This past Sunday Crystal was up to visit and in the morning we when went to check the cows I saw a calf laying down by the fence and said “I need to pick that cup up that came in from the road”. Then I thought to myself that calf looks rather young. I wasn’t expecting another calf as the last cow to calve was my Foundation cow and she had Serena last year on May 15th and the vet called her bred to calve the first of May. So I was overjoyed to see that it was indeed her calf and all was well. Crystal and I got the calf up and walked her into the barn got her on the sling and she weighed in at 95 lbs. She is sired by Legacy and her name is JJB All of the Lights! It is a big, huge, gigantic relief to have calving over for the year! Last year I still had 3 or 4 waiting to go so this is a blessing.
Fantasy is getting weaned off the bottle and Aria will be getting her quite wean one of these days… yeah I know I said I was doing it last week. The yearling heifers are going to finally get moved to the back of the barn and back on feed to prep them for the State Fair. The weather hasn’t been the biggest help with cold temps but we have had some sun and there is some grass growing. All in all there are a busy few weeks ahead and I can’t wait to get some more pictures of the calves to show y’all!
As you can tell it was time for a little “spring cleaning” here on the JJB site! I took off the pages for the Expo Sale cattle and replaced them with the For Sale page, be sure you check it out! There are also a couple of new boxes added to the right side of the page. The top one is the link to the JJB Cattle Co. facebook fan page. I tend to update the fan page much more then the blog and add a bunch more pictures to that as well. The second box that was added is the e-mail notification box. This will update you as to when I have gotten a new post up, not sure many will utilize this but some might find it helpful. I hope you like the updates and will try to continue the improvements as I push forward.
Calving season has almost come to a close with one cow left to calve! This year has been full of ups and downs but I think I have learned a lot. The calves look great and I am very excited to watch them grow.
The Star Lake May Sale is just around the corner and sale prep is well underway. This sale looks to be one of the best yet and I can’t wait to share the catalog with y’all! The cows in this deal are unbelievable and the heifer calves are the best yet. Looking at the catalog takes me back to when I was a kid and the Sears catalog would show up, I’d just grab a marker and start circling.
Hope all is well with y’all and calving season has been uneventful!
This afternoon when I went out to the farm to hay the cows and weigh the newborn heifer calf I pulled around the corner with the tactor and found another new addition to the JJB herd. This one was a bull calf out of my herd bull. He was already up and had sucked and had gotten some VitaFerm as well! I also came up with the names for both, the bull calf is Flint and the heifer calf is The Show Goes On. Hopefully the rest of the calving season will go as well as today has!
On July 22nd 2009 the “new” Star Lake Cattle Ranch website was launched. This was a huge deal for me as I designed the layout (with input from many others of course) and we then had a local web guy do the programing. Since that day in 2009 I have been running the site for Star Lake and sending out all of the e-mail blast that you hopefully receive. There is a lot of work and a bunch of time spent on the SLCR site and I think it is one of the best around. The site has went from being a marketing tool to an income generator. We have monthly internet auctions, year round semen sales, a yearly 20% off semen sale, as well as starter herds and previews for our production sales in May and October. It is a great honor to be able to help sell the cattle that some of the best men in the cattle business have worked so hard to raise. Back in my Junior Show days I was lucky enough to have some of the best teachers and mentors anyone could ever ask for. Todd, Josh, Max and Montie taught me more then I could ever begin to remember about holding onto the halter, but the things that really stick out now are the lessons that they never once told me… these are the lessons that they showed me. The lessons learned from watching Todd and Josh up in the show barn, down in the embryo barn with Max and Dr. Stroud flushing cows, out in the pasture treating, feeding and breeding cows with Brad and the countless hours in the truck or car with Montie as he was selling cattle… All of these moments are great memories priceless lessons. Last week I got an ad from Marilyn Brink who does all of the print advertising and builds our production sale catalogs amongst many other things and this ad had changed a bit. One of the guys that worked at the Ranch had moved on to another operation in his home state and in place of his name was mine. This is by far the greatest honor that I have ever received and is something that… well I can’t accurately describe the profound feeling of pride it gives me. To be included in the same part of an ad with someone might not be that big of a deal to some people but for me to be included in that ad with my heros is something I will never forget. I hope I can do even better work and get these cattle and embryos sold for the price that they always should and present them the way that they deserve to be as well. The ranch produces the best damn Hereford cattle in the world and the team at the ranch is the best as well… such a great honor to be able to have a small part in their success.
Oh wow what an Expo! This years Iowa Select Hereford Sale was not only a great one for JJB Cattle Comapany but also all of the other consignors as well. The bulls averaged $3,554 and the females averaged $3,449. The Hereford bull is in great demand as there were a lot of new faces purchasing these bulls to go out and breed those black cows that they have back home. The consignors have stepped up their game as well through better nutrition and over-all presentation of their cattle. I am very excited to be in a state where people are striving to reach new heights like the Iowa group is doing. Mike and Becky Simpson are the Sale Managers for our breeds Expo sale and Becky is also the Administrative Secretary for the Iowa Hereford Breeders, without Becky much would go un-done and un-noticed she really does a great job. One of the other big time role players in this sale is Mr. Joe Rickabaugh who works for the American Hereford Association. Joe goes out and hand picks all of the lots for this sale and I have to admit I thought he had picked too many this year but it turns out he knew what he was doing! Joe has been a great help to me as well as many other breeders in the area and I want to thank him for all of his hard work. (If Mr. Huffhines is reading this give that guy a raise.) One of these days I need to get together a bunch of “thank-you” posts and let everyone who has helped me know I truly do appreciate what they have done for me. But until then back to the Expo!
It was one heck of a busy little trip down to Des Moines and I found out it is much easier to take pictures of Dad’s cattle at a show when I don’t have to work on them then it is when they are my cattle on display. On the drive home I realized that I had not taken any pictures while I was there! So you will have to take my word for it, these animals looked great.
I had questioned how good the heifer was in the weeks leading up to her getting clipped as she wasn’t a complete stand out with the older January heifers in the same pen as her. Then I got to Expo and she really looked the part! Serena was purchased by a junior member named Tyler Krebs. Tyler has shown Herefords for a few years now and I have noticed that he does a really nice job exhibiting his cattle so I was very excited when they showed interest in my heifer. When the gavel hit with the price of $6,300 being the last bid they called off Tyler’s bidder number and I couldn’t have been more excited about my heifers new home. It turns out that it has worked for Tyler as well as he was named Reserve Champion Polled Hereford heifer at the Expo the following Saturday!!! I sure do hope they can keep getting their picture made at the backdrop as both the heifer and the kid deserve to be in the winners circle.
Grind was the next big winner of the day. There was steady traffic through the stalls all day with a bunch of attention being paid to the flashy looking stud standing next to Serena and he deserved every look. It was really awesome to get this bull from the Cherry family as a three month old calf and turn him into the high selling Hereford yearling bull at this years Expo. When I took on the challenge of getting Grind ready for the Expo I wasn’t sure how I would do since this was the first true yearling bull that I had gotten ready for a sale. Turns out I did alright as Grind sold for $5,300 and is on his way to get collected so that the Cherry family can A.I. to him this year as they try to recreate the same magic as before.
And I will close out this long ramble and let you know how Supernova did in the sale. I think the bull looked good but you can only get so much weight on a bull that doesn’t like feed (he is more of the hay and grass type). But he looked good I think the other thing that hurt him were those horns on his head as I had a number of on lookers say “well if he didn’t have them horns”. The good news is his new owners don’t care! They paid $2,750 for Nova and he will soon be running out with some commerical Angus cows. When we asked the bulls purchasers why they where selecting a Hereford bull they said they needed more growth both while insided the cow and outside the cow added to their Angus based herd…… music to my ears!
The heifer that I am selling at the Iowa Beef Expo on Thursday recently graced the cover of the Iowa Cattleman magazine! It was really cool to see her on the front and the fact that it is a GREAT picture that Crystal took, well that makes it even better. This weekend we got all of the Expo cattle clipped and I am very excited for y’all to see them. Serena has matured nicely and still has plenty of room to grow. The two bulls will make an awesome addition to any one’s herd. Grind is an all out powerhouse that has all the meat and muscle you need in a stylish showring ready package. Supernova look like he will breed truer to his 65 lb birth weight then his 5.7 birth weight EPD suggests, this doesn’t mean he doesn’t have the capability to have larger calves but he is smooth shouldered and more slender in is build like a calving ease bull should be.
If you have any questions please let me know! Hopefully I will see a bunch of you at the Expo on Wednesday and Thursday!!!
Serena looks great as we are nearing closer and closer to the February 17th sale date! She is coming back from a case of ringworm that was the first that I have dealt with in a very long time and is progressing nicely in that respect. I am very hopeful that Serena will find a home that has a showstring as this young lady deserves to be on the tan bark as much as possible. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me as I will be happy to answer any questions you might have on any of the animals that I will have at Expo!
Some bumps in the road have been encountered but nothing that hasn’t been remotely easy to deal with. For example my heifer Ceci calved 2-2.5 weeks early and didn’t have any milk ready for her little heifer calf so I became the mother of this beautiful heifer calf. Ceci had this calf the first night of the snow storm and the calf came backwards… I had worried she had been trying to have the calf too long and we had lost her so when the vet pulled her out and she shook her head it was one of the best sights I have seen. The heifer then spent a night in the basement before moving back to the farm. Getting her to take a bottle was also a chore but is no longer an issue and it looks like this little lady might just make it.
The first calf of the year was born a week past her due date but all was well with her and you can catch her sprinting around the pasture as you drive by on 150 North. Hopefully the third will go that same route.
As far as Expo prep goes everything is going great! Last Friday we took the bulls over to get their BSE testing done and both passed with flying colors. They are all taking shape and I can’t wait for you to see the difference in these animals when compared to their videos taken in the beginning of December.