Rocking N Feeders logo with farm background

Building a small business and honoring a legacy, Rocking N Feeders

June 21, 2024

At TS Bank we believe that a community is only as strong as its local businesses. This is why we have highlighted local businesses in southwest Iowa as part of our Eat, Shop, Bank Local blog series. For this blog we have featured Brandon and Jackie Nelson owners of Rocking N Feeders in Oakland, IA.

Story behind the owners of the business? 

Brandon always had a passion for the cattle industry, following in the footsteps of his late grandfather, Loyd O’Neill. Loyd ran cow/calf pairs, farmed row crops and worked as a “cowboy” at the Omaha Stockyards. Brandon enjoyed spending every minute he could with his grandfather and knew after high school he would want to have a future in the cattle industry.

In 2005 he started working for a local feedyard and over the years gained experience in managing a 5,000 head operation which included leasing and operating a feedyard. Eventually in 2018, he and his wife Jackie, purchased their own feedyard know as Rocking N Feeders, LLC.

Tell us a little bit about your business?

In 2011, Brandon and Jackie started their cow/calf operation with 10 cows and a bull. Now over the past 13 years they have grown their cow/calf pairs into a successful business. In 2024, Brandon and Jackie cut the ribbon on a brand new 14’ dip pit confinement barn and feed around 2,000 head of cattle between three locations.

In addition to their cow/calf pair and feedyard operation, they farm a small amount of row crop and hay ground, have a dump truck business, spread all their own manure, raise, train and sell registered quarter horses as well as raise registered border collies and labradors. To learn more, visit their Facebook page at Rocking N Feeders LLC.

Where do you want to be in five years?

Currently we have three locations and plan to expand our Oakland, IA location in the future years. Additionally, we would like to involve our children as part of our long-term business succession plans.

What advice would you give to other people who are interested in starting their own business?

Don’t be afraid to take risks. It is okay to start out small. We began with only 10 cow/calf pairs and have been able to increase our herd significantly over the years. We purchased a rundown feedyard that was in dire need of a makeover, but we ran it successfully for six years before we could afford to transform it into something really efficient and attractive. It is overwhelming borrowing money, but if you work hard enough and put in the hours, you will succeed and you will pay off your notes.

Involve your children. We have been blessed with five amazing children, Jacob, Cooper, Hazel, Stockton, and Hattie Belle. Our children are a part of our everyday operation, and they are the hardest working kids you will ever find. They are not expected to go to work at the feedyard or participate during calving, but they WANT to! They typically wake up at 5:30 in the morning to make sure they get to go to work. This is not tractor driving work, this is hard, manual labor. We could not be prouder of them and hope someday they will be a part of our operation when they graduate from college.

There are no set hours in this type of ag/cattle business. It is all day, every day, seven days a week. We feel that success is measured but what you put into your operation. This means that while we are young, we work hard to become successful. This does not mean we don’t get to play once in a while, after all you still have to have fun! There are some weeks that you might work 100 hours to get the work done, and that is what we do.

Pictured above is Aaron Schoening at Rocking N Feeders.

Can you share any specific examples of how our bank's services have helped your business grow, overcome challenges or addressed any initial needs?

TS Bank has been key in the growth of Rocking N Feeders, LLC. While we did not start out with the bank in the early years of our operation, when we were introduced to TS Bank for growth opportunities it was a good fit. We have been with TS Bank ever since.

TS Bank has guided us over the years through various financing which has allowed us to grow our cow/calf operation, purchase our feedyard and equipment as well as our overall operations. Aaron Schoening was phenomenal in assisting us with our loan for our new confinement barn. He attended meetings with the builders and was there to guide us along the way. It was a learning experience, and we are grateful for making this large purchase.

Can you share an instance where our team went above and beyond to assist you?

Aaron Schoening has been exceptional to work with. We cannot thank him enough for always taking the time to understand our banking needs. When determining to build our new confinement barn, we wanted Aaron to attend site visits of existing barns and also be involved during meetings with the builders. He always made us a priority, was professional and key in our financial decisions. We cannot thank Aaron enough for his dedication to our business.

What financial solutions provided by the bank have been most beneficial to your business?

Allowing us to purchase cows during the highest market of all times. The cows work for us but they are a large investment, and it takes a while to get any return. Trusting and believing in us to build and operate our new confinement barn means so much to us!

Can you share any experiences or benefits you’ve observed from our bank’s community involvement?

TS Bank has year after year contributed to our foundation that we created in honor of our daughter called My Heart of Hazel. In 2017 Hazel was born with a congenital heart defect called transposition of the great arteries and required surgery at just three days old. She then was diagnosed with a life-threatening disease called pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) which is a rare and progressive disorder that causes high blood pressure in the lungs. It occurs when the small arteries in the lungs narrow, which increases resistance to blood flow and makes the heart work harder to pump blood. 

Hazel’s heart fought this disease for nearly three years before claiming her life in March of 2020 during one of many open-heart surgeries. Hazel was a ray of light that shined so bright on everyone she knew. Hazel's story is one of resilience, courage, and love. Despite her young age, she faced the challenges of pulmonary hypertension with unwavering strength and a contagious spirit. She loved horses, dogs, swimming, fishing, and working in the feedyard with her daddy.

My Heart of Hazel is committed to honoring Hazel's memory by providing assistance to families affected by pulmonary hypertension and advocating for greater research, education, and resources in the fight against this disease. Our organization relies heavily on the generosity of sponsors and donors. We are so thankful to TS Bank for supporting our mission and making a meaningful difference in the lives of those we serve.


Pictured above are pictures of Brandon and Jackie Nelson's family. 

The annual Heart of Hazel golf scramble is Saturday, June 22nd at Fox Run in Council Bluffs. Donations are still welcome, to learn more visit Heart of Hazel on Facebook or contact

At TS Bank, we IGNITE PROSPERITY® by helping our clients do more with their money. Whether it’s saving a little extra cash each month or accomplishing a long-term strategy, our goal is to help you transform your financial life. Call and schedule an appointment today, one of our team members would love to help you do more with your money at TS Bank. TS Bank has eight locations in central and southwest Iowa. For more information visit or call 844-487-3030. #igniteprosperity