Somewhere in Texas between San Antonio and Laredo, there is an impressive cattle operation. Just off southbound interstate 35 outside of Moore, Texas, Rancho Dos Vidas sits surrounded by mesquite trees and cactus. The picture perfect image of a South Texas ranch, bustling with wildlife. Most of the ranch visitors are seeking the exciting dove and deer hunts, however on my visit I was seeking the beautiful cattle.
Rancho Dos Vidas and its ranch manager, Lane Roberson, are focused on producing profitable and high quality cattle. When Roberson isn’t guiding hunts, he is working cattle. The cattle found on this 4,000 acre ranch are primarily Beefmaster and Red Angus cross. Roberson and ranch owner, Don Mullins, began their crossbred program back in 2008. The two of them, along with the help of Jim Banner of Southern Livestock Standard, were seeking a cross that would be hardy enough for the South Texas ranch, while also being moderate in size and encompassing good milk production. Banner suggested crossing Beefmaster with Red Angus and that is when the successful cattle program began. The ranch had their first Beefmaster X Red Angus calf crop in the fall of 2009 and they knew as soon as the calves hit the ground that this cross was something great.
When their first calf crop were just mere newborns, the crossbred program offered by Beefmaster Breeders United (BBU) was brand new and not yet on the ranch’s radar. However, as more successful Beefmaster crossbred calves hit the ground Roberson saw an advantage in registering the cattle in BBU’s crossbred program, Beefmaster Advancer. From the beginning of their crossbreeding program, Rancho Dos Vidas had used purebred, registered Red Angus bulls and purebred, registered Beefmaster females; so it only made since to add more value to the cattle and register them as Beefmaster Advancers.
The BBU Board of Directors approved the registration of Beefmaster Advancer cattle on March 28, 2009 in Columbus, Texas. Beefmaster Advancer cattle, by definition, are animals of fifty percent (50%) or more registered Beefmaster breeding and fifty percent (50%) or less of other registered and DNA genotyped non-Beefmaster beef cattle breeding. These animals may be certified in BBU provided they are produced from breeding of one of the following:
1. Known registered Beefmaster sire mated to a DNA genotyped, registered dam from another breed association.
2. Known registered Beefmaster dam mated to a DNA genotyped, registered sire from another breed association.
3. A known progeny of a 50% – 74% Beefmaster Advancer and a known registered Beefmaster sire or dam.
4. Known progeny from animals recorded in the Beefmaster Advancer Program meeting all Association requirements for registration that are 50-87% Beefmaster breeding.
Rancho Dos Vidas has been on the forefront of the Beefmaster Advancer program and, with no pun intended, are advancing their cattle breeding program through utilizing Beefmaster Advancers. Advancing with Beefmaster Advancers!
“Plain and simple fact, anytime you can crossbreed you are ahead with heterosis,” said Roberson. “It’s the increased hybrid vigor and increased gains that are hard to beat with straight bred cattle.”
According to Roberson, the Beefmaster and Red Angus cross has produced him stronger offspring and the female offspring hit puberty earlier. He says they typically can start breeding these crossbred females at 11-13 months, have a calf on the ground by 24 months and are ready to breed back at 24 months. This cross of Beefmaster and Red Angus provides Roberson with the ideal mother cow that has superior milk production, clean underlines and is range hardy.
“With these Beefmaster Advancers their fertility is higher and they get rebred quicker. The Beefmaster cow and these Beefmaster crossbred cattle bring a lot to the table for today’s market,” said Roberson.
Not only does the ranch see an increase in maternal attributes, these crossbred calves weigh on average 80 lbs., more per head than the straight bred cattle raised in the past by Rancho Dos Vidas. The combination of solid maternal performance and weight gain performance has been the perfect cattle cross for Rancho Dos Vidas in the pasture and also in the sale ring.
Rancho Dos Vidas has been named Grand Champion Female two years in a row with their Beefmaster Advancer cow/calf pairs at one of most prestigious sales in the South. Each year the San Antonio Livestock Show and Rodeo hosts the All Breeds Bull and Heifer Sale that features purebred bulls and commercial heifers consigned by premier Texas ranches. In 2013 and 2014, Rancho Dos Vidas won the top honor at the All Breeds Sale and are vying for another top award in 2016. The ranch also won Reserve Champion Females at the 2015 National E6 Commercial Replacement Female Sale in Columbus, Texas. Success in the pasture is what really matters to Rancho Dos Vidas, but taking home these honors just verifies that this crossbreeding program is one of the best.
Before the awards, Roberson always knew that as a whole the Beefmaster and Red Angus cross produced a very solid set of cattle. These red hided cattle are even solid in a cattle industry dominated by the black hide. It is predicted that red hided cattle will grow in popularity over the coming years because the cattle market is flooded with black hided cattle. The cattle industry currently lacks the needed heterosis in order to produce heavier weights and high quality replacement females. However, a program like Beefmaster Advancer is introducing this needed heterosis by producing crossbred cattle that outperform and outweigh other cattle.
“I love this cross and there is nothing I would change, it produces a very high quality female. Such a high quality female that our ranch cannot keep up with the demand for our crossbred females,” said Roberson.
When asked what final thoughts he had, Roberson simply said it is the combination of heterosis, fertility, udder quality and moderate frame size that makes the cow/calf producer more money. The crossbreeding at Rancho Dos Vidas is profitable and “crossing with Beefmaster takes it to that next level.”
The Beefmaster breed has emerged as one of the most popular choices for youth livestock projects. FFA students and 4-Hers from across the country have recognized the value of Beefmaster show calves. In Texas and Mississippi the Beefmaster junior shows are consistently the largest or second largest breed exhibited. In Texas alone, over $1.2 million of Beefmaster show heifers will be sold in 2015.
Beefmaster docility, performance, structural correctness and eye appeal make us ideal for project animals. Furthermore the benefits of JBBA membership add value to the FFA and 4-H youth when one considers the scholarship, educational, leadership and fellowship opportunities. Simply put, the purchase of a Beefmaster show calf opens the door to a multitude of opportunities for the junior livestock exhibitor.
With this in mind, BBU unveiled last year The Banner – Beefmaster Seedstock Directory and this year we have published the second issue of the publication. This publication is designed to reach FFA and 4-H students at the grassroots level to promote Beefmasters in the FFA classroom and County 4-H Extension offices. Additionally, The Banner will be handed out at the major stock shows and beef industry trade shows that BBU participates in. The Banner contains articles that the junior exhibitor will find useful on topics such as selection, nutrition and management. This publication promotes the Junior Beefmaster Breeders Association (JBBA) in order to draw new members and also promote JBBA activities and participation in leadership roles and especially scholarship opportunities.
Enjoy this publication and please share, download and read as much as you like!
Beefmaster Breeders United is excited to share success from our 2014 Performance Breeder of the Year, Skelton Farms. James and Mary Ann Skelton of Springdale, Ark., have been retaining ownership on their Beefmaster sired steers at Irsik and Doll Feedlot in Garden City, Kansas for the past few years. They have been collecting valuable feedyard and carcass data to help improve their breeding program. The Skelton’s just closed out a pen of twenty Beefmaster sired steers that were harvested on December 16, 2015. The harvest data was impressive.
Dressing %: 65%
HCW: 967 lbs
95% Yield Grade 1&2
However the live performance and feed conversions were outstanding.
Profitability takes many forms in the beef industry. Cattle that stay healthier, gain more and convert more efficiently are money makers. Beefmaster sired steers have the live performance and efficiency to position their owners for profit. Live performance coupled with superior dressing percentages, adequate marbling and yield grade premiums add up to extra margins for Beefmaster sired steers.
By Matt Woolfolk
Christmas time is quickly approaching us and I hope that you and your family get a chance to relax during this time of the year. Between the shopping, parties and all the other chaos of December, I think the time leading up to Christmas can be pretty overwhelming!
If you remember from last year, my way of relaxing during the Christmas season is to watch “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation”. The tale of the Griswold’s wacky Christmas adventures keeps me laughing and reminds me that I have it pretty easy compared to Clark Griswold and his family!
Believe it or not, there are some lessons that can be taken from this movie. Clark is one of those folks who overdoes Christmas decorating, spending hours putting 25,000 imported Italian twinkle lights all over his house. He’s proud of his work and gathers his whole family in the front yard for the lighting of the house. When he plugs in the lights, nothing happens. After a few more failed attempts, Clark throws a tantrum and eventually punches a plastic Santa Claus and abuses his eight reindeer. In one last desperate effort to make his hard work pay off, he slams his two extension cords together and his lights miraculously start working. Clark is amazed that his anger paid off, but what he doesn’t know is that his wife turned on the switch in the garage that was preventing his lights from working all along! The lesson here is two-fold: 1. Work smarter, not harder and 2. Getting mad doesn’t really fix the problem.
As Beefmaster breeders, the best gift you can give to your operation this Christmas season is to find ways to work smarter, instead of working harder. I’m sure there are tasks around your ranch that make you say “there’s got to be a better way of doing this!” In between the Christmas presents and watching your favorite team in their bowl game, take some time to evaluate what you can do better. If you aren’t satisfied with your working facilities, look at how you can make them better. If there are traits that you want to make improvements on within your herd, study up on bulls you can use in an AI program to improve those traits. If you or your spouse are frustrated with registering your calf crop and entering your performance data, consider enrolling in the new BBU Pro Services program to get help with your data entry, as well as improving herd management.
In any operation, there is always something that can be done better. Make it your gift to yourself to find something within your own herd and “work smarter” to improve upon it. Improving the efficiency of your operation will free up more time to spend with family and friends during the Christmas season, enjoying the holiday season and hopefully a nice steak in the middle of your plate! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all!
The Central Beefmaster Breeders Association (CSBBA) Bull Test and Sale play an integral part in CSBBA’s ability to become a reliable and consistent genetic supplier of Beefmaster and Beefmaster Advancer genetics to both the commercial and purebred cattleman. It is CSBBA’s intent to create long term relationships with their buyers and friends. They welcome you into their program and look forward to having you as a participant.
CSBBA has created a bull test handbook to help provide more information about the highly anticipated test. You will find the required delivery forms and a delivery checklist in the following handbook. All bulls must have complete paperwork and full payment at delivery and you must be a current 2016 CSBBA member. Direct questions on animal registration or performance records to Davin Vaughn (417-793-1830). The enclosed contact list identifies other point persons for other questions.
The intent of the handbook is to convey to you management philosophies that allow the CSBBA Bull Test and Sale team to put together a strong, consistent set of bulls. You must strive to breed cattle that not only possess strong maternal traits but also add profitable carcass traits.
The accuracy and integrity of CSBBA record keeping is essential to insure the positive uniformity and consistency that commercial bull buyers demand.
It is important for you to understand the CSBBA selection criteria. Very simply, they demand performance from your bulls. This means CSBBA will insist on receiving the elite individuals within your calf crop.
Finally, CSBBA truly appreciates your participation in the 2016 CSBBA Performance Bull Test and Sale. They look forward to meeting their new consignors and working with everyone in the coming year. Keith Cagle of Rose Bud Feeders LLC is happy to show consignors, visitors, and prospective buyers the bulls at any time, but can give more attention to those who call ahead. Please do not hesitate to call on anyone listed in the contact list to answer questions. Input and suggestions from consignors for improvements in the process are always welcome.
In the past we have relied on donations of semen from breeders across the country for our junior members. We are asking breeders to nominate their top bulls to the JBBA A.I. program. Rules for the A.I. program are:
We encourage all JBBA members to contact the breeders that are offering semen for sale to junior members at a discounted price and visit with them about their bull(s). We appreciate the support of the BBU breeders that are participating in the 2016 JBBA AI program. Click here to download the nomination form.
If you have any questions on how the new JBBA A.I. program will work please feel free to contact Allison Wells at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 979-251-0325.
WHAT YOU HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR IS FINALLY HERE!
CATTLE RECORD KEEPING AND CONSULTING SERVICES
Beefmaster Breeders United (BBU) Pro Services is a new program designed to allow members to take advantage of BBU’s expertise in performance records, basic herd management, data entry, report building and other areas of technical expertise demanded by today’s fast paced seedstock industry.
BBU members who utilize Pro Services will have beef industry professionals visit their ranch twice a year for a one on one consultation and assistance with the most complicated aspect of the purebred industry: record keeping. Pro Services will update your inventory, register your calves and enter all of your performance data. This will allow you over time to improve your herd’s performance and phenotypic quality.
While everyone knows records are important, they are only one part of a successful breeding program. Pro Services members can utilize the experience of BBU staff to help improve herd management. Herd management is the most important, value influencing area that most BBU members need assistance with. Pro Services is here to help build your herd foundation with assistance in vaccination protocols, management calendars and planning your herd’s long term future.
Pro Services will assist in making those culling decisions that will result in positive gains to your bottom line. Are you thinking about classifying your herd? Classification services is provided as a standard option for Pro Services members.
You’re probably wondering if Pro Services is affordable. Absolutely. Pro Services is actually a value adding enterprise for your operation. Fees are based on the number of breeding age females (14 months and older) that will be enrolled in the records keeping program.
Pro Services Charge
The value of the information that will derive from accurate record keeping will easily outweigh your investment. Technical services such as contemporary grouping, making sure calves are weighed in the proper age windows and getting carcass ultrasound scans completed will add a lot value to your Beefmaster herd. On the cattle management side, the economics of basic practices will add pounds and marketability to your cattle and will be a great investment in your future as a Beefmaster breeder.
CALL BBU TODAY FOR DETAILS:
BILL PENDERGRASS: (210) 464-6002 MATT WOOLFOLK: (210) 464-0923
2016 JBBA National Show Hotel Arrangements: July 17-23, 2016
**IF YOU HAVE A PROBLEM BOOKING A ROOM AT ANY OF THE BELOW HOTELS BEFORE THE CUTOFF DATE ASK TO SPEAK TO THE MANAGER OF THAT HOTEL**
Best Western Complimentary breakfast.
405 Thomas Road
West Monroe, LA
King Rooms $93.95/night plus tax
Double Rooms: $99.95/night plus tax
Room cut-off date: June 17, 2016
Ask for Junior Beefmaster rate.
Hampton Inn West Monroe Complimentary hot/cold breakfast.
601 Main Street
West Monroe, LA 71292
$119.00/night plus tax
King or 2 queen beds
Room cut-off date: June 26, 2016
Room block name: JBBA Beefmaster
Hilton Garden Inn West Monroe
400 Mane Street
West Monroe, LA 71291
$130/night plus tax
Room cut-off date: June 25, 2016
Room block name: Junior Beefmaster
Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Complimentary hot breakfast.
603 Constitutional Drive
West Monroe, La 71292
$119/night plus tax
King or 2 queen beds
Room cut-off date: June 20, 2016
Room block name: Beefmaster/JBBA National Show and Convention
Super 8 Motel-West Monroe Complimentary hot/cold breakfast.
West Monroe, LA 71291
$66.64/night plus tax
King or 2 queen beds
Room cut-off date: July 3, 2016
Room block name: Beefmaster
SAN ANTONIO (Nov. 18, 2015) – Beefmaster Breeders United (BBU) is proud to announce that Sarah Davis of San Antonio, Texas, will be serving as the new Membership Coordinator at the San Antonio office. Davis will work specifically on helping breeders sign up as new members, maintaining membership records and providing animal transfer assistance for the over 2,800 BBU members throughout the United States and world. She began her duties at the office on Nov. 16, 2015. We are excited to welcome Sarah to the team!
Davis is originally from Brackettville, Texas, and has an all-encompassing background in the livestock industry. She has ten years of experience in exhibiting livestock at San Antonio and Houston livestock shows, which has provided her a solid foundation for her new position with BBU. Davis graduated from Texas A&M University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Leadership and Development. While at Texas A&M, Davis was active in various campus organizations, served as a livestock intern for the San Antonio Livestock Show and Rodeo, volunteered at the Brazos Valley Fair and worked for TexAgs Radio. She also has extensive training in sports management and assisted the Texas A&M Athletic Department in several capacities.
“We are thrilled to welcome Sarah to the Beefmaster family,” said BBU Executive Vice President Bill Pendergrass. “Sarah has a wealth of knowledge about the livestock industry and I am confident that her skills will be an asset to the Beefmaster breed.”
For more information or to contact the BBU staff members call the office at 210-732-3132 or visit www.beefmasters.org. Stay connected to BBU through Facebook, follow us on Instagram, view our videos on YouTube, follow us on Twitter and Pinterest. Receive our news updates through joining our mailing list.
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