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My tenure as a real "show cow" person was engrained in my mind as a young girl growing up in a Hereford family in Central Ohio. With a sister, Shelley, whom also showed a passion for the show cattle business, choosing to "not show" was NOT an option. My parents, Dwain and Connie Peak, taught us to work hard and that our hard work in the show barn would pay off. Man, were they right!
I followed my talents as an artist, and after high school, I pursued my goals as an illustrator, graduating from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a BFA degree. While in college, I met my husband, Ed Raithel. We worked for Sydenstricker Angus Farms in Mexico, MO while I finished my degree. Again, I was submerged in the cattle business. I learned much more than art in those college years! During my stint at SydGen, we had many successes including Champion Bred and Owned Heifer at the 1995 National Junior Polled Hereford Show. Ed was also named Angus Herdsman of the Year in 1998.
After graduating college in 1998 with my BFA, we were offered an opportunity to move to Falls City, NE and take over management of the Herbster Angus Farms cowherd. We jumped at the chance and traversed Missouri to land in Southeast Nebraska. Herbster Angus Farms has been a great fit for us ever since.
Thinking that I needed a "town" job,I went back to college and I graduated from Peru State College in Peru, NE with my BS in Education in 2000. My daughter, Miranda was also born in January of that year. I took a job in Rock Port, MO as the K-12 Art teacher.
I started seriously working on my work during my tenure as a teacher in public school. My students needed guidance and examples...I followed my interest in the cattle business and began to put out work...It was received with open arms!
In the spring of 2008, I put in my resignation at Rock Port R-II Schools and went to work full time for Herbster Angus Farms where I do the day-to-day chores of a registered Angus outfit, work on my artwork, and serve as the head of the show barn.