March 16, 2015
2015 is off to a great start with a much milder winter than we are accustomed to the past few years. Calving has progressed very favorably with a higher percentage of calves being a result of the initial breeding cycle than ever before.
I would like to thank everyone that supported our initial Big Gully Online/On-Farm Bull & Heifer Sale in any way. We could not have anticipated how well the sale would go and we have you to thank for that. If we can alter this event in any way to better suit your purchase needs, please let us know. Consider this as your invitation to the 2015 sale which will occur on Thursday, December 10th!
The conclusion of 2014 was very fulfilling. I travelled to the Manitoba Livestock Expo the second weekend of October- where I had the opportunity to judge the National Charolais, Hereford and Supreme shows. The cattle were excellent and it is a great venue to exhibit and view livestock.
I was also excited to make a quick trip from November 16-18, to the North American International Livestock Exposition in Louisville, Kentucky. I was fortunate to be invited as a cattle official for the 109th Senior Intercollegiate Livestock Judging Contest. Along with 5 other individuals, we placed the cattle classes, determined cuts for scoring and listened to reasons from a couple hundred students from universities across the United States.
Next, we exhibited 5 bull calves and 2 yearling bulls at Canadian Western Agribition in Regina, SK the last week of November. The week went incredibly smooth with the help of Cory & Kristy Blaser from North Dakota. The enthusiasm and positivity displayed by everyone in attendance was impressive. It was our intent to justify our exhibiting costs and efforts by taking only bulls-the majority of which would be sold in the sale less than two weeks later. We were relieved how much easier it was to merchandise the cattle when people had cattle tangible to look at, a catalogue to view and an event to ponder in the immediate future. At the conclusion of the week, I was able to fulfill a neat opportunity and serve as a judge for the RBC Beef Supreme Challenge. It was a phenomenal event that is unmatched in terms of quality and prestige due to the number of show champions and breeds involved. The time evaluating the livestock elapsed very quickly and it was fun ranking cattle whose quality is a benchmark to make more of our own cattle similar to.
Upon arriving home from Agribition we focused on preparing for our first sale at the farm. We have many people to thank for their help prior to and during this event. In addition to online participants and the live crowd at the sale-Ryan & Cassie Dorran, Laura Bodell, Jamie-Rae Pittman, Nate Marin, Rose Currie, Craig Flewelling, Katie Colyer, Jesse Milne-Smith, Cory & Kristy Blaser, Paige Lehmann & family, Larissa Lupul and Toby Noble played a role in the day. Shari was especially thrilled to have her Cattlemen’s Young Leader’s Mentor, Denise Lafrentz, and her husband Vern travel to be with us for the sale and the day following.
A quick trip was made to the Medicine Hat Pen Show just prior Christmas to judge the Purebred/Commercial pens and 4-H show. It was a neat event that does an excellent job gathering a diverse demographic of producers to interact with purebred, commercial and junior cattle on display. It is a quick event with tremendous traffic through the facility, particularly on the Friday evening.
The holidays were relatively quiet, just as I prefer-though Shari did travel home to Manitoba to visit family. We enjoyed spending New Year’s with Stephen & Christine Myer at the New Year’s Resolution Sale in Red Deer, AB.
Shari and I attended the National Western Stock Show in Denver from January 14-18. We stayed with a great friend of ours from Eaton, CO that I went to school with at K-State. I was fortunate to judge the Junior Hereford Heifer Show on Wednesday the 15th. We always enjoy the trip and this year included great weather, catching up with many friends and viewing a substantial number of exceptional Hereford cattle.
For Shari, February and March have been filled with broadcasting sales for LiveAuctions.tv and ultrasounding carcass merit for her customers. I have been able to attend the local Hereford sales that occurred in February, followed by the Simmental, Angus and Hereford sales that have since followed.
We have also been fortunate to recently acquire a pair of sires from the US. The first was a private treaty purchase of CRR CATAPULT 462 from Coyote Ridge Ranch of LaSalle, Colorado following the National Western Stock Show. He is a son of CRR CATAPULT 109, who sired the Champion Pen of 3 Bulls this year in Denver. We anticipate this heterozygous polled calf to transmit power, body dimension, balance, calving ease and maternal excellence.
The second bull purchased is C BAR1 0235 GOLDEN DAN 4061 ET from Colyer Herefords in Bruneau, Idaho. He is a horned calf that possesses incredible performance, muscle shape, stoutness of bone and width of skeleton. Fortunately, he still has strong maternal merit from both sides of his pedigree in regard to milk flow and udder quality.
We are excited about the combination of quality, power, udder quality and center body dimension that this pair should contribute to our existing base of cattle.
Currently, Shari is occupied with ultrasounding and broadcasting sales online during the spring. We have been able to attend a variety of sales amongst the different breeds and are encouraged by the strength of the cattle market, both purebred and commercially. We are eagerly anticipating the breeding season and have finalized our plans in that regard.
As always if you are ever in the area, feel free to stop and visit. Moreover, if we can ever be of assistance in any way-please don’t hesitate to contact us.