Danner Farms is a multi-generation family farm. In 1948, Carrol and Vera Danner, Billie’s grandparents, brought their farming operation from western Illinois to West Liberty, Iowa. The original home place still serves as headquarters for Danner Farms today.
The Danner Farms Story
C.L. (Carroll Louis) and Vera Danner grew the operation throughout the years, raising grain and livestock of many species. They were very self-sufficient, as they always raised and preserved their own meat and produce, needing very few items from town.
C.L. and his son Louis farmed together in the 60s and 70s. Louis’s passion for beef cattle drove him to breed Angus cattle, producing many National Champions in those two decades. He sold highly sought-after Angus breeding cattle across the United States.
In the 80s, Louis and his son Billie began using the strong Angus-based herd Louis had built to begin another era in utilizing artificial insemination to produce crossbred club calves and Chi-Angus breeding stock.
A Career in Farming
Billie returned home from Michigan State University in 1989 to officially begin his career in farming. What appeared at the time to be an unfruitful occupation to pursue actually turned out to be a great opportunity. Commodities, as well as land and machinery, were all at historical low points.
Billie always had a passion for livestock, and was involved in 4-H and FFA and national cattle competitions. Billie soon realized he also had a deep passion for growing grain. Louis and Billie farmed together and grew the operation from 600 acres to more than 4,000 acres in the 90s.