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Shining a Light on Beefmaster in the Sunshine State

By: Matt Woolfolk, Commercial Marketing Director & Field Representative

The area around Lake Okeechobee is one of the most agriculture rich areas I’ve ever traveled. You can drive for miles with citrus trees lining both sides of the highway. Sugar cane fields are everywhere. Several of the vegetables in Southeastern grocery stores were harvested in this area. Perhaps the most exciting part of it all is the large number of cattle and the good name Beefmaster owns in the area.

For almost two weeks, I crisscrossed through the communities surrounding Lake Okeechobee to learn more about beef cattle production in this fertile region, as well as the role played by Beefmaster cattle.  I was able to visit with both purebred and commercial producers, sale barn managers, pharmaceutical representatives, feed representatives and employees of the University of Florida, to try and get a complete picture of the business. You may not realize it, but Florida is big time cattle country. Four of the ten largest ranches in the United States are located in the Sunshine State. Florida’s cow herd is the twelfth largest in the United States.

Beefmaster cattle are popular among many of the larger commercial ranches in the Sunshine State.  Time and time again, producers told me of how they admired the productivity of the Beefmaster female in the harsh summer climate. They complimented the cows for having a live calf, successfully raising it to weaning and breeding back. On several ranches, I saw cows that were born in the 1990s and are still raising calves! Multiple operations said they were keeping all the high quality Beefmaster-sired heifers that they could produce as replacement females. Beefmaster bulls were in use on several types of cows, from Brangus and Charolais-based females to the classic “Heinz 57” crossbred cow. Weaning weights on steer calves were coming in as much as 50 pounds higher than annual averages.

The University of Florida Beef Cattle Short Course was a great event for education and meeting more industry professionals. Sessions on market outlooks, reproductive physiology and a group panel discussion on the state of the industry in Florida highlighted the proceedings in Gainesville. This was an interesting event with a lot of useful information gathered both inside and outside the lecture halls.

If you ever get the opportunity, I strongly encourage you to make a trip to Florida and see Beefmaster cattle at work in the field. I also encourage you to fly down and rent a car; it’s a really long drive from Texas! You will gain a new appreciation for the ability of the breed to perform in a commercial atmosphere. The conditions for raising beef cattle in Florida are unlike anywhere else in the country.  Luckily for us, our cattle thrive in these conditions. Beefmaster will continue to be in the spotlight in Florida for the foreseeable future!

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Communicating with Commercial Cattlemen

Beefmaster Breeders United is proud to introduce their newest publication that will be debuting Fall 2015. The Beefmaster Pay Weight is a publication produced by Beefmaster Breeders United and dedicated to serving commercial cattlemen. We feature the latest beef cattle industry news, innovative discoveries in the industry, and discussions about the latest cattle trends and technologies. The Beefmaster Pay Weight was founded to assist the Beefmaster cattle industry with effective advertising and a communication tool with commercial cattlemen throughout the country.

If you are interested in advertising with The Beefmaster Pay Weight please contact Matt Woolfolk at 210-464-0923.

Click here or the image below to view rates and details in the 2015/2016 Media Kit for The Beefmaster Pay Weight.


 

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Junior Fed Beef Career and Leadership Program

Each summer, the Texas Cattle Feeders Association (TCFA) hosts a Junior Fed Beef Career and Leadership Program in conjunction with West Texas A&M University (WTAMU) and Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Service. This year’s program will be held June 29 – July 1 on the campus of WTAMU.

Participants will receive hands-on instruction about feedyard operations, as well as career opportunities in the fed beef industry. Students will participate in operation problem solving and leadership activities. Activities will include tours of commercial cattle feeding operations, a tour of a beef processing facility, the opportunity to learn the anatomy of a beef carcass and fabricate a beef half, and participate in a consumer beef taste panel. Students will also spend a day learning day-to-day operations of a feedyard and have the opportunity to participate in a job shadow program at a local feedyard following the conclusion of the program.

The program is open to incoming high school juniors in seniors residing in Texas, Oklahoma, or New Mexico. The deadline is fast approaching, but I thought a program like this may really be of interest to some of the youth in your association.

Click the following link to find a brochure about the program and an application http://www.tcfa.org/news-events/feedyard-camp.html. Please feel free to pass this along to anyone who may be interested.

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BBU in Panama, Feria Internacional de Azuero

This past week two representatives of Beefmaster Breeders United (BBU), Bill Pendergrass and Lauren Lyssy, traveled to the Central America country of Panama. While in Panama Pendergrass, BBU Executive Vice President, and Lyssy, BBU International Committee Co-Chair, toured modern day livestock markets and visited the ranches of several prestigious Panama Beefmaster breeders. They visited ranches owned by Jamie Chen Reyes, Tito Dotari and Guido Martenilli, who are all pioneering Beefmaster breeders in Panama. From the visits it was evident that BBU genetics are making a big difference in Panama. BBU was also proud to have Pendergrass and Lyssy serve as international judges for the Beefmaster show at the 53rd Feria Internacional de Azuero.

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Years of Preparation, Two Minutes of Fame

By Matt Woolfolk, BBU Field Representative & Commercial Marketing Director

The first Saturday in May is upon us and Kentucky Derby fever is catching on fast!  In Louisville, everyone is getting ready for the “fastest two minutes in sports”.  On Saturday afternoon, thousands in the stands and millions of viewers worldwide will tune in to see which horse will earn champion of America’s most prestigious horse race.  The spotlight will shine on this event for one hour, but preparation starts almost five years in advance for the owners, breeders and trainers of these horses. It begins with the decisions made in breeding a mare to the right stallion.  From foaling to the race track, it takes hours of work by trained professionals to get these young equine athletes ready to compete.  If the young horse has the talent, training and the right luck they just might be one of the 20 horses who make it to the starting gate for the Kentucky Derby.  With almost 20,000 thoroughbreds born each year, the odds of being one of the 20 are not very high!  One thing is for sure; the 20 who make it to Louisville are the cream of the crop, not a bunch of lackluster performers.

Cattle sales are a lot like the Kentucky Derby.  The crowd gathers on the big day to view the cattle, socialize with fellow enthusiasts and witness the action from the sale ring.  However, a high selling lot doesn’t start on sale day.  All the time leading up to and preparing for the auction are often overlooked.  It goes back to using the right bulls on your cow herd to produce a product that keeps improving your stock.  From calving to weaning, it becomes important to have a good pasture and a balanced nutrition program to help that calf grow alongside the cow. When the calves hit the weaning pen, identifying the potential high seller is key, but helping them reach that potential is crucial!  Helping your sale cattle reach their potential includes having them in the right condition, properly presented and looking their best for their big day.  Just like the ladies in big hats and sundresses at the Kentucky Derby, it’s all about making a statement and garnering attention.  When it comes sale time, all the hours of prep work and planning culminates with a quick trip through the sale ring.  With all the right preparation and a little bit of auction luck, you’ll come away with a price for your animal that makes you feel like you’ve just won the Kentucky Derby!

When you’re tuning into the Kentucky Derby this weekend, keep in mind the years of preparation it takes just to get a horse to the racetrack and how it so closely relates to raising your next great Beefmaster bull or heifer.  It’s the little things that separate a champion thoroughbred from just a “good horse”.  Likewise, taking the extra little steps along the way leads to the reward of better prices at the cattle sales.  It will be worthwhile to feel the excitement of being in the winner’s circle with your high selling lot!

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SFA Bull Development Program Set to Begin May 1st

Stephen F. Austin State University is preparing for its Bull Development Program set to begin May 1st. The program is designed to assist producers in selecting and managing bulls. It offers producers relief from providing additional facilities, labor, and feed to retain young bulls. The program is designed for bulls born January 1, 2014 to May 31, 2014.

Bulls entered into the program are fed through mid-October. At the end of the development program, bulls may be consigned to the Purple Premium Sale scheduled for November 14, 2015. Producers are issued a monthly report on the performance of each bull in the program with information including BW, ADG, and carcass ultrasound traits. The bulls are developed for 120 days on a grain-based diet and finished on forage with supplementation (depending on forage conditions).

Information on the program is available here Spring 2015 Bull development program.

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Long Time Breeder Passes Away, Charlie Jones

Charles R. Jones, 65, of Rockfield, KY, died March 23, 2015, in the comfort of his home surrounded by friends and family. He was born June 20, 1949, in Glasgow, KY, to Richard Godfrey Jones and Lou Edith Garmon Jones. He was raised in Burkesville, KY, and he attended Western Kentucky University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Animal Science and Secondary Education. 

He was Western Kentucky University’s Dairy Herdsman for eighteen years. He then pursued his own farming operation, raising purebred Beefmaster cattle and grain farming.

He was actively involved in Beefmaster Breeders United (BBU) and Southeastern Beefmaster Breeders Association (SEBBA). He was past president of SEBBA and chaired multiple committees including the BBU Breed Improvement Committee. He was awarded BBU’s highest honor, Breeder of the Year, in 1998. In 2013, he was inducted into the SEBBA Hall of Fame. He was an avid supporter of Junior Beefmaster Breeders (JBBA), where a scholarship fund has been established in his memory. 

He is survived by his wife of 43 years, Donna Pickett Jones; daughters, Becca Jones Melloan (Brian) and Jenna Marie Jones (Tommy Haynes); his mother, Lou Edith Jones; a sister, Genette Burchett (Dale); two grandchildren, Garrett Melloan and Brock Collins; a niece, four nephews and several great nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his father.

Memorial contributions, in lieu of flowers, may be given to the Charlie Jones Memorial Scholarship Fund for JBBA members, The Alzheimer’s Association, or Hillview Heights Church.

To contribute to the Charlie Jones Memorial Scholarship click here to download the contribution form. On the gifting form please mark the “other” box at the top of the page and write in Charlie Jones Memorial. At the bottom of the form please check B.E.E.F. account 6953-2390 box. Make checks out to B.E.E.F. and mail checks and completed form to
Beefmaster Educational Endowment Foundation
c/o Classic Bank
825 E. Austin
Giddings, TX 78942
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Lehmann Beefmasters Hosts Field Day

The Greg and Katie Lehmann of Lehmann Beefmasters in Jamestown, Kansas hosted a Beefmaster Field Day at the Concordia County Fairgrounds on Saturday,  March 21. The field day featured educational programs and the speakers included Beefmaster Breeders United CFO Collin Osbourn, Davin Vaughn and Jason Bates of Vaughn Family Farms in Mt. Vernon, Mo. Beefmaster cattle were displayed by the Lehmanns, Vaughn Family Farms, DON-KELS Beefmasters and Hennegins Red Polled Beefmasters. The Lehmanns served a BBQ Brisket lunch made with Nolan Ryan Beef. Several attendees asked questions and expressed interest in using Beefmaster bulls on their commercial cows.

Collin Osbourn, Davin Vaughn, Greg Lehmann, Katie Lehmann, Toney Lehmann, Don Schapeler, Kelli Schapeler, Rod Hennigen

The Lehmanns are in their second year of membership with Beefmaster Breeders United (BBU). In addition to promoting Beefmasters in northern Kansas, they also serve on several BBU Committees and are dedicated to developing their Beefmaster herd.

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One or One Thousand: Something for Everyone

By: Matt Woolfolk

I was recently reminded of an old Tractor Supply Company (TSC) slogan, made known by George Strait. In these TSC commercials, the king of country would always end with, “whether you have one acre or 1,000, we’ll help you get the job done.” Tractor Supply or your local farm supply store of choice is known for having a diverse array of products to meet the many needs of customers. However, I feel that, as a breed and as an organization, Beefmasters is a product that meets the many needs of cattlemen.

It’s no secret that the past six months have seen a strong increase in demand for Beefmaster genetics.  Sale averages reflect the strong market we’re currently enjoying. The calls and interest I have received in the last month has been nothing short of encouraging and many breeders that I have visited with are getting more calls and selling out of bulls earlier than ever! While our bulls are the most sought after product, a spike in interest for Beefmaster-influenced commercial females is also evident here lately. I feel this is in large part due to our cattle meeting the needs of progressive commercial cattlemen. They’re looking for cattle that grow well and can make an outstanding momma cow when she reaches her second birthday. When they start looking for the pieces to make that happen in their operation, Beefmaster immediately rises to the top for their ability to get the job done!

As a Beefmaster Breeders United (BBU) member, our organization also fits the bill for having many diverse programs that members new and old can become active and enhance their Beefmaster experience. There are several committees that lead and develop the programs that BBU has to offer. You don’t have to be a big breeder or a full-time rancher to get involved in these committees! The wide array of committees mean there is something for everyone’s interests. Regional satellite associations offer you a chance to get involved on a local level and interact with breeders in your area. Each satellite has their own unique membership, and many of our members are involved in several satellites, as they have made friends in other parts of the country by getting involved. Help your kids get involved in Junior Beefmaster Breeders Association (JBBA), as the satellites host heifer shows at many of the sales. For our younger (and young at heart) breeders, the South 40 group is a great way to get involved with the next wave of Beefmaster leaders and innovators.

As you can see, our cattle and our people are able to get the job done. Whether you have one acre or 1,000, BBU is the organization for you!  If there’s anything I can do to help you find your perfect fit, please contact me at 210-464-0923 or by email at mwoolfolk@beefmasters.org

As spring sales are in full swing, I’ll be on the road attending several sales in the next few weekends. If you are unable to attend a sale and would like assistance in purchasing new Beefmaster genetics, please give me a call. I’ll be at the following sales:

  • Louisiana BBA (Shreveport, LA): April 3-4
  • OHOA Spring Sale (Springfield, MO): April 10-11
  • East Texas/Louisiana (Crockett, TX): April 17-18

In addition, I have gone through the Collier Advantage Female Sale offering.  I will not be at the sale (April 11th in Giddings, Texas), but can answer any questions you might have about the females.

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2015 JBBA Nationals Hotel Arrangements

Junior Beefmaster Breeders Association members are reminded to make their hotel reservations early if they are planning on attending the 2015 JBBA National Convention and Shows. Room are filling up at the two host hotels and Bryan-College Station has other events going on during the 2015 Nationals.

Room reservations can be made at:

Best Western Premier at Old Town Center

  • 1920 Austin’s Colony Parkway
  • Bryan, Texas 77802
  • (979) 731-5300
  • The block of rooms are reserved from July 19-26, 2015
  • Run of House- $99.99 + tax
  • Reservation deadline is 6/21/2015

Please tell them you are with JBBA or the Junior Beefmaster Breeders Association when making reservations.

Courtyard Marriott

  • 3939 SH 6 South
  • College Station, Texas 77845
  • (979) 695-8111
  • The block of rooms are reserved from July 19-25, 2015
  • Run of House- $99 + tax
  • Reservation deadline is 6/5/2015

Please tell them you are with JBBA or the National Junior Beefmaster Show when making reservations.

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