Over Memorial Day weekend Crystal and I went up to Canada for a long over due trip. Crystals sister Stacy is getting married in September and that weekend they had her Stagette (Bachelorette Party to Americans) and her Bridal Shower. I went up to see family, cows and golf. It was great to see everyone and hopefully we will be able to make some longer trips up in the near future.
Since this is a cattle blog I will now get to the cattle. The High Country herd is very impressive and Crystal’s family has been very successful in the showring and this years calf crop looks like another great one. There are some calves out of Elle that are really cool. The udders on the Revolution (not the Hereford) daughters are great and the cows have a ton of power! I even got a photo shoot in with my main man Bud, I’ll post a few of those after the cow pictures. If Simmentals are your gig be sure you give my in-laws a call!
You may notice a heifer that is familiar if you are a follower of JJB Cattle Co. in some marketing this summer! The heifer that we sold at the Iowa Beef Expo, Symphony, will be featured in some Sure Champ and Vita Charge marketing. I just got a report that after putting Symphony back on Sure Champ her appetite has ramped way up and that she is looking great. Good news is always the best news.
We are big believers in the VitaFerm products and that’s not because it’s where Crystal’s check comes from either, it’s because they flat work! If you aren’t feeding Sure Champ and you are feeding show cattle you are missing the boat. This stuff will have them eating better then they ever have while adding bloom and a fresher look. Plus if it gets hot this summer you will be even more excited that you use this stuff, they never miss a beat. Visit surechamp.com for more info and a dealer locator. This is not a paid advertisement just the honest truth.
I promised in my last post that I would give you more information on our bull from Whispering Pine Farms and here it is! In December I started to look around for a calving ease bull to breed our replacement heifers this year and in the years to come. I looked and looked then I decided to check out the Whispering Pine website. Jason McDonald and family have been making some great purchases lately and I figured if they were buying good stuff they must be raising good stuff too. So as I looked through there site at the bulls listed I noticed one that had a low BW EPD and a bigger REA EPD then most and I thought we were onto something. Then I switched over to the AHA website to find that 2047 is mostly an outcross to our herd and I was starting to become sold. Crystal and I went out to Denver for the NWSS, she went to work I went to enjoy, and while we were there we took a look at 2047. After some debate as to if we wanted to spend the money since we are buying the farm this summer as well and checking to be sure he was the one we wanted, we pulled the trigger. Once we got 2047 home and he started to get settled in I began to realize that we might have done a really good job picking this one out! After more research and watching more sales the Untapped sons that have sold have done very well and I also really like how the Harland influenced cattle do as they mature. Please Click Here to view 2047’s EPD’s and pedigree on the AHA website. 2047 will be hard to beat based on all of the information at present and we think his calves will excel when they arrive next spring!
My last post was about the waiting game that we were in with what seemed like nonstop rain. Well mother nature shut it down for almost long enough for our farming group to get 100% of the crop planted. It was a whirlwind week as we started back planting on Monday the 13th, ran for 5 hrs, Tuesday the 14th, ran for 16hrs, then ran 24hrs/day from Wednesday – Saturday, and 5 hrs on Sunday getting rained out at 5:00 am. The planters just got our families last field of beans planted and got the planters back in the shop before we got dumped on with 2.9″ of rain Sunday night!
This year I helped out running the finisher and even jumped in the planter for a little bit. I found out pretty quickly that planting is a ton of fun, until something starts beeping and then it’s no fun. When the planter starts to beep there is something wrong and when something is wrong I’m in trouble as I am close to the furthest thing from handy. There was a lot of guys in the group that didn’t get much sleep last week and without that amazing effort we wouldn’t have gotten the job done.
Now that the crop is in the ground we get to start focusing back 100% on the cows. My happy place is out in the pasture with the cows and calves and green grass and right now we have all three. We have been very blessed that after the long winter we have a healthy group of calves on the ground and under them is a bunch of lush grass. I took the camera out tonight when I did chores and got a couple of good pictures. The next month and a half will be very exciting and I have been dreaming about this time for a very long time. I am so happy that I get to go to Canada with my wife this weekend before she heads off on her big Sure Champ Jr. National run. We are very lucky and glad we get to share it all with all of you.
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).