Last week sure was a busy one for me as I headed up to Agribition in Canada! But boy oh boy did it bring activity down on this here blog. The great news is things are going to pick up really quick and it should be fun to follow. I’m going to write a little recap of the Agribition experience and hopefully get it posted tomorrow!
This weekend we got Max’s cows loaded out for the winter so that they can calve them out and return again in the spring to get bred if that is what they want to do. I also got the cows bedded down and they couldn’t have been happier! Still a bunch of things on the to do list but there is progress being made.
The purpose of this post is to introduce you to the foundation cow family of the JJB herd. The story of this family goes back to a May Sale at Star Lake. We went down to the annual production sale at the ranch not necessarily looking for a heifer but that quickly changed. When I walked into the showbarn there was an awesome looking fall heifer and as I went to take a look at this little beauty she walked to the gate in the pen as well and licked my arm as if to say “I like you too” and I was sold. Shasta just had to be mine and after hours of bargaining with my dad and grandpa we came up with a plan and ended up getting her bought. Shasta we my first Junior National class winner and the show just happened to be on my birthday (best present ever). Shasta went on to a very good show career eating horse treats in the ring and all. You could walk up to the fence of the pasture she was in and yell “Shasta cookie!” and she would come running for one of those horse treats. After she calved she was flushed twice very successfully and then we purchased the ranch and she went down to be in their donor herd. Before one of our May Sales she was struck by lightning and we lost her. She left behind some great calves with a few herd sires and some awesome cows. One of those awesome cows is the foundation of my herd Barbi Shasta.
Barbi Shasta is sired by Bogart and was a division winner at the Junior National in Wisconsin. She has had 5 calves all heifer with 3 of the daughters in my herd and one being the exciting May heifer I shared with you earlier that will sell at the Iowa Beef Expo. An other daughter that was shown was the Reserve Grand Polled heifer at the 2009 Iowa State Fair. Ceci then went down to Oklahoma and was shown very successfully by Sam Taylor. These cows have proven themselves time and time again and I have supreme confidence that Serena will do the same for whomever purchases her in February!
If you find yourself in the Independence let me know and come see this cow family in the flesh… You will quickly understand why I am so confident in the foundation of my herd!
This past breeding season instead of AI’ing anything I turned out two bulls and let them go to work in hopes that they would get the cows that had been AI’d in the past and not stuck caught back up. And that leads me to yesterday when I finally got time to have the vet come and preg checking cows. I never saw either bull breed a cow all summer long but they sure did the job and they did it well. They got the cows settled ahead of last years schedule just as I had hoped. Now maybe we can try to AI some again next year without the fear of having them calve too late.
The other thing that I did yesterday for the first time was got a weight on all of the cows in the herd. Which wasn’t really that hard considering there are only 12 cows in my herd and 7 in Max’s. What was really surprising was how much bigger these cows were then I had thought. It’s not really a big deal as they maintain themselves on grass extremely well but where it kicks you in the ass is when treating them if they get sick. The vet said that what I was doing before didn’t hurt them at all but from now on the treatments will work much better. Hopefully I will be able to save some money and not have to give as many treatments as before.
The last thing that was a big surprise yesterday was how much a rubber mat really will effect the accuracy of a scale. In the show barn when I had gotten a weight on Max’s bull Grind and he had weighed in at 943 lbs. That wasn’t bad and I could sure live with it but then once I got him on the scale with it on the concrete I couldn’t have been much more pleased… ol’ Grind pushed the scales down at 1010 lbs. I can’t wait to get some new pictures of this rascal to let y’all see him! Joe Rickabaugh with the AHA came to the farm to screen cattle for the Iowa Beef Expo Sale and he sure took a liking to Grind and Serena, he is going to take my July Horned Bull as well… we always need more big bulls in the sale!
Had an amazing weekend that started with a trip down to KC and then a hop over to Manhattan for a football game and ended with a stop back in KC to watch the Hereford heifer show at the American Royal before driving back north to Independence. Whew what a whirlwind!
The most exciting thing that I saw this weekend was that National Hereford Heifer Show at the Royal. If you have not seen a National Hereford show in the past few years you need to get your butt in the stands or at least walk through the barns. It is impressive to say the least. The quality of the cattle has improved by leaps and bounds. The bottom end is the old middle to top end and the depth, performance and eye appeal is superior to cattle from days gone by. In the past friends from other breeds have come to look at the Hereford cattle in the barns and they would say “that’s a good one… for a Hereford.” and now maybe without realizing it they say “that’s a good heifer.” It is very exciting to see these improvements as a young producer with a young herd. We have the opportunity within this breed to make even more improvements and build to compete with any one in the ring and out where it counts in the pasture. I feel as long as we keep them sound and don’t loose sight on that while moving forward we will be tough to beat!
Excellence can be contagious if you let it.
I posted a story on the Star Lake Blog about a bull that was purchased in a past May Sale. Robert Rob Bob was purchased by Thompson Herefords and has really excelled since leaving the ranch. Tom spent just over $5,000 to purchase Rob and his mom. This just goes to show that you don’t have to spend a lot to get a good one you just have to find it! Tom has Rob or as he calls him “Rob the Italian Stallion” at the American Royal this weekend so we will see how he pans out in the ring with the big boys! Tom is also selling a heifer in the Ladies of the Royal Sale on Saturday… You can check the heifer out by clicking here she is Lot 26!
Also be sure to check out Smooth Improvements. These guys have come up with two great products for the show cattle industry at a reasonable price. Even if they can’t make suggested changes to the wording on the front page of their site lol!
So far we had kind of dodged Fall here in NE Iowa but this Friday it showed up. I guess it was inevitable but it sure was nice seeing the sun everyday and not needing a jacket all day long! The new arrival of Fall is also very apparent in the lack of pictures that I have been able to take. The rain and overcast conditions make it rather hard to snap any, will try to get some new ones ASAP.
jjbcattleco Does Urban Meyer hear anything as it is happening?