An Experienced Life in the Dairy
For the Ceplina family, selling their dairy cattle last summer was one of the hardest things they had ever done. But Joe and Myra Ceplina needed to get a few irons out of the fire. With their son, Wade, going off to college it would be impossible to milk their 150 head of Brown Swiss cattle, manage and market their dairy heifer replacements, and manage the feed store/tire shop/gas station they own in downtown Raymondville, Mo. Retirement seemed like a good idea.
For Wade, college meant picking up the last 25 hours he needs at MSU in West Plains then transferring to Logan University to gain his Doctorate in Chiropractic, specializing in Sports Medicine. Wade also volunteers three days a week at the Texas County Memorial Hospital Fitness Center in Houston, Mo.
Do you know what today is?
Wade is a 2001 graduate of Houston High School where he was President of the FFA chapter and received his American FFA Degree. This degree, earned by less than one-half of one percent of FFA members, is the highest level of honor that an FFA member can possess. “If it weren’t for FFA I would probably have dropped out (of school),” Wade said. “It was a life changing experience.” Wade credits his advisor, Scott Long, with that life changing attitude; “Every day he would walk into the classroom and say ‘Do you know what today is, kids?’ and someone would say ‘Uh, Tuesday’ and Mr. Long would reply ‘No! Today is the first day of the rest of your life!’” Wade said he still wakes up some mornings and thinks ‘it’s the first day of the rest of my life.’
It’s in the genes…
The Ceplina family has been involved in dairying for more than 30 years. Much of Wade’s SAE project was centered around showing cattle. His Registered Brown Swiss show cow, ‘Fulp Collection Leigh,’ a matron of Ceplina’s Swiss Valley Dairy herd, placed in the top 20 at the 2003 World Dairy Expo, and Grand and Reserve Grand at several other shows. Wade’s Senior Yearling Bull, ‘SVD Lucky Jet Lexas Jake’ was second at the World Dairy Expo and went on to be Grand Champion at the Southern National Brown Swiss Show and Honorable All American. Wade’s family has a rich history in showing livestock. His grandmother, Vera Chipps, was one of the first women to become a licensed Sulky cart driver.
“I never had the opportunity to meet my granddad, Wade Chipps. He passed away two years before I was born. My mother says I took an interest in many of the same things he did,” said Wade. Wade says that’s one thing that encouraged him to go to the International Embryo Transfer School. There he learned how to collect, freeze, implant and manipulate embryos. Since 2005 Wade has done all the embryo work for the family dairy. In the year following high school graduation Wade took a bovine hoof trimming course. “I trimmed about two hundred head of cattle that week,” he laughed. “By the time it was over I didn’t care if I never trimmed another cow.” Wade said that at the peak of his hoof trimming business he trimmed more than 2000 head of cattle per year.
The Ceplina’s love their Brown Swiss cows and had kept about 150 head of yearling heifers. “Mom always said that grandkids should be able to milk the cows. We just never kept a cow that had a bad attitude,” Wade said.
Since selling the main body of their dairy herd, Joe and Myra have had a change of heart about retiring from dairying.
Their feed store/tire shop/gas station is now for sale.