It seems like all we have been doing this Spring is waiting… we have been waiting for calves to be born, waiting for grass to grow, waiting to get in the fields, waiting to breed the cows, waiting for the sun to shine, for the rain to stop and so on and so on. And as it rains this evening we are waiting again. But the good thing about waiting is you get to plan. We like to make plans and have our path well thought out.
I started JJB Cattle Company in 2007 without much of a plan just knew I wanted to raise Hereford cattle. I learned through trial and mostly error that you need to set your path and stick to it.
We are currently planning next years calf crop. The calves are to a point where we are starting to really see what worked and what didn’t work. The best news is our herd bull, 0001, has done a great job and will be rewarded with more cows to breed this year. The bull calves out of him are unreal! We will also be breeding our replacement heifers and clean-up a few that we AI with the newest addition to our herd from Whispering Pine Farms in Minnesota. He is an Untapped out of a Harland Too daughter and we will be posting some more information on him soon. We got word today that all three Ramona x Shock & Awe embryos that we put in stuck! We will then implant 5 more embryos for early March calves and put a few in for May calves as well. Embryo calves are the best way to improve our herd and still be able to sell great calves. Our program is built for the future and we are sticking to the plan.
Our plan is all part of a greater vision of our future, once the pieces to our puzzle fall into place the sky is the limit. As one of my idols Kanye West said, “It’s crazy and it’s delusional before it comes into fruition.”
Jon and I are excited to announce that we will have freeze beef available very soon. Some of the steers are already spoken so now is the time to reserve your beef by contacting Jon or myself.
Full Beef – $1.60 x live weight (we expect the steers to average about 1,100 lbs.)
You pay the processing charges. (See note on Processing below)
Half or Quarter Beef – $1.65 x live weight (we expect the steers to average about 1,100 lbs.)
You pay the processing charges. (See note on Processing below)
All of our beef is processed through Edgewood Locker. Processing charges can vary per animal and can increase with the more packaging or speciality items you do such as beef sticks, beef patties or beef in gravy. (We personally love these three products because of the convenience. Plus, Edgewood’s beef sticks are fantastic.) To give you an idea we had two customers last year that did a lot of processing and paid just over $200 for their quarter and $380 for their half beef. If you need help deciding how your animal should be processed (thickness of steaks, how many roasts should you get, etc.) will would be more than willing to lend a hand.
Well it has been a long time since I have written a post and I have a very valid excuse… I got superstitious. This is something that isn’t new to me. After I hadn’t made a new blog post for a while and things were going well so I figured why chance it! The 2013 calf crop is the biggest and best yet. We have 19 calves on the ground with 9 Bulls 8 heifers and 2 that might be Free Martins. Everything didn’t go entirely as planned but has turned out very well. We are excited to show off these calves as they grow.
This calf crop is the first out of our 0001 herd bull that we purchased from Perks Ranch. 0001’s full sister is the Ramona cow owned by Perks and Langford’s whose first calf sold for $100,000. The bull calves out of 0001 are a sight to see, they are stout with lots of shape and style with a boatload of hair. We only got one heifer but she is easily the best the cow has had. So far the purchase looks like it might have been a great one.
We also have a nice set of ET calves on the ground. We have a bull and a heifer out of our donor Lucky and Revolution. The Lucky x Revolution mating has balanced out the positives and negatives of both resulting in some flashy, powerful little babies. One of the others is a 1/2 sib to being sired by Revolution and out of the great Rocking Erica cow, she is about as complete as you can make one. To round out the ET calves we have a full sister to Shock & Awe. We have named her Intensity and her name is very fitting. Intensity is one that you will be hearing a lot of down the road.
In preparation for next year we have had 5 embryos put into recips in Illinois and will find out soon how many of those stuck. Hopefully those results will be good and we can tell you all about them once we know they stuck (part of that superstition deal again).
The other big happening of late is the steers are getting closer to being finished! This is a very good thing as I am getting tired of the steers just being steers (they are rough on stuff). We are feeding out 12 steers this year. While we may not get rich selling freezer beef being able to sell our family and friends great meat that they wouldn’t be able to get at the store makes the work worth it! We may end up with more to sell then we have buyers for so if you would like some beef please Contact Us and we will get you on the list.
Most of you that know me know that I did not go to K-State. However, Crystal did and Manhattan, Kansas is the place she calls her American home. Her love for K-State is one of those things that if she likes it, then I like it and I do have to admit that the Little Apple has grown on me. This fall before the Star Lake Dispersal when Crystal asked if I thought my dad and grandpa would make a donation to her alma mater’s herd I was pretty sure I knew the answer. The surprise came when dad said they would! And the best part of the whole deal was when K-State purchased our cow, STAR JJB HAY JUDE 86U ET, to add to their Hereford herd.
K-State’s Purebred Unit runs a Hereford, Angus and Simmental herd. They recently held their 50th Annual Sale and Crystal and I were both impressed with the quality of cattle. It is nice to see a university continuing to put emphasis on their purebred herd, and giving the students the opportunity to use it as a hands on learning tool.
Today we got word that Hay Jude calved right on her breeding date and had a heifer calf just as she was suppose to. The other exciting news was that the K-State Purebred Unit will be receiving a few straws of semen from the high selling bull in breed history, C Miles McKee 2103 ET, hope to be flushing her to him this spring. We feel this will be a great combination and can’t wait for 2015 to roll around so we can see those calves!
The Sunday after the Expo, Colin Johnson along with his father, uncle and girlfriend came to see what we had left in the sale pen. Colin bought our Expo consignment last year and had good success with her winning the breed at his county fair as well as being named Reserve Supreme Champion. It was great being able to look at the heifers with them and I really appreciate how they look at them. Colin and his uncle are the ones that pick out the show cattle and his dad gathers the thoughts and talks out a plan. We only had two heifers left in the sale pen. One was hopefully a heifer that you have seen on the site Celeste and the other was a flashy end of March heifer sired by Gold Nugget named Kim K. When the Johnson’s left they were for sure taking Kim and had a hold on Celeste. Colin called later that night to let me know they would take both. I have always heard repeat customers are the best customers so I am very excited we have our very first repeat customers! Be sure you check out Double J Herefords on Facebook.
JJB CELESTE 7Z ET is sure to be a favorite at Double J for years and years to come. She is sired by Advance S109 and our of the 173P cow who is the dam of Lock-N-Load and full sister to the dam of Revolution. She has one heck of a pedigree and is a very impressive heifer.
We weren’t even able to get the picture of this heifer on the site before they came and snatched her up!
JJB KIM K 14Z is a heifer that I have had a bit of a crush on for a while now. She is sired by Gold Nugget and out of a Battle Ground daughter that goes back to Online. This heifer has all the style you could ask for and a butt to go with it (hence the name).
This years Expo was one for the books! The sale featured the most lots that we have had in a long time and the Hereford Sale also had the highest average over all breeds. Our 3 lots sold really well and went to some great homes. There was a lot of interest in Symphony while we were there and it was very humbling to have some great cattlemen compliment her. We all go to the sale to market our cattle but the fun part is getting to see our friends and find out how everyone is doing both personally and professionally. The expo has become a great event.
First in the ring was our two year old bull Lot 4 Exhibit C-
Lot 4 sold for $3,600.00 and is going to Western Iowa. Thanks to Jim Ausdemore for your trust in our bull!
Next to sell was our Lot 39 Bull – Goblin who sold for $2,500.00. Thanks to the Contner family for your purchase. We have no doubt that Goblin will help raise phenomenal steers for your freezer beef program.
Last in the ring was Symphony. It was an honor to raise a heifer like her and we could not have been more proud. When the gavel dropped Symphony found a new home in Tennessee going to Banner Angus Farm for $9,200.00. We are excited that they are going to show her and she will help get them started in the Hereford Business.
About a week and a half ago we had a bred heifer lose her calf. She was due March 3rd and I had just assumed something went wrong and it wasn’t meant to be. Well this morning I got to the farm and she had a little calf sticking her head out from under her belly. I thought it was an ET calf at first but she didn’t have an ear tag. Come to find out the heifer had twins in her belly and decided to hold on to one a bit longer then the other! The heifer that was born weighs 60 lbs. and has one eye that is a little blue/grey colored so something wasn’t right but she is a survivor that’s for sure!
In celebration of reaching 1,000 likes on our Facebook page we are giving away 5 free JJB Hats! All you have to do to enter is head on over to the page (JJB Cattle Company) and like the picture below. We will announce the winners on Friday, January 25th.
Denver 2013 is officially in the books for the Hereford breed. There are many things that can be said about the National Western, both negative and positive but I’m going to stick with the positive. So in no order here are my favorite things about this years National Western.
This year the National Hereford Sale “Mile High Night” was held in the arena where all the shows take place. It was AWESOME! The crowd was gigantic and the cattle were really good. Seeing Mr. Eddie Sims start the introductions for the sale all alone on top of the auction block in front of all those people was a moment I will never forget. Mr. Sims is a man who has done it all, at least twice, and to see him kick off that sale beaming with such pride was very special. It is a good reminder that no matter what you have done there is nothing that can keep you from doing even greater things in the future.
Anyone who raises purebred cattle will tell you the same thing “It’s a people business” and that is one of the many things I love about raising Hereford cattle. I was able to hang out with friends from years past a reminisce about old times while making the times we will talk about down the road. Crystal and I also got to celebrate with friends after their big win and while celebrating the present we still looked to the future. I got to meet two cattleman who have left an immediate impression upon me. On is PJ Budler whom I had been introduced to in the past but for the first time got to know. PJ and his wife Koula have recently moved to Fort Worth from South Africa, it is PJ’s dream to market Hereford cattle on a global scale, and he will. There are some people that have a drive that will enable them to be successful at whatever they want and I feel the Budler’s are prime examples of that. Check out herefordbreeder.net for an insight into some of PJ’s work. The other cattleman I am very happy I had the chance to meet is Jason McDonald of Whispering Pine Farms. I had inquired about a bull on their website before Denver and had went down to look at him in the yards and got to meet Jason. You might have noticed Whispering Pine’s buying a lot of good cattle the past few years as I had and I was intrigued to meet then man behind the farm. I was very happy to find out what a nice guy Jason was, the Hereford breed is full of great people and he is one of them. The future is bright with Whispering Pines and I can’t wait to go and visit their farm. I met my wife at the National Western and she has been my greatest blessing, I hope that someone found theirs this year as well.
I had a blast being able to kick back and watch the shows this year. Even though I get the feeling it may be one of my last just watching from the sidelines. The pen show was fun to watch with fellow Iowan and one of the first people to purchase a heifer from me, Bill Goehring being one of the three men on the judging panel. The cattle down in the yards were good and as I said in a previous post the management practices are always wildly different. If as producers we can achieve a common ground on how much condition these cattle should carry I think we would all be better off. But hell fat sells, the same guy that complains about fat bulls before the sale won’t buy one if he is too skinny. As far as the judging on the hill goes, some thought it was good, others bad, I guess I can see it both ways but that leads me to my last point.
I don’t care what you think about the way Hampton placed the cattle and judged the show, him having his son out in the ring with him for a large portion of the female show was awesome. It reminds us why we do this. My dad and grandpa got me into showing cattle because they wanted me to grow-up with a sense of responsibility and pride in a completed project that I did not have before then. They also wanted to be able to spend time with me and the time that I have spent with my family at cattle shows and sales are most of my favorite memories. Just imagine the gift that Hampton has given his son, he got to evaluate cattle with his dad at the National Western Freaking Stock Show before he can even think about shaving! Man that is cool, I don’t care who you are! I haven’t even had the opportunity to show in the Open Show in Denver and that young man was able to look at the best Herefords in the world right along side his father. I hope that when Crystal & I decide to have a child we can make memories like that.
I know that some of you would have liked some more posts during the Stock Show and I feel like I have let you down but will do better next year. As I have known for quite sometime now my dad has some very big shoes to fill and sometimes I come up short the first try. So now I am part of team #dobetter. All in all it was a great Denver with many people asking about Symphony, it really means a lot to get so many great compliments from people who have done it.
jjbcattleco Amazes me how mature some baby calves look in some sale pictures. Let the kids be kids bro.