March 19, 2014
We concluded 2013 with all the sale cattle being delivered in a timely fashion before the New Year. Shari and I had a great trip to Reno and enjoyed the unique atmosphere. We also participated in the New Year’s Resolution Sale in Saskatoon on December 31 by offering 2 packages of Great Divide semen. Thanks to Jake Rawluk of Manitoba and Greg Pugh of Pugh Farms at Edgerton, AB for purchasing the semen.
In the second week of January we sent Great Divide to compete in Denver. Fortunately, he was Senior Champion in the Horned Show at the National Western and we were happy with how he appeared through that week. As always, Denver was great to catch up with college classmates, old friends and other Hereford breeders. It is always an enjoyable trip before the activity of calving takes priority.
As I write this, we are 80% complete calving. There has been a fair assortment of polled calves from LOOSE CHANGE, BEYOND, REVOLUTION, CRUZ and some existing polled cows. Horned calves obviously include GREAT DIVIDE, 2011, STOCKMAN, 47R, 517U and CRUZ. We are excited for the calves to continue growing so we can begin to assess their merit.
We would like to thank the following buyers for their private-treaty bull purchases to date this past fall and spring:
Ross Harmel-Maidstone, SK: ½ Interest & ½ Possession in BIG-GULLY 8151 MAVERICK 531A
Calla Frankl-Raymore, SK: BIG-GULLY V-9 SNAKE EYES 271A
Henri Blacqueire-Edam, SK: BIG-GULLY 66X CHROME 830Z
Travis Cooke-Marwayne, AB: BIG-GULLY 8151 MONUMENT 70Z
Ken Hoffman & Patti Stephens-Elk Point, AB: BIG-GULLY V-9 VENERABLE 734A
Lee & Brennan Leib-Southey, SK: BIG-GULLY 102 IRON MAN 111A
BIG-GULLY 517U FACEMAN 753A
Noah Olson-Medstead, SK: BIG-GULLY 0248 THOR 272A
Al Brundage-Bonneyville, AB: BIG-GULLY 47R MURDOCK 380Z
We still have two highly pigmented, low birth weight two-year olds along with a high-quality collection of yearling bulls available for sale. Bulls will be wintered free of charge till early May with semen check and delivery included in the purchase price.
In early February I was able to visit the majority of the Hereford sales in this area and have since attended most of the Simmental sales locally as well. Shari and I also attended some speaker sessions at Agri-Visions in Lloydminster in mid-February. Early in March, I attended the G-Mack Steer and Heifer Progress Show in Lloydminster. The quality of the cattle in the show was tremendous. On the 14th of March I helped officiate the Lakeland College Little Royal Judging Contest which included a sharp and enthusiastic group of participants from both 4-H and college.
Shari has been tremendously busy since early February. She attended a calving school and completed her Artificial Insemination training course at Lakeland College in February. She has also provided Liveauctions.tv online bidding services at MJT’s Back to Basics Bull Sale, Mader Ranches Bull Sale, A. Sparrow Farms Bull Sale, The Standard Hill Connection Sale, and Canada’s Red, White & Black Bull Sale. As I write this, Shari is preparing to do the Wilbar Farms Tools of the Trade Bull Sale and will conclude the year with Ter-Ron’s Get A Grip Bull Sale, WLB Livestock’s Bull Sale, Jaymarandy’s Northern Gateway Bull Sale, the 20/20 Angus/Currie/Bullerwell/Roymac Bull Sale, Flying K Ranch Bull Sale and finally the Anchor 1 Bull Sale.
Between sales, Shari has continued her ultrasound business spending most of her time in southwest Manitoba and southeast Saskatchewan to this point. She will make a few more trips to Manitoba and then focus in central, western and northern Saskatchewan in April and May. Several new customers have inquired and scheduled ultrasound sessions to assess carcass merit in both bulls and heifers.
This weekend Shari and I are headed to Calgary for the Cattlemen’s Young Leaders Semi-Annual events. I will be going for graduation after my year-long mentorship with David Bolduc of Cudlobe Angus. Shari is attending as a semi-finalist for this year and will participate in several round table sessions as part of the selection process.
The next month will entail delivering bulls and preparing for the upcoming breeding season. This happens to be the time of year and part of the cattle production cycle that I enjoy most. In preparing for breeding we have begun flushing the cows with a cow-pellet and continuing to provide Cargill Right Now mineral in addition to quality alfalfa/grass hay. Again, we will synchronize and AI all heifers and AI breed cows on natural heats for the first cycle. We have finalized the AI matings and are working toward finalizing pasture matings to follow. This week will entail semen testing our herd bulls as well as those we have sold, so we can initiate delivery. Fortunately, the weather is much more conducive to make cows cycle than compared to this time a year ago.
No matter what stage of calving you find yourself, hopefully everything has gone well and all the best as you continue. We are fortunate that March has been so cooperative from a weather standpoint after a brutal start to the month and several harsh months prior.
As always if you are ever in the area, please stop by to have a visit and we would also be glad to show you the cattle.