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Arkansas Cattleman’s Field Day

A Cattleman’s Field Day sponsored by Central States Beefmaster Breeders Association (CSBBA) and Arkansas Beefmaster Breeders Association (ABBA) was held in Rosebud, Ark., on Sat., August 15. The educational portion “Profits From Heterosis” was held in the air conditioned Rosebud school cafeteria.

Featured speakers were BBU Executive Vice President Bill Pendergrass, Dr. Robert Wells from the Noble Foundation, and Mark Cowan with American Marketing Services. The event was well attended with 85 people registered. Seventy-five percent of the attendees were commercial cattlemen who are not currently members of BBU. Attendees came from Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi. One person from Australia also attended. She is in the United States studying ranch operations and heard about the event.

Following a hearty lunch, the group went out to Rosebud Feeders to look at 173 Beefmaster and Beefmaster Advancer bulls. These bulls have been developed on a performance test at Rosebud Feeders since January 2015 and are the ones that have passed the rigorous tests and scanning. Two-hundred and three bulls began the test. More bulls will be culled before the CSBBA Performance Bull Sale on Fri., November 6. Only the best will be allowed to sell.

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Are you ready for some football? And cattle sales?

By Matt Woolfolk, Field Representative & Commercial Marketing Director

I’ve heard that it takes three weeks to establish a new habit or to break a bad habit.  Since it’s been more than three weeks since I sat down and wrote an article, I am definitely out of habit!  It’s an exciting time in my world: fall sale season is kicking off this weekend and college football is just two weeks away!  On Saturdays in the fall, I’m thankful for XM radio in the car.  It’s the only way I am able to keep up with all the action on the field while traveling and working the fall sale circuit.  I’ll dig a little deeper into my love for football in the next article.  This week it is time to get excited about selling cattle this fall!

As the sale season kicks off, be sure to check your calendars and find the sales closest to you.  Make an effort to attend a sale you’ve never been to before and meet some new people.  You might learn something new that you can apply in your operation, while making new friends and business connections in the process.  The day before a sale is a great time to enjoy the camaraderie of fellow breeders while checking out the sale offering and enjoying a good meal.  The day before a sale is a little more relaxed atmosphere, as everyone seems to switch to business mode on sale morning.

With all the traveling to make sales every weekend, the fall season is a great opportunity for me to get out and meet members and see their cattle.  If you would like to have BBU come out to your operation for classification, upgrading or consultation services: the time to set up those visits is now!  The calendar is filling up quickly, so don’t delay in reserving your spot.  To do so, just give me a call at (210) 464-0923 or email me at

The first sale of the fall is this weekend in Tunica, Miss.  Before we know it, we’ll be selling the final lot in Sulphur Springs, Texas and closing out 2015.  I hope to see you all on the road this fall at a sale near you.  If there’s anything I can do for you, please feel free to let me know.

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Junior Beefmaster Breeders Compete for National Titles, Learn Leadership

SAN ANTONIO (Aug. 4, 2015) – One hundred and eighty six Junior Beefmaster Breeders Association (JBBA) members and their families traveled to the Brazos County Expo in Bryan/College Station, Texas, for the 31st Annual JBBA Convention and National Show from July 20 – 26. There were five states (Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Texas) represented at the 2015 convention and the association celebrated 31 years of making memories one day at a time.

This year’s convention focused on the aspect that JBBA members are leaders in their communities and in the cattle industry. The convention hosted a leadership conference where JBBA members learned about leadership skills and building good character. In an effort to give back, these future leaders donated school supply items at the national convention which will be donated to local schools in the Brazos Valley. Junior members also learned about cattle ultrasound technology, beef cattle conformation and livestock evaluation in the various educational sessions that were hosted at the annual convention.

Also during the convention the 2015-2016 JBBA Board of Directors and Officers were elected to serve the JBBA members throughout the United States. Laramie Naumann of Brenham, Texas was elected President; Seth Byers of Decatur, Texas was selected as President-Elect; Makaela Naumann of Brenham, Texas was elected Secretary; Haily Siptak of New Ulm, Texas was elected Treasurer and Emily Martin of New Ulm, Texas was elected Reporter. The following were elected as Directors for their respective district: District 1 – Reese Tassin and Donna Day; District 2 – Kylee Henderson and Kane Ozment; District 3 – Raleigh Scherer, Haley Hartman and Nicholas Flanery; District 4 – Robby Green and Wacey Horton; and District 5 – Coby Pritchett, Cristian Samano and Jarrett Mackie.

JBBA Board of Directors & Officers 2015-2016

“This year’s convention and shows were a huge success. It was all made possible by our great sponsors and our even better junior members, this is always a fun time for a young breeders,” said Allison Wagner Wells, Junior Program Coordinator. “We knew this would be an exciting convention, with it being back in College Station and we look forward to an even bigger event next year in West Monroe, Louisiana.”

The six day event consisted of several competitions including public speaking, photography, power point presentation, livestock judging, a herdsman quiz, a coloring contest and an autograph contest.

The winners of the public speaking contest are as follows:

  • Junior 1st place – Jacqueline Rand, Lindale, Texas
  • Junior 2nd place – Kayl Tassin, Bush, La.
  • Intermediate 1st place – Saige Tassin, Bush, La.
  • Intermediate 2nd place – Braylee Mackie, Lott, Texas
  • Senior 1st place – Raleigh Scherer, Brenham, Texas
  • Senior 2nd place – Reese Tassin, Bush. La.

The winners of the photography contest are as follows:

  • Junior 1st place – Jacqueline Rand, Lindale, Texas
  • Junior 2nd place – Lillian Hettinger, Springtown, Texas
  • Intermediate 1st place – Braylee Mackie, Lott, Texas
  • Intermediate 2nd place – Faith Martin, New Ulm, Texas
  • Senior 1st place – Lee Ellen Pearman, Alto, Texas
  • Senior 2nd place – Kasey Mitchell, Katy, Texas

The winners of the power point presentation contest are as follows:

  • Junior 1st place – Jacqueline Rand, Lindale, Texas
  • Junior 2nd place – Laynee Prater-Gann, Ravenden, Ark.
  • Intermediate 1st place – Haley Guerrero, Fayetteville, Texas
  • Senior 1st place – Lee Ellen Pearman, Alto, Texas
  • Senior 2nd place – Kassie Barnard, Checotah, Okla.

The winners of the livestock judging contest are as follows:

  • Junior 1st place – Kayl Tassin, Bush, La.
  • Junior 2nd place – Zoe Garcia, Winnie, Texas
  • Intermediate 1st place – Gracie Bouchard, Azle, Texas
  • Intermediate 2nd place – Todd Duplichain, Alto, Texas
  • Senior 1st place – Andrew Horne, Brenham, Texas
  • Senior 2nd place – Emily Martin, New Ulm, Texas

The winners of the herdsman quiz contest are as follows:

  • Junior 1st place – Wyatt Stapp, Shawnee, Okla.
  • Junior 2nd place – Jacqueline Rand, Lindale, Texas
  • Intermediate 1st place – Saige Tassin, Bush, La.
  • Intermediate 2nd place – Braylee Mackie, Lott, Texas
  • Senior 1st place – Trenton Glaser, Rogers, Texas
  • Senior 2nd place – Laramie Naumann, Brenham, Texas

The winners of the coloring contest are as follows:

  • Age 6 and younger: 1st place – Brianna Low, Alto, Texas
  • Age 6 and younger: 2nd place – Jenna Duplichain, Alto, Texas
  • Age 7 and 8: 1st place – Braeden Lee, Azle, Texas
  • Age 7 and 8: 2nd place – Billy Hood, Alvord, Texas
  • Age 9 and older: 1st place – Kortlynn Brantner, Sealy, Texas
  • Age 9 and older: 2nd place – Kourtnie Hood, Alvord, Texas

The JBBA members also participated in multiple cattle competitions during the six days in College Station, Texas; the six day convention hosted six different shows for members to exhibit their cattle. The six shows included an ultrasound carcass contest, showmanship competition, a bred and owned heifer show, a haltered bull show, a Beefmaster Advancer heifer show and the JBBA National Heifer Show. The shows had an excellent turnout with 391 Beefmaster heifers, 115 bred and owned Beefmaster heifers, 52 bulls, 43 ultrasound carcasses and 8 Beefmaster Advancer heifers.

The winners of the showmanship competition are as follows:

  • Junior Champion – Emily Marek, Edna, Texas
  • Junior Reserve Champion – Raymie Emmons, Streetman, Texas
  • Intermediate Champion – Saige Tassin, Bush, La.
  • Intermediate Reserve Champion – Braylee Mackie, Lott, Texas
  • Senior Champion and Pevine Hicks Memorial Champion Showman – Jarrett Mackie, Lott, Texas
  • Senior Reserve Champion – Ashley Smithey, Mansfield, Texas

The winners of the Beefmaster Advancer heifer show are as follows:

  • Champion – B Bar Scarlett exhibited by Seth Byers, Decatur, Texas
  • Reserve Champion – KCC Bristol exhibited by Madisyn Horndt, Ellinger, Texas

The winners of the haltered bull show are as follows:

  • Calf Champion – MJ Caesar exhibited by Halle Duplichain, Alto, Texas
  • Reserve Calf Champion – R I B Red Raider exhibited by Ryan Wrobleski, Anderson, Texas
  • Junior Champion – Waylon exhibited by Reid Lovorn, Como, Texas
  • Reserve Junior Champion – Sippin on Fire exhibited by Saige Tassin, Bush, La.
  • Yearling Champion – EMS King George exhibited by Raegan Emmons, Streetman, Texas
  • Reserve Yearling Champion – SM Joshua exhibited by Sage McManus, Lake Charles, La.
  • Grand Champion Bull – EMS King George exhibited by Raegan Emmons, Streetman, Texas
  • Reserve Grand Champion Bull – SM Joshua exhibited by Sage McManus, Lake Charles, La.

This year the JBBA National Show added a new contest, the Ultrasound Carcass Contest. Over 50 animals were scanned and the class winners are as follows:

  • Class 1 Heifers – Nate Compton, Bellville, Texas
  • Class 2 Heifers – Saige Tassin, Bush, La.
  • Class 3 Heifers – Laynee Prater-Gann, Ravenden, Ark.
  • Class 4 Heifers – Amanda McCoskey, Simms, Texas
  • Class 5 Heifers – Jordan Hall, Alto, Texas
  • Class 6 Heifers – Chelsea Vargas, Edinburg, Texas
  • Class 1 Bulls – Nate Compton, Bellville, Texas
  • Class 2 Bulls – Seth Byers, Decatur, Texas
  • Class 1 E6/Advancer Heifers – Seth Byers, Decatur, Texas

The winners of the bred and owned heifer show are as follows:

  • Grand Champion – Jackies Marsha exhibited by Kalli Ellis, La Ward, Texas
  • Reserve Grand Champion – Caroline Charlotte exhibited by Kalli Ellis, La Ward, Texas

The winners of the JBBA National Heifer Show are as follows:

  • Calf Champion – WR Fancy Nancy exhibited by Ryan Carter, Streetman, Texas
  • Reserve Calf Champion – HFF Dream Girl exhibited by Foster Hall, Alto, Texas
  • Junior Champion – Wagner’s Mini Me exhibited by Kutter Karns, Crystal City, Texas
  • Reserve Junior Champion – Bliss’s Faithful Fire exhibited by Kasey Mitchell, Katy, Texas
  • Senior Champion – EMS Bet on Heads exhibited by Faith Martin, New Ulm, Texas
  • Reserve Senior Champion – WR Applejack exhibited by Shawn Skaggs, De Leon, Texas
  • Champion Pair – LEI Daisy (calf: RMW Rose) exhibited by Ryan Wrobleski, Anderson, Texas
  • Reserve Pair – Hoo’s Angel’s Annabell (calf: Jack’s Annabelle Lexi) exhibited by Timber Wright, Chester, Texas
  • Grand Champion Heifer – Wagner’s Mini Me exhibited by Kutter Karns, Crystal City, Texas
  • Reserve Grand Champion Heifer – Bliss’s Faithful Fire exhibited by Kasey Mitchell, Katy, Texas

After the heifer show was complete, JBBA members along with their families enjoyed the awards banquet and dance. All winners were announced from the contests and events held throughout the week. Overall awards were given to a JBBA member in each age division, which was determined from points earned throughout the week. To round out the evening of awards, over $30,000 in scholarships were awarded to senior JBBA members.

The overall awards were presented to the following JBBA members:

  • Overall Junior – Jacqueline Rand, Lindale, Texas
  • Overall Intermediate – Braylee Mackie, Lott, Texas
  • Overall Senior – Emily Martin, New Ulm, Texas

The scholarship awards were presented to the following JBBA members:

  • Beefmaster Breeders Cattlewomen’s Scholarships
    • Jarrett Mackie, Lott, Texas
    • Claire Dallmeyer, Poth, Texas
    • Haily Siptak, New Ulm, Texas
  • Kenneth Lewis Memorial Scholarships
    • Rebecca Small, Colleyville, Texas
    • Stephanie Womack, Troup, Texas
  • B.E.E.F. Scholarships
    • Christy Petry, Azle, Texas
    • Laramie Naumann, Brenham, Texas
    • Wacey Horton, Crowley, Texas
    • Jarrett Mackie, Lott, Texas
  • East Texas/Louisiana Beefmaster Marketing Group Scholarships
    • Christy Petry, Azle, Texas
    • Kelsee Webb, Palestine, Texas
    • Isaac McFarland, Keithville, La.
    • Claire Dallmeyer, Poth, Texas
  • Brian Murphy Memorial Scholarship
    • Jarrett Mackie, Lott, Texas
  • JBBA Scholarships
    • Kane Ozment, Tecumseh, Okla.
    • Cody Morgan, Lexington, Texas
    • Makaela Naumann, Brenham, Texas
    • Trenton Glaser, Rogers, Texas
    • Christy Petry, Azle, Texas

Last but not least, two very important awards were presented to the top hand junior member and top hand volunteers. The JBBA Top Hand Award was presented to Laramie Naumann of Brenham, Texas for all her hard work and passion for the JBBA program. As a recognition of the generous JBBA volunteers, this year the JBBA Helping Hand Award winners were Legacy Genetics – Amy and Casey Ballard; Collier Farms – Mike and Rhonda Collier and the Beefmaster Cattlewomen. Congratulations to all the JBBA members on a great week and thank you to the volunteers and sponsors for the hard work and support that made this event possible.

Mark your calendars for next year’s 32nd Annual JBBA National Convention and Shows to be held in West Monroe, La., July 17-23, 2016.

For more information about Beefmaster Breeders United and its Junior Program please contact the BBU office at 210-732-3132 or visit Stay connected to BBU through Facebook, follow us on Instagram, view our videos on YouTube, follow us on Twitter and Pinterest, as well as receive our news updates through joining our mailing list.

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Get Over The Hump

Original Article from The Progressive Farmer – July 2015

Story and Photos by Becky Mills

Brahman genetics add a lot of positives to a herd, but tenderness has not always been one of them. Times are changing.

Spend some time at the local sale barn, and you’ll figure out pretty quickly that a little ear is seen as a good reason to knock down the price for a feeder steer. This seems to hold true even in a market where buyers are all but fighting over calves.

If that doesn’t convince you there’s prejudice in cattle circles when it comes to Brahman blood, take a look at the specs for many branded beef programs. Brahman crosses are explicitly not welcome.

Do Brahman cattle really deserve the discounts? Or, has the newer generation of producers overcome quality challenges of the past?

THE FACTS. It is true a higher percentage of Brahman cattle are less likely to marble as well as Angus cattle, explains Dwain Johnson, University of Florida (UF) meat scientist. He adds the meat from these cattle is statistically less tender, and there is more variability in that tenderness.

Johnson and fellow UF researcher Mauricio Elzo reached these conclusions after feeding out and harvesting 1,367 head of Brahman, Angus and Brahman/Angus crosses from 1989 to 2009. However, the news was far from all bad for devotees to the Brahman breed.

Johnson explains they found there is a difference in tenderness, based on percentage of Brahman genetics in an animal. Less than 50% Brahman, and meat quality does not suffer significantly in either quality grade or tenderness. There is also a nice trade up on weights.

“In an F1 Brahman/Angus cross, there is a 60-pound increase in live weight over a straight Brahman or straight Angus calf. That weight gain and efficiency make up for most discounts you’ll likely get in today’s market. Bos indicus is a real positive,” he says.

ON THE GRID. Brothers George and Henry Kempfer give Johnson’s statement a strong “Amen.” These fifth-generation ranchers, from St. Cloud, Fla., have been retaining ownership on their family’s Brahman-sired steers since 1993. The brothers sell on a grid, where meat quality definitely matters. Their steers have graded as high as 79% Choice.

Dan Dorn has seen his share of feedlot cattle after working 18 years for Decatur County Feed Yard. He estimates he’s fed between 75 and 100 loads of Brahman-cross cattle at the Oberlin, Kan., facility. Every load was sold on the grid.

“I wouldn’t say the quality grades were much different. I don’t know if it was genetics or the weather, but their feed conversions were about a pound higher than average. With today’s corn prices, that would be a $50- to $60-a-head disadvantage.” These cattle, Dorn adds, were fed in the winter.

In their experience, the Kempfers say both feed efficiency and gain suffer when their half to three-quarter Brahman-cross steers are fed up north in the winter. However, George Kempfer says that in the spring and summer, the steers have gained 3.5 to 4.4 pounds a day and have shown a feed-conversion ratio of 5.4 to 1 (dry-matter-intake-to-gain ratio). In a south Texas feedyard, he says feed conversion dropped down to 4.9 to 1 on milo.

As they track their cattle, the Kempfers want more than feedlot or carcass data; they want to know where their cattle stand when it comes to tenderness. They have Warner-Bratzler shear force (WBS) tests performed on samples of their beef to measure tenderness. These tests indicated in the Kempfers’ case the majority of their beef was in the acceptable range. WBS values from 3.6 to 4.9 kilograms are acceptable; over 5.0 are considered tough. They have used this data to help them identify and cull those bulls siring calves with less than desirable tenderness.

A HIGH PERCENTAGE. Bill Pendergrass, executive vice president of Beefmaster Breeders United (BBU), says Texas A&M did a multiyear carcass study in the 1990s, and of the 300 head of Beefmaster-sired cattle, 72% graded Choice. Beefmaster is a breed developed in the early 1930s from Herefords, Shorthorns and Brahman.

As producers continue to pay attention to details and genetics, Brahman-cross cattle continue to get better. What they need is more recent, real-world data and proven genetics.

BBU is on it, Pendergrass says. “We are now involved in a progeny test of Beefmaster-sired calves. They are being fed in a Kansas feedlot. I’m confident the results will be even better than they were in the carcass study done in the 1990s.”

Beefmaster breeder Gary Frenzel says his family has been doing ultrasound measurements for 28 years on their animals. He’s seen definite improvement in critical areas during that time.

“Our rib-eye area (REA) has improved moderately. Our intramuscular fat (IMF) has increased dramatically,” reports the Temple, Texas, breeder. He says REA on bulls has gone from 1.1 or 1.25 square inches per cwt to 1.2 to 1.3 square inches per cwt.

He adds the IMF on heifers was 2.0 to 2.5 square inches per cwt but now is 2.5 to 4.0 square inches per cwt. The bulls aren’t quite that good, but his cattle are on grass, developed with no creep feed.

GENETIC MARKERS. Brahman and Brahman-composite breeders are looking for gene markers to aid in selection, too. Texas A&M Extension animal scientist Joe Paschal says Santa Gertrudis already have genomic-enhanced EPDs, and Brangus should have them soon.

Pendergrass says BBU is in the process of developing genetic markers, and they should be in place by late 2015.

Ditto with Brahmans. George Kempfer, vice president of the American Brahman Breeders Association (ABBA), and a member of the performance and breed improvement committee, says he is encouraged.

“The ABBA is working with Zoetis. We hope to have a genetic test next year. We’re a year and a half into it,” he reports.

The test, when available, will be similar to the GeneMax and HD50K tests offered to Angus and Angus-cross breeders. It will become possible to genetically predict how the offspring of a given animal will perform in the feedlot, as well as carcass characteristics and maternal traits.

George Kempfer adds: “We’ve seen a huge amount of interest from people who understand the importance of improving carcass quality and other production traits. There were times when there would only be a handful of people at the performance- and breed-improvement meetings. The last two committee meetings were standing-room only.”

Giving up Brahman genetics is not an option for any of these ranchers. George Kempfer says in his family’s southern environment, they have to keep Brahman in the maternal lines. Along with Florida’s heat, humidity, insects and parasites, he says their soils and forages are weaker.

“We can’t get performance without Brahman blood,” he stresses. “Crossbreeding is still a very important part of the beef industry. Hybrid vigor is for real.”

UF’s Johnson agrees. He says crossbreeds with Brahman blood are a good choice for producers who want to use a tropically adapted animal, or who have a low number of cattle and want to increase their output.

“The most heterosis you can get is crossing a Bos taurus [English or Continental breed] with Bos indicus,” he stresses.

Texas A&M’s Paschal points out, “It doubles the amount of heterosis. If a producer is only interested in marbling, I understand Brahmans are not going to grade like Angus. But the Brahmans of the 1980s are not the Brahmans of today. They have a lot of positive traits.

“Most commercial producers in the South are raising calves to sell at weaning. They can sure use Brahman genetics in that cow for environmental adaptability, maternal ability, maternal calving ease and longevity.”

The Kempfers are all about getting the best use they can from Brahman genetics, but they believe it’s important to cull hard. They cut cows and heifers for fertility problems, udder quality, calving ease and disposition.

“Every trait is magnified in crossbreeding,” George says, adding a for instance: “People have to know how to handle them. They scare easy.”

Henry says there’s still room for improvement. “We aren’t ashamed to admit there is more work to be done. We’ve taken on the challenge. With the low cattle numbers, what better time to prove to cattle buyers, feedyards and consumers that Brahman cattle are acceptable?” ⦁

Carcass Data Collection:

Time and time again, you’ve been urged to get individual carcass data on your cattle. It sounds simple enough. Identify your cattle with a traditional numbered ear tag or an electronic tag, and tell the feedlot manager you want carcass data when they are harvested.

There are times when that approach works and times when it doesn’t. Ask George and Henry Kempfer.

In the early ’90s, the St. Cloud, Fla., men had half-brother sire groups. Wanting to track performance, the Kempfer brothers tagged steers and sent them to a feedlot in the Texas panhandle.

Henry recalls: “We got a video of them, and the tags were out. George and I flew out there and retagged them. We had to do it by memory, but we knew our cattle and got most of them done.”

They were told they had to buy the loins out of the cattle if they wanted Warner-Bratzler shear force tests done for tenderness. The feeder followed the cattle to the plant and had the loins shipped to the Kempfers in Orlando. They picked up the meat and drove 100-plus miles to the meat lab at the University of Florida, Gainesville. They opened the boxes and found not one loin was identified.

Mix-ups happen no matter where and how you feed, but to raise your odds of getting individual carcass data, call your state cattleman’s association or Extension service. Several states have pasture-to-plate type programs where cattle from several producers are grouped together and sent to a feedlot for finishing, then to harvest. If your cattle are predominately one breed, your breed association may also have a feed-out program.

ANOTHER WAY. If your state or breed association doesn’t have a feed-out program, you can still go it alone. Contact the Tri-County Steer Carcass Futurity, headquartered in Lewis, Iowa. Under the direction of coordinator Darrell Busby, cattle are fed at cooperating feedlots, and individual feedlot and carcass data are collected and shared with the consignor, all for $10 a head.

You’re responsible for the trucking, which Busby says typically runs $30 to $60 a head, depending on the distance and weight of the cattle. Then, the Futurity buys your cattle for $5 a head. When the cattle are harvested, the feeding costs are subtracted from your final check. Busby says the cost of gain for 600 pounds is typically $420 to $470, depending on the price of corn.

There is no minimum on the number of head you can send, but he cautions against sending only one head.

“If you lose him, that’s a death loss of 100%,” Busby explains. He encourages producers to send at least five head. They accept cattle year-round.

He also says they have enough contacts nationwide to help you find a ride for your cattle. Still, if you have a state feed-out program, he encourages those new to the feeding process to go through it.

“It can be unnerving to send your cattle a thousand miles away and get a check for $5 a head.”

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Commercial Beefmaster Field Day Hosted in Missouri

This past Saturday, July 11, 2015 the Central States BBA, Arkansas BBA and Ozark & Heart of America BBA together hosted a Commercial Beefmaster Field Day at Jerry Glor Beefmasters in Halfway, Mo.

Lunch was served to 240 attendees of both commercial and purebred breeders. Even some Thailand breeders attended this event after buying 13 heifers and two bulls to ship to Bangkok. Guest speakers included Dr. Robert Wells from the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation and Bill Pendergrass. A panel consisting of purebred and commercial producers offered personal experiences and addressed questions from the crowd.

Photos taken by Brittni Drennan.

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Beefmaster Thrives in the High Desert of Eastern Oregon

Last week BBU staff members, Bill Pendergrass and Jeralyn Novak, traveled to the high desert of Oregon to visit with commercial cattlemen. Roaring Springs Ranch is a 1.5 million acres ranch located in the sweeping Catlow Valley on the high desert of southeastern Oregon in Harney County. The ranch is a contiguous block of land located between Adel, Fields and Frenchglen. These photos only show a small portion of the ranch that uses Beefmaster bulls and females in their commercial cow operation to provide beef for their branded beef program, Country Natural Beef. Country Natural Beef is one of the nation’s leaders in natural beef production.

Beefmasters are important to the success of Roaring Springs Ranch says the ranch’s General Manager Stacy Davies. “We need a cow that doesn’t just survive but thrives in the high desert” of the Northwest and “Beefmasters and Beefmaster cross cattle thrive for us” at Roaring Springs Ranch.

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Borrowing Others’ Ideas

by Matt Woolfolk, BBU Field Representative & Commercial Marketing Director

I’ll be honest: coming up with a topic to write about is much harder than I thought! After some unsuccessful brainstorming, I decided to take a different approach this time. I’m going to share with you three quotations that I have read lately. I think there’s beneficial information in all three.

    1. “EPDs are like a Skil saw: used properly they vastly improve your ability to build your end product, but if used improperly can cause a real wreck.” –Jack Ward

      Purebred cattle producers have a large number of tools available when making their selection decisions. EPDs are one of the more powerful tools (maybe that’s why Mr. Ward compares them to a Skil saw). Whether it’s building a barn or breeding cattle, having and utilizing a wide variety of tools will help you create a higher quality product. However, relying on only one tool will make a complicated job, such as carpentry or cattle raising, almost impossible to complete.

        2. “Turn a cow into a show heifer rather than try and turn a show heifer into a cow.” – Shane Bedwell, Colorado State University

          We all know how much juniors involved in show cattle programs learn about hard work, responsibility and teamwork.  On top of that, they learn a lot about the cattle business. It’s important to continue to remind our young people that a show heifer’s purpose isn’t just to compete for buckles. Turning a retired show heifer out to pasture is like a young person graduating from college. She’s got her whole life ahead of her to work and make a successful contribution to your herd. However, the proper foundation has to be there to give her the chance to be successful.

            3. “The secret to getting ahead is getting started.” –author Mark Twain

              This quotation is on a Post-it note at my desk. It’s amazing what one can do when they set their mind to it and take the first step. As a breed, we have a tremendous opportunity to make an impact on the commercial cattle industry in the United States. We, as individual breeders and as a united organization, have to continue making those first steps to improve our herds, our breed and our association. We’re in a good position now, but we can be in a great position if we start taking the steps towards our goals.

              If you’ve learned anything from reading this, it’s that I like to write with analogies and comparisons. But I hope you’ve also picked up that I am extremely excited about where our breed and industry are headed. We have the tools to make great progress with our breed. We have the chance to give our next generation of Beefmaster breeders a head start by producing high-quality, profitable cattle for them to compete with now and build a herd from later. As a whole, we have already begun our race to “getting ahead”. We’ve just got to keep running in the right direction.

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              2015 JBBA National Show Updates & Reminders

                2015 JBBA National Convention & Show Catalog

              1. Health Papers you will need you original plus two Xerox copies. Bring the 2 copies to the office when you pick up your registration packet. Also, each family will need to turn in the 2015 HOT Grant Funds Economic Study Survey at time of packet pick up. Survey may be found in the 2015 National Packet.
              2. Cattle are only allowed in the designated barn(s) and tie out area for Beefmaster cattle.
              3. Shavings: You must purchase shavings from the Brazos County Exposition Center for $8.00 a bag. Expo. Center will have both pelleted and flaked shavings available for purchase.
              4. Each JBBA member is asked to bring 3 thank you notes to registration. Please address the thank you note to: Dear JBBA Supporter. Please put stamps on these. We will address thank you notes to sponsor. Do not seal the envelope.
              5. Feed Store- Producer’s Cooperative Association is approximately 5-8 miles from the Expo Center.  Producer’s Cooperative Association - 1800 N Texas Ave Bryan, Texas 77803 – (979) 778-6000
              6. Superior Show Supply will have a supply trailer available during nationals. Number is (972) 533-3771.
              7. Check in Process- Exhibitors will not need to bring animal(s) to check- in. For check-in you must have health papers, registration papers, bred and owned certificates (if applicable) and bull breeding soundness exam (if applicable). Members will be disqualified if their animal does not have a matching tattoo or brand, or if the tattoo or brand is illegible. In the event of a disqualification, the next placing animal with matching identification will advance. Reminder that calves that show on the side of a cow must have permanent identification number.
              8. The JBBA Officers and Directors will be collecting school supplies at this year’s national show and convention. Items will be donated to local schools in the Brazos Valley. Please bring any type of school supply item to the convention and place them in the collection boxes during the meals.
              9. Tack space will be limited. You are encouraged to take limited tack/display area. You may be asked to move take space for another exhibitor’s animal to stall. You are asked to stall 3 head of cattle per panel. Only cattle entered in the show are allowed on the grounds.
              10. Bull exhibitors do not forget that ALL bulls must show with a nose ring. Beefmaster bull eighteen (18) months of age or older must have passed a fertility examination given by a licensed veterinarian and the results of the examination must be presented at check-in.
              11. All calves on a cow-calf pair must be registered if calf is older than 30 days of age. If younger than 30 days of age you must show proof that you have applied for papers. All cows with a calf older than 6 months must be bred back and stated so on health papers.
              12. If you are participating in the public speaking contest do not forget to bring 2 copies of your speech for Junior aged division and 3 typed copies of your speech for Intermediates and Senior age divisions.
              13. Family Fun Night will consist of Barnyard Olympics! Make sure you bring clothes to get dirty in to participate. Pizza will be served at the conclusion of the games.
              14. If you are planning on running for either a director or an officer position please pay attention to the officer election procedure rules and application.  Election procedure guidelines may be found at: Application may be found at: You must fill out the application completely in order to run for office, attend the leadership seminar, JBBA board meeting and interview process.
              15. If you are bringing a silent/live auction item please bring items to the leadership seminar on Tuesday or bring them to lunch on Wednesday if you are not attending leadership conference.

              Printable Version – 2015 JBBA National Show Reminders

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              The American Royal Announces Return of the Steak Competition Event

              June 24, 2015 (Kansas City) – The American Royal Association announced today that the fourth annual American Royal Steak Competition Winner will be announced at their 2015 TableSteaks Celebration on October 22, 2015. Beef producers from across the nation are invited to submit rib eye steaks to compete for the best tasting steak. Steaks will be judged by a panel of experts.

              “Three years ago marked the first time for this event at the American Royal,” says Bob Petersen, President & CEO of the American Royal. “Most traditional cooking contests are like the American Royal World Series of Barbecue® – they are mainly about preparation. This competition is about recognizing America’s best steak.”

              Each steak will be prepared in an identical manner at K-State University Olathe Campus. Points will be assigned for flavor, juiciness, and texture. The judging will take place early October and the winners will be honored at the American Royal 2015 TableSteaks Celebration on October 22.

              “This is a great way for beef producers from all over the country to be judged purely on the taste of their steak. Every entry is treated equally and judged according to the same criteria. We are excited to have another year of this event taking place through the American Royal,” said Todd Graves, cattle producer and partner in the law firm of Graves Garrett LLC.

              It is hard to imagine a more appropriate place to hold a steak competition than the American Royal where 116 years ago the Country’s first exposition and sale of purebred cattle took place.

              Steaks are submitted frozen before September 18, 2015 to the K-State Olathe Campus and entry forms must be submitted online at . There is no entry fee for this competition.

              The American Royal Association is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) corporation that has been a Kansas City tradition since 1899. Each year more than 270,000 people attend events at the American Royal Complex. In 2014, the Royal was able to give $1.4 million in scholarship and educational awards. In addition to its educational mission, the American Royal generates some $60 million of economic impact, $4.4 million in local tax revenues, and supports 450 jobs. For further information, see

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              Checklist of Issues to Consider for Your Bull Lease

              By Cari B. Rincker, Esq.

              There are many reasons why a cattleman may choose to lease a bull. Oftentimes, these transactions are done “on a handshake”; however, memorializing the terms of the lease can protect  both parties, help articulate a clear agreement, and provide a roadmap for resolving disputes to preserve a business relationship. This article illuminates the salient points that should be considered in your bull lease.

              1.   Identification.
              The Bull(s). The lease should be clear on which bull(s) are subject to the lease. If the bull is registered with a breed association, it is recommended to include the breed registration number and a copy of the registration paper as an addendum. Cattlemen should consider putting the approximate weight and body condition score of the bull at the time of the Agreement; in some cases, the bull owner will include a photograph of the bull to illustrate his condition on or around the date of delivery.

              The Cows. In most cases, bull leases should be clear on which females the bull will be bred to. In some instances, a detailed list of the cows, their identification numbers, dates of birth and breed may be attached as an addendum to the lease. This may be important for multiple reasons: (1) to show that the bull will not be overworked, (2) to demonstrate that the bull will or will not be used on virgin heifers, or (3) the bull will not be bred to unapproved cows owned by the breeder or third parties.

              Bull Use Location(s). The bull lease should be clear where the bull will be housed. Will the bull be on pasture on the breeder’s property? Will the bull transfer among three different properties owned or rented by the breeder?

              2.         Delivery. How is the bull being transported from the bull owner’s property to the breeder’s property? Who is paying for the expense of the transportation and bearing any risk of loss, injury or illness of the bull during the delivery time? Are there penalties for late delivery? Will the bull be transported to a bull stud once a month during the lease? It is also recommended that both parties agree to comply with transportation laws for the truck and trailer and any animal welfare laws that apply to the transportation of livestock, including the “Twenty-Eight Hour Law”.

              3.        Term. The term of the lease and procedures for extending the term should be clear.

              4.        Payment Terms. Bull leases should have unambiguous payment terms. What is the rate, timing for payment, payment method(s) and instructions, and penalty for late payment (including interest). Some bull leases require a security deposit for $X to help insure the delivery of a healthy bull at the end of the term.

              5.         Option to Purchase. Will the breeder have an option to purchase the bull at the end of the lease or is this a “rent-to-own” contract for a bull?

              6.         Insurance. The bull may be insured to cover risks relating to the death, injury or illness of: (a) the bull, (b) other animals caused, by the bull, or (c) people, caused by the bull. This coverage may be included in the Farmowner’s Comprehensive Liability Policy, coverage by specialized and targeted livestock insurance, or another type of commercial insurance; however, the parties to the bull lease should address this issue.

              7.        Representations. Are the parties making any representations to the other party? For example, the bull owner might be representing the bull’s ownership, breed, pedigree, Expected Progeny Differences (“EPD’s”) according to the breed association, genetic DNA markers, health, fertility, and structural soundness. If the bull owner represents that the bull tested positively for a certain genetic marker then the bull owner should make sure that the lease acknowledges that genetic DNA tests are not 100% accurate and the bull owner is not taking responsibility for any error by the tester. On the flip side, the breeder may represent the health of his/her cowherd, the breed or age of the cows, certain nutrition programs, and that the animal handling practices used on the cattle operation are in compliance with federal and state animal welfare laws.

              8.        Record-Keeping. Are there any record keeping requirements under the lease? For example, is the breeder required to keep any feeding or breeding records? Does the breeder have to supply the bull owner with any data on the progeny (e.g., weaning weight, yearling weight, genetic DNA markers)?

              9.        Veterinary Care. The issue of veterinary care should be addressed in the bull lease. It is recommended that the breeder be required to call the bull owner immediately if a medical issue ensues. Do the parties have a list of approved veterinarians? If there is an emergency, can the breeder use any available veterinarian? Who will pay for reasonable and necessary veterinary expenses?

              10.       Care of the Bull. Parties to a bull lease should consider adding language concerning the care of the bull. Is the breeder required to use certain management techniques or nutrition programs? Is there a penalty if the bull is delivered back to the bull owner at the term malnourished or has experienced a significant loss of weight? Unless otherwise agreed, there should be a clause restricting the breeder from taking the bull to a bull stud or otherwise collecting his semen.

              11.       Risk of Loss, Injury or Illness. Who is bearing the risk of loss, death, injury or  illness to: (a) the bull, (b) other animals, caused by the bull, or (c) people, caused by the bull. Is  there a penalty if the bull is injured (either with or without the fault of the breeder) so as to make the bull unserviceable to other females (including but not limited to him being crippled, unsound, or injured sheath, penis or scrotum)? As noted above, how should risk of loss, injury or illness be addressed while the bull is being transported between farms and ranches?

              12.       Warranty/Guarantee. Is either party making a warranty or guarantee? Perhaps the bull owner wants to give a warranty that the bull is of a certain breed and free of genetic birth defects. Most breed associations have posted online the genetic testing status of registered bulls, which can be included as an addendum to the lease, illustrating that the bull is pedigree-free, tested- free or assumed-free of genetic birth defects. If a warranty to the bull’s fertility is made, then the  bull owner should supply a veterinarian approved and signed “Bull Breeding Soundness Evaluation” as proof that the bull is a “Satisfactory Potential Breeder”. On the other hand, the breeder may guarantee that the cows are healthy. Warranties on health and fertility are common if the payment terms are directly related to confirmed pregnancies. Conversely, the bull owner may want to specifically state that he does not warrant that the semen is fit for a particular purpose or that the bull’s semen will result in the production of a calf or that the progeny will result in congenital birth defects.

              13.       Termination. Under what circumstances can either party terminate the bull lease? For example, many bull leases allow for the termination of the lease if either party materially breaches the contract. Furthermore, there could be a clause saying that either party could terminate the lease giving the other party X days written notice.

              14.       Confidentiality. This issue of confidentiality should be discussed when negotiating a bull lease. If the parties haven’t already signed a Non-Disclosure Agreement, do they want the terms of the bull lease to be confidential? Will any exceptions to this confidentiality apply and for how long should the obligation of confidentiality apply?

              15.       Dispute Resolution. Few bull leases address dispute resolution and they should – just ask anyone who has been a party to law suit. Litigation can be long and expensive. Parties should consider having a mediation clause requiring the parties to a bull lease to use an experienced agriculture mediator to help facilitate a settlement of the dispute. If mediation is futile, the parties should consider having a binding arbitration clause under the rules of the American Arbitration Association.

              16.       Relationship of Parties. In most cases, the contract should be clear that the bull owner and breeder are not forming a partnership, joint venture, agency, or any other formal business association. As an exception, if the bull lease includes a provision that the parties will sell the progeny from the bull and split the proceeds, then this is a partnership – instead of a “bull lease” the parties should have a “general partnership agreement”. Put simply, when two or more people go to business together and share profits then they have formed a partnership. This is an important concept to understand because general partnerships are oftentimes formed in the livestock community, sometimes inadvertently. Partners can legally bind other partners. If it is not your intent to form a partnership then make sure your lease includes a simple clause clarifying that it is a lessor/lessee relationship vs. a partnership.

              17.       A Few Other Provisions. If the bull owner and the breeder are in different states, it is paramount that the contract should say what the choice of law is (e.g., New York, Illinois, Texas). Is there any exclusivity between the parties? Can the agreement be modified in writing?

              How will the parties handle Acts of God (e.g., tornado, earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, fire)? Can
              the bull be subleased?

              As you can see, there is no “one-size fits” bull lease that is suitable for every transaction. That’s why it is dangerous for cattle producers to pull a form off the Internet, fill in a few blanks, and hope that it’s “good enough.” Bull leases should be carefully tailored for the unique needs of your operation and the circumstances surrounding a particular transaction. It behooves cattle producers to hire an attorney to help craft a suitable bull lease. Cattle producers can help keep legal costs down by using this checklist and working through all the issues with the other party before consulting an attorney. Even if an attorney is not used as the draftsman, cattlemen should try to memorialize the terms of the bull lease in writing.

              For more information contact:
              Cari B. Rincker, Esq.
              Licensed in New York, Illinois, New Jersey, Connecticut & District of Columbia

              Rincker Law, PLLC
              New York Office: 535 Fifth Avenue, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10017

              Illinois Office: 701 Devonshire Drive C12, Champaign, IL 61820

              Office (212) 427-2049

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