience several wins and accomplishments as we exhibited in show rings throughout the US. Dan, Tyler and I had many wins at the Iowa State Fair and AkSarBen. Most notably – in 2008 we were extremely honored to win Grand Champion Heifer AND Grand Champion Steer at the Iowa State Fair. That accomplishment is still surreal, and it’s been 10 years. Patrick also earned Champion Steer banners at the Indiana State Fair in 2002, 2003 and 2004. In 2009, along with Adam Pryor, he bought and sold a heifer to the Bridwell family that was successful throughout the year – she went on to win the Indiana State Fair, and then was named the Supreme Overall Junior Female at the 2009 North American in Louisville. This heifer – most now know as “Kelli”, is now a very successful and profitable donor that has gone on to raise many champions herself.

Together, we’ve been proud to sell calves that have gone on to win champion banners for other families.

The Faber Family at the 2008 Iowa State Fair

•  What does your perfect cow look like?

As a family that has raised cattle for many years, we strive to raise females that are successful in the show ring, but will excel in the pasture as a cow. Our herd is built on females that did exactly that. The banners created awesome memories for us as a family, but those cows have done so much more than that – they continue to raise elite cattle and continue to generate income each year.

•  Who is your ideal customer?

Our ideal customer is an individual or family that shares the same values, commitment, enthusiasm for the livestock industry. This industry has provided many opportunities for our family, and we hope to sell calves to families that are pursuing those same opportunities and are working and striving for those same goals. Our success is magnified when a calf does well, so when someone buys a calf from one of our sales, we become a cheering section for those individuals and families – when they succeed, we succeed!

•  What are your goals for Faber|Kober?

As with many other cow-calf operations, we strive to make breeding decisions each year that will result in steers and heifers that will attract buyers to our farms. As I mentioned above, when we sell calves that are successful either in the ring or as donors themselves, we consider ourselves successful. We have a goal to continue this operation as family-operated and are excited to involve our children/grandchildren in the future.

•  What’s your favorite part of raising show cattle?

Raising show cattle is rewarding in many different ways, but there are a few specific reasons that stand out.

  1. The fact that we work together as a family in this venture means more than anything. 
  2. This industry is where we have made lifelong connections and friendships that will continue for a lifetime. The cattle industry is full of influential and inspiring people – there are always opportunities to watch, learn, and listen. And make even more friends along the way 🙂
  3. I believe the agricultural industry is a great venue for raising children. While there are both ups and downs in raising livestock, there are many lifelong lessons to be taught, such as hard-work, perseverance, respect, humility….the list goes on and on.

•  You’re hosting online sales this fall. What can buyers expect in these offerings?

Buyers can expect steers and heifers that are by successful sires, as well as from the donors that have proved to be the foundation of our herd. This year in particular we have more variety in breeds offered, so there’s something for everyone.

•  What did you learn from junior programs, and why do you keep supporting them now?

Junior programs are an extremely valuable part of the cattle industry. There are so many opportunities for juniors to be involved, grow and learn. From refining speaking and sales skills, to mentoring – our youth are taught to learn from role models, and then become role models themselves. These programs are also a great way for juniors to connect with other juniors to create solid friendships, and a great way for them to learn from some of the industry’s most knowledgeable people. 

We continue to support of these programs to ensure that the next generation of livestock enthusiasts will be provided the same opportunities that we were provided when we were younger.

•  What makes your operation unique?

While the Faber and Kober names are established names individually, we are working to promote the unity of the two, and to showcase the benefits of having families in different states. Because we are spread out from Iowa to Indiana, our ability to connect with people is widespread. Each person involved in our operation has a unique talent, and when we combine them all together, we are able to work seamlessly as a team, and have fun while doing so.

•  Where do you see Faber|Kober in 10 years? 30 years?

As the cattle industry evolves, we hope to evolve to continue providing elite steers and heifers that succeed in and out of the show ring. We also aspire for continuous improvement, and I hope that 10 years from now, we are better than we are now, and that 30 years from now, we are even better than that.

Dave would also like to add — “in 30 years on picture day, I hope to have graduated from the wash rack and moved to the picture pen”!