Lancaster farming. (Lancaster, Pa., etc.) 1955-current, May 01, 1993, Image 42

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    82-L«ncwter Firming, Saturday, Miy 1,1993
Somerset Co. Correspondent
BOSWELL (Somerset Co.)
They tried band. They tried tap
dance. They tried baton. But it was
discovering livestock that finally
dispelled the fog for sisters,
Rachael and Greta Mostoller, and
revealed their agricultural niche.
The discovery came a number
of years ago. during their early
teens, and after some learning
experiences at the local county
fair with early 4-H livestock
the young women, who have
no other siblings, began to build
their own registered club calf
herd. Registered lambs were
added and the enterprise became
Mostoller Club Calves and
Lambs, a business in which
Rachael and Greta share great
pride. Quality is the priority.
Small wonder, too, since they
sold the 1992 Somerset County
bred steer which was owned and
shown by Dan Ferko of Central
Even though both girls are in
school during the week
Rachael to the West Virginia Uni
versity at Morgantown and Greta
pursuing a career in nursing
their mother, Peggy Mostoller,
leaps into the breach in the inter
im. Mostoller Club Calves and
Lambs is playing a major role in
financing the girls college
Their business stock includes
registered Angus and crossbred
club calves and breeding stock,
and registered Suffolk club lambs
and breeding sheep.
These very liberated business
women know their profession and
if there’s one thing that can cause
them to grit their teeth, it’s when a
potential customer arrives to talk
about a sale, but directs the com
ments and eye contact to Butch
Mostoller, the sisters dad.
“When some people come to
buy,” said Greta, “they won’t talk
to us, they look at Dad ... and
Dad’s a salesman! He’s had a long
career selling heavy equipment
“Our cows are used to women,
so are the lambs,” said Greta.
“They are not used to men.”
The sisters do everything them
selves, when possible, for eco
nomic reasons, even some veterin
ary work and the sheep shearing.
And Rachael, a senior majoring
in agriculture, with some presti
gious honors in her field, does the
The first pond on the Mostoller Farm, makes a pretty background scene as Greta
and Rachael Mostoller, encourage the family dogs to behave. The dogs, from left are
Katie, Beatrix and Clementine.
Sisters Juggle School And Business
breeding after making the selec
tions herself a big bonus to
their business.
Rachael and Greta talk freely
about their unfamiliarity of show
animal qualities when first starting
to show animals. Those were the
first painful steps to future success
for their profited speedily from
their mistakes.
“Our first two years showing,
ours were the worst animals
there,” said Greta.
In fact, one time the judge was
overheard commenting that her
steer needed roller skates under its
back, she said.
Rachael said she began show
ing pigs and horses before getting
interested in steers. Not knowing
any better, she started with a Here
ford Charolais that was short and
Greta said her first steer project
caused her so much anxiety that
she sold it a few months before the
But both girls got blue ribbons
for showmanship during the early
days and said they were so proud.
“In 4-H everybody wants
everybody else to be good and and
they helped us,” recalls Greta,
now a 4-H leader herself, in the
Steaks and Chops 4-H club.
“4-H is like one big family,”
she said.”
The following year, having
learned the importance of proper
feeding and exercise, Greta then
13, showed Herschel, a superb
steer that became the grand
champion, and sold for $9,000, to
set and retain the Somerset Coun
ty Fair Steer sale record.
“It was a family champion,”
says Greta. She said the whole
family was involved in exercising
him aind pampering him. In fact, it
was he, Herschel, who was
memorialized with a highway in
his honor. The Herschel highway
is the mile-long, farm field track
where all the Mostoller steers are
exercised, beginning with the first
beautiful champion.
Shortly thereafter, the girls
joined the county junior livestock
judging team. The knowledge
they gained is one of their best
assets, when purchasing livestock.
Additionally, it laid the founda
tion for Rachael’s burgeoning suc
cess as an up-and-coming profes
sional livestock judge. Her college
junior year was financed through a
full scholarship she and another
person won in the West Virginia
Greta, left, and sister, Rachael Moetoller, hold two bottle baby, black lambs.
Collegiate Livestock Judging
Rachael showed pigs and
steers, but unlike her sister, who
liked black, she had a decided pre
ference for red steers. Often a
class winner, Rachael could never
pull a grand champion title. Until
her steer won the 1987 Bedford
County Jackpot Show, bi 1989 she
had the reserve grand champion in
the Kingwood, W.Va. Jackpot
Show. Her pigs also won class
Greta was to have two more
grand champion steers at the
Somerset Co. Fair, in 1989 and
19? 1. Each had its own personali
ty. She says one steer developed a
bogus limp for attention. The last
one, she said, had behaved with
perfect show manners and had the
heart of a real champion.
“Our steers were always
spoiled,” says Greta. “We babied
them. When they needed shots we
made Dad give them so the steers
wouldn’t think we were mean,”
she grinned.
The partners said they always
used their money together for bet
tering their stock, to buy needed
equipment, and also to save a por
tion for their college education.
Five years ago they had built a
fine enough herd to start selling
market calves. While the sisters
were in high school and the busi
ness wasn’t yet a real business.
their mother would watch over the
anitnals during school hours.
If an emergency arose leaving
Peggy perplexed for a solution,
she would telephone the girls at
school. Occasionally, it meant
requesting permission to leave
In small districts there are few
secrets and it wasn’t long before
the Mostollers became known
amongst the student body as the
“Ingalls Sisters,” as in “Little
House On The Prairie,” a former, •
homespun television show. Occa
sionally, Peggy’s telephone
S.O.S. to her daughters was
announced over the school’s P.A.
system, unnecessarily alerting all
and sundry that, perhaps a ewe
was ready to deliver.
The Mostollers feel a sense of
commitment to the 4-H program.
And helping current young
4-Hers, they believe, is merely a
return on what 4-H invested jrr
Rachael says that after the
county fair they select the best of
their stock to sell to a 4-H or FFA
member. They sell only what they,
themselves, would want to buy.
“We help people at the fair to fit
their calves,” she said. With each
sale of stock they follow-up with
year-round contact, giving tips
about feed and exercise.
Refinancing Info
CREAMERY (Montgomery
Co.) Penn State Cooperative
Extension is offering a sdminar
“Refinancing your Home Mort
gage” Wednesday, May 19 at 7:00
PM. It will be held at the Mont
gomery County 4-H Center, 1015
Rt. 113 in Creamery.
For several months, interest
rates have been low, and there is
some indication that they may be
going even lower. What factors do
Disagreements do tfise
between the business partners,
they said, but ney|r liu| long,
because their sensed Of humor
quickly dispel the static of a
charged atmosphere.
Both were ten-year members of
the Steaks and Chops 4-H Club of
which Greta, and their parents, are
now leaders. Both women
attended the 4-H Club Congress in
Chicago and the 4-H Conference
in Washington, D.C. Each was
once named Somerset County
Outstanding 4-Her and Farm Cre
dit Outstanding 4-H club member.
Rachael assists in teaching
livestock judging at WVU and is
anticipating the opportunity of
judging a horse show later this
summer in West Virginia. Land
ing a job in a county extension
office is her desire. If not that,
then she wants other work in the
livestock industry.
When she one-day marries and
has children, Greta says she wants
them to learn the livestock busi
ness. It isn’t merely an idle
thought Her goal is to build a sol
id business—quality and quantity
that can be passed to a new
generation of her own. And
Mother Peggy couldn’t be more
delighted with her daughter’s train
of thought
you need to consider if you are
thinking about refinancing?
Should you refinance to get a low
er monthly payment or to pay the
mortgage off sooner? What are the
tax consequences? How long will
it take before you see a benefit
from refinancing? These and other
questions will be discussed.
For registration information,
please call Penn State Cooperative
Extension at 489-4315.