Emmons Ranch JBBA Show Results

Freestone County Fairgrounds in Fairfield, TX
May 19, 2018

17 exhibitors
33 heifers entered

Show Winners
Calf Champion- Dylan Simons, Gilmore’s Heavenly Grace
Reserve Calf – Kaylee Beason, Lyssys Marie Laveau

Junior Champion- Braylee Mackie, Miss Legit
Reserve Junior- Reece Wrobleski, CHRK Wildfire

Senior Champion- Rebecca Small, Miss KK
Reserve Senior- Braylee Mackie, Ms Opal

Overall Champion- Dylan Simons, Gilmore’s Heavenly Grace
Reserve- Kaylee Beason, Lyssys Marie Laveau

Bred and Owned Champion- Emily Martin, 4M Firefox
Reserve- Ryan Wrobleski, RMW Penny

Junior- Kyndall Rhodes
Intermediate- Kaylee Beason
Senior- Braylee Mackie

Top Ten Exhibitors
Ryan Wrobleski
Kaylee Beason
Braylee Mackie
Dylan Simons
Weston Brooks
Kevin Paris
Rebecca Small
Lane Hendricks
Emily Martin
Kyndall Rhodes

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East Texas/Louisiana Beefmaster Marketing Group Spring Fling JBBA Heifer Show Results

April 21, 2018 in Crockett, Texas

54 exhibitors
98 heifers entered

Show Winners
Calf Champion- Saige Tassin, Ellis’ Elizabeth
Reserve Calf – Kaylee Beason, Miller 785

Junior Champion- Braylee Cowan, Lukes Cold Heart
Reserve Junior- Amelia Buckley, BR Selena

Senior Champion- Travis Glaser, Annabelle
Reserve Senior- Rebecca Small, Miss KK

Overall Champion- Braylee Cowan, Lukes Cold Heart
Reserve- Saige Tassin, Ellis’ Elizabeth

Bred and Owned Champion- Braylee Cowan, Lukes Cold Heart
Reserve- Amelia Buckley, BR Selena

Junior-Mackenzie Low
Intermediate- Kaylee Beason
Senior- Saige Tassin

Top Ten Exhibitors
Amelia Buckley
Kolten Brady
Raymie Emmons
Reece Wrobleski
Mackenzie Low
Rhaina Emmons
Travis Glaser
Saige Tassin
Braylee Cowan
Kaylee Beason

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BIF Celebrates 50 Years

By Lisa Bard, BluePrint Media | BIF Sponsor

The Beef Improvement Federation (BIF) is celebrating 50 years in 2018. Themed “Elevating the Industry,” the Annual Meeting and Research Symposium is poised not only to celebrate the last 50 years but launch into the next 50.

BIF was officially founded in 1968, but its formation began the previous January during a meeting at the National Western Stock Show. At that time, a group of producers and researchers – spearheaded by Colorado cattle producer, lawyer and performance evaluation advocate Ferry Carpenter, and Frank Baker, the federal Extension livestock specialist in 1967 – met with the goal to move the cattle industry from its historical basis of visual appraisal to one of evaluation based on performance.

Thus began a very powerful and intentional “performance movement” in the cattle industry that continues and thrives today. Fifty years later, the 2018 BIF Annual Meeting and Research Symposium will return to Colorado June 20-23 at the Embassy Suites Convention Center in Loveland.

Each year, the symposium focuses on research, innovation and education for producers and scientists alike on current issues facing the beef cattle industry “to connect science and industry to improve beef cattle genetics.” BIF’s three-leaf-clover logo symbolizes the link between industry, Extension and research.

The beginnings

In the late ’60s and ’70s when BIF was formed, the cattle industry was experiencing a great deal of change with the influx of Continental breeds and the implementation of artificial insemination and crossbreeding. Many states had Beef Cattle Improvement Associations (BCIA) but no standard procedures or measurements. At the same time, land-grant universities were conducting more research on genetics and how genetic evaluation could improve cattle herds. Germplasm research being conducted at the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center would provide incentive and data to create and formulate genetic evaluation. Other data collected by producers and breed associations would add to that.

Creating and utilizing new evaluation methods based on performance versus visual appraisal was not an easy road. The first step was to standardize performance testing, including the terminology, the actual methods of measurement and the education as to what the information meant. Over the years, there were a few growing pains and disagreements, but the common goal prevailed.

Steve Radakovich of Radakovich Cattle Company, Earlham, Iowa, was BIF president in 1983-1984 when BIF was still young and evolving. As a graduate student at Colorado State University in the ’70s under renowned animal geneticist Jim Brinks, Ph.D., Radakovich was encouraged to attend BIF. This early exposure led to his lifelong participation in BIF.

“Back then we were a bit of a divided camp. We had one group who were the ‘weigh and pray’ folks,” Radakovich says. “They would stand by the scales and pray that the animal weighed more than he did the time before. Then there was the systems group, which I was a part of, who asked questions such as, ‘Is bigger really better?’

“The weigh and pray guys thought that the systems guys were nuts and these two approaches led to some pretty good arguments.”

At that time, some were leaning heavily toward advancing methodology and figuring out how to standardize data collection and utilization, which then led to discussion about the direction of the seedstock industry. During this critical time in the industry, BIF facilitated this direction through the exchange of ideas.

Willie Altenburg, owner of Altenburg Super Baldy Ranch just north of Fort Collins, Colo., and breeder of Simmental and Angus seedstock for more than 40 years, was BIF president in 1999-2000. His recollection of the early days was that BIF “was very small with not very high attendance. In some ways that was positive because you make a lot of progress, given small committee meetings.

“There were times when maybe six people were voting and making decisions on things like formulas and direction, and people like me would sit back in awe in those small meetings and watch those great minds at work.”

Once BIF began to grow and reach a larger audience, in part due to the availability of the presentations and proceedings online, BIF exploded, with attendance now more than 500 people and sometimes as large as 700. It not only affects meeting attendees but also reaches a global audience who access online information after the meetings.

“BIF has always been the place where performance cattlemen gather and philosophize about performance and genetic issues,” Altenburg says. “Over the years, the contributions of BIF to the performance cattle industry have been industry leading. BIF gave the concepts, research and performance philosophy a place to launch and grow, and other countries still look to the United States for performance testing and evaluation.”

Angus and Braunvieh breeder Steve Whitmire of Ridgefield Farms in North Carolina served as BIF president in 2013-2014. He originally became involved in BIF to get as close as possible to the cutting edge of the beef industry – and is why he continues to be involved.

“Because BIF is the one organization that bridges across all breeds and academic institutions, it helps focus limited research dollars into the most promising areas,” Whitmire says. “The early pioneers set aside their breed priorities and personal egos and focused on what was best for the industry.”

Mark Enns, Ph.D., professor of animal breeding and genetics at Colorado State University and organizer of the 2018 BIF Symposium, also got his first exposure to BIF as a graduate student in the ’80s.“BIF helped create the unified vision for genetic improvement throughout the beef industry and established common ground for all the breed associations and all the cooperative breed improvement groups to work under,” Enns says. “We cannot discount the brilliant minds who came up with the idea for BIF and recognized the need for it.”

Throughout the years, BIF has made significant contributions to the beef industry, particularly the seedstock sector. “BIF has allowed the smaller, family seedstock producer to compete on the same playing field with the larger seedstock producer,” Radakovich says. “BIF standardized evaluation so that the smaller operators could utilize the methodology, could pursue an objective selection process and could compete with larger operations. Without the standard methodology, they would not have access to those tools.”

Matt Spangler, Ph.D., associate professor of animal science at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, says he believes that “the work of the initial founders of BIF created the platform that we know today as National Cattle Evaluation. Without these efforts, estimation of the genetic merit of animals as parents would have been delayed and would look substantially different today.”

Current BIF President Donnell Brown, R.A. Brown Ranch, Throckmorton, Texas, remembers his first BIF meeting. “BIF was the first cattle meeting I went to after I graduated from college,” Brown says. “I was able to talk with the scientists whose research I had studied and talk to the breeders whose catalogs I had been pouring through. They were the leaders in the beef industry. It was inspirational.

“The seedstock producers weren’t in sales mode and we weren’t at a breed association meeting where politics were involved. It was just a meeting about the facts and how we would use the resources we had to more efficiently and effectively raise better beef. BIF is still about that.”

Others believe that BIF’s greatest contributions have been the development of expected progeny difference (EPD) standards and technology; advancing the use of new, more accurate selection tools and providing a forum for the industry and scientific communities to exchange ideas.

Today’s challenges and beyond

Fifty years later, genetic evaluation has progressed to genomically enhanced EPDs, across-breed evaluations, evaluation indexes and EDPs on a huge array of traits. Today’s cattle industry is also faced with a great many issues including animal welfare, the environment, diet and health, and food safety, all of which can be affected by genetics in some part.

According to Radakovich, genetics can have a big effect on issues for the future, particularly in adapting cattle to different climates and environments all over the world as well as in the United States. Some are studying the grazing habits of different biological types of cattle, which appear to have the same heritability as weaning weight.

“We could be breeding cattle in the future that are hill climbers and will graze hillsides versus riparian areas because that is their genetic predisposition,” Radakovich says. “This is where BIF fits in with issues such as animal welfare, animal behavior, etc., especially with genomics. If we can isolate the gene that determines grazing habits, then it will have a big impact.”

According to Enns, BIF will help guide the industry in how we use, validate and verify the rapidly evolving genomic pipeline and put these new traits to use. Regional evaluation will be a big thing in the future, including the development of regional EPDs and development of specialized adaptability traits. Scientific attention to these traits has been coming for the past five to 10 years and is now becoming more important for regions of the world where climate, adaptability, disease tolerance and feed efficiency are big issues.

“Genetic evaluation may help us balance the competing needs of global beef production with sustainability and conservation,” Enns says. “The United States is a first-world country and our needs are different than those in third-world countries who are simply concerned with finding a protein product to eat. Understanding these competing visions and how genetic tools can be used to address these visions is important.”

Radakovich agrees. “The population increase of today and tomorrow poses a great threat to resources and, as beef producers, we have to figure out how we can remain sustainable under this pressure that gets worse and worse all the time,” he says. “We must be adaptable with fewer and fewer resources. Our big advantage is that cattle are ruminants and can consume feedstuffs that can’t be consumed and converted by other protein sources.”

Genomics can be comparable to the computer age with gene mapping and epigenetics as the next cutting-edge technologies. Genomics and genetic advancements will also allow commercial producers to concentrate on other issues.

“If a commercial operation is doing well genetically, then they can move on to address some of the larger, industry concerns such as environmental issues, food safety and animal welfare.  A good manager can only handle a few topics at a time, and if their genetics are solid, then they can worry about the other concerns,” Radakovich says.

While many, including Whitmire, believe that BIF’s greatest contribution was the development of EPD standards and technology, the future is wide open. “I have no doubt that the genetic tools for evaluation will become infinitely more accurate and widely used in the coming decades, and the industry will profit from this,” Whitmire says. “BIF will help recognize the long-term issues that face the cattle and beef industry and will focus resources to solve those problems.”

Spangler has a broader view. “Genetic evaluation will change such that ‘seedstock’ will drift further and further away from ‘purebred,’” Spangler says. “The data used to inform genetic merit will be weighted more heavily towards commercial-level data. The entities participating in data generation for genetic evaluation and seedstock production will change such that there is more alignment between the end-product and germplasm at the nucleus level. The general nature of breed associations, and their role, will change. I’m not sure if these changes occur in 10 or 50 years, but they will occur.”

Elevating the industry

The 2018 50th Anniversary BIF Symposium promises to address all this and more.

“BIF is the one meeting where you get the interaction of the genetic improvement leaders in both industry and academia,” Enns says. “If what we are developing in science is not able to be translated to the industry, then we are wasting our time. There has always been this free-flow conversation of constructive criticism for the betterment of genetic improvement. This meeting is where the appropriate application of science is developed by discussions of the people using the science and the people developing it.”

BIF Vice President Lee Leachman, Leachman Cattle of Colorado, Wellington, Colo., agrees. “This is the meeting where practice and theory meet and the learning is going both ways. If we really could get into the nuts and bolts of the history of BIF, we would likely find that most of the innovations sprang from the BIF meetings and the discussions there. If you want to stretch your imagination, but do so at a level that can be put into practice, this is the place to do that,” Leachman says.

For 2018, the first day is dedicated to what the future of North American beef production looks like. The speakers, breakout session and wrap-up will evaluate the future from a variety of viewpoints, including beef quality, sustainability, efficiency and traits not yet considered.

The second day is about data – how to collect it, who will own it and how it’s used. How can we better leverage all the data in an internet-permeated society? This year’s program is also about helping the industry look at the possible/probable issues that will need to be addressed over the next 50 years.

The meeting also includes a Young Producer’s Symposium, an evening at the CSU Stadium Club, a Friday dinner out sponsored by Leachman Cattle of Colorado and Zinpro, and area tours on Saturday.

The 2018 BIF Research Symposium and Convention is hosted by the CSU Department of Animal Sciences, the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association and the Colorado Livestock Association. For more information, a full schedule and registration information, visit

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Ozark and Heart of America Spring Sale Report


A standing room only crowd witnessed the 40th Annual Ozark and Heart of America Spring Sale in Springfield, Mo., on April 14th. There were 209 registered buyers from 11 states competing for the 180 lots. Cattle went to Louisiana, Missouri, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Kansas and Alabama.

Thirty yearling futurity bulls averaged $2,606, 57 tested bulls averaged $3,170, 36 pairs averaged $2,427, 29 yearling futurity heifers averaged $2,484, 19 bred heifers averaged $1,989, and 9 bred cows averaged $1,833.

There were 68 consignors with 17 being first time consignors to the sale. Thank you to all the buyers and consignors that helped make this such a successful sale.

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2018 Collier Farms Advantage Sale Report






18 PAIRS AVERAGED $13,305.56

2 BULLS AVERAGED $12,500.00




TOTAL SALES: $1,165,860.00

SALE AVERAGE: $13,248.41

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Performance Article Series: Part 2 Weight Traits


By Lance Bauer, Director of Breed Improvement & Western Field Representative

The traits of birth weight, weaning weight and yearling weight are all economically important to cattlemen. Birth weight is one of the leading causes of dystocia in cattle and can cause the loss of cow and/or calf. This leads many cow-calf producers to look for bulls with low birth weights. The majority of calves in the United States are also sold at weaning and are sold by the pound, so weaning heavy weaning weights are important to these producers. Other producers will retain ownership of calves through the feed yard and yearling weight can be an indicator of how well they will perform there. By measuring these weights on your cattle and recording the weights with the BBU registry system, you provide more information for the calculation of EPDs.

Birth weights are the first weights that should be recorded and should be taken within 24 hours of the calf being born. There are different ways to take the birth weight including traditional scales or a weight tape. Scales are the most accurate way to take weights. The weight tapes tend to underestimate the weight of larger calves and overestimate the weight of lighter calves. The manner in weighing the calves should remain constant throughout the calving season. The weight of the calf will then be adjusted for the age of the dam, once it is recorded in the BBU registry system.

Weaning weights should be recorded at weaning time, which is approximately 205 days of age or seven months of age. In order for BBU to include weaning weights in the genetic evaluation they need to be recorded between 140 and 270 days of age for an animal. This means that if you have a 90 day calving season and you wean calves when the majority of them are 205 days old, then they should all fit into the age window for weaning weight. Weaning weights are adjusted using the age of the dam, as well as the age of the calf, at the time of weaning. The standard for the age of the dam is five years old and adjustments are made on differences from five years old. The adjustment formula that is used is not the standard linear formula for adjusted weaning weight, but a non-linear formula that is based on BBU data and allows for the calculation of a weaning weight without having to assign a birth weight to animals that do not have a birth weight recorded. Recorded weaning weights with contemporary groups of larger than one animal and fit within the age range will be included in the genetic evaluation for the calculation of EPDs.

The next weight to measure is yearling weight and it should be measured around 365 days or one year of age. For yearling weights to be included in the genetic evaluation they need to be taken between 320 and 430 days of age. Yearling weights are also adjusted using the age of the dam, as well as the age of the animal, at the time of weighing. A five year old cow is the standard for the adjustment of yearling weight, and again it is a non-linear adjustment. Animals that are in contemporary groups of more than one animal and fit within the age range will be included in the genetic evaluation.

Recording these weights is important for the Beefmaster breed and allows the association to utilize more data in our genetic evaluations to calculate EPDs. EPDs are important because they allow both purebred breeders and commercial breeders to compare animals throughout the breed and animals that are raised in different environments. The EPDs for these weight traits are economically important traits that are included in the calculations of $T and $M, which are very helpful tools in the selection of animals. There will be more articles in this series that cover more about performance, such as what a contemporary group is and what EPDs are. The next article will focus on calving ease scoring, udder and teat scoring, as well as mature cow weights.

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Skaggs Sweeps at Major Stock Shows with Beefmaster Heifer


By: Yvonne (Bonnie) Ramirez

BOERNE- Seventeen-year old Shawn Skaggs, a junior at De Leon High School had a great show season this year as he claimed top honors at every major stock show in Texas. Shawn, a member of the De Leon FFA started his streak at the Southwestern Exposition and Livestock Show in Fort Worth by taking the Grand Champion Beefmaster honors with his heifer, WR Queen Elizabeth. He followed that accolade with being named Grand Champion Beefmaster heifer at the San Antonio Stock Show.  An exciting honor to add to his San Antonio win was that Shawn’s heifer was also named the Reserve Grand American heifer! This is a big achievement for the Beefmaster breed.

Shawn continued his winning show streak by claiming the Grand Champion Beefmaster title at the Houston Livestock Show. He ended his 2018 show season by claiming the Grand Champion Beefmaster title at Rodeo Austin where she was also named the Grand Champion American heifer.

WR Queen Elizabeth was bred and owned by Shawn. Her immediate pedigree stems from a Queen x CF Dr. Love breeding. WR Queen Elizabeth was described by cattle judges as a “unique creature,” “charismatic,” “a beast on a leash,” “the most unique female” and “a water moccasin.”

Shawn also had success with his other bred and owned heifer, WR Blizzard, with whom he won Grand Champion at the San Angelo Stock Show. Her mating was a WR Josey x Black Jack 21 breeding.

“My goal has always been to have a Champion American heifer at a major Stock Show, it has been such an awesome feeling to complete this goal,” Shawn said.

“Shawn works very hard and is very compassionate about his cattle,” Shawn’s mother, Rayna Skaggs exclaimed.  Shawn plans to attend Tarleton State University and wants to work in the show calf/cattle industry.

Rayna adds, “Shawn has enjoyed traveling all over the state showing and meeting people from every back ground of cattle.” “In the last several years Shawn has expanded his cow herd to include Red Angus, and has utilized the E6 program,” Rayna added. “Last summer he was invited to Canada to help fit and show cattle there in their “All Breeds Show”. There he helped fit several breeds of cattle and exhibited an Angus heifer, who won division champion. His experience there along with traveling and meeting cattle industry leaders all of the United States will help him to promote Beefmasters, and learn several sectors of the cattle industry,”  Rayna said.

What an impressive and incredible show season Shawn had! Congratulations on your successes at this year’s major stock shows, Shawn.

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Cowboys, Cattle & the Colorado River


Huebner Brothers Cattle Company of Bay City, Texas has been crossing their cattle across the Colorado River, from their winter pastures on the 11-mile Matagorda Island that runs from Matagorda to Port O’Connor, for over 100 years. The part where the cattle cross the river is about 200 yards across and 15 feet deep, just at the mouth of the Gulf of Mexico.

Before the cattle are driven across the island and across the river, the cowboys rope the smallest calves and load them in a trailer so they can ship them across on a river barge. Most of the calves can make the swim across the river, but we were on boats prepared to help the calves that struggled with the swim or got confused and swam the wrong way. No cows or calves were lost from the drive or swim.

On April 3rd I got to experience this cattle drive and swim – which is the oldest cattle drive in Texas – first hand and even rescued calves from the swim across the river. This ranch runs Beefmaster and Beefmaster influenced cows for their hardiness, fertility and growth. This summer the cows and calves will graze at the ranch’s headquarter pastures in Bay City.

A big thank you to owner Keith Meyer and our tour guide Jeff Davis for the ranch hospitality and thank you to Trey Scherer, Collier Farms Beefmasters for coordinating the ranch visit.

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JBBA Leaders Attend Youth Beef Industry Conference

The 2018 Youth Beef Industry Conference (YBIC), hosted by the American Angus Association, was held in Ohio. “What an incredible experience building tomorrow’s leaders today,” exclaimed Bonnie Ramirez, JBBA Youth Director. Approximately 160 youth leaders representing 18 different breed/cattle associations participated in this year’s YBIC. “JBBA had four young ladies who proudly represented the Junior Beefmaster Breeders Association at the conference,” Ramirez added. JBBA leaders that attended YBIC included Braylee Mackie – District 5 director, Amanda McCoskey – Reporter, Kodi Stapp – District 2 Director and Caitlin Vargas – District 4 Director. According to the YBIC coordinator, this year denoted one of the larger YBIC events ever held.

YBIC participants appreciated an energetic, powerful and inspirational keynote presentation by A’Ric Jackson. His mission is to teach, inspire, and encourage all those who hear him, and to take the challenge of helping others pursue their goals and dreams. “He really energized the youth! Our JBBA board was moved and excited with his presentation,” Bonnie added.

Panel speakers included Dr. Stephen Boyles The Ohio State University, Extension Beef Specialist; Elizabeth Harsh Ohio Cattlemen’s Association, Executive Director; Lee Miller Paint Valley Farms and Jon Gevelinger JG Cattle & Coaching, Weaver Leather Livestock ProStaff. YBIC’ goers were able to ask the panelists questions and receive valuable insight from knowledgeable industry leaders.

Participants enjoyed a tour of world renowned Weaver Leather and the Certified Angus Beef headquarters. The tours were fascinating, interesting, educational and overall an awesome experience.

“It was a great experience all the way around … from getting to know my fellow Beefmaster directors and getting to know other breed association directors,” District 4 Director, Caitlin Vargas exclaimed! “It was great to learn about the different leadership styles and what “categories” fellow Beefmaster directors fall under and how all leadership styles make it work together.

Weaver Leather and Certified Angus Beef played an integral large role in making this conference a success. The conference focused on leadership, character and personal branding.


L to R : Kodi Stapp, Caitlin Vargas, Bonnie Ramirez (JBBA Coordinator), Amanda McCoskey, Braylee Mackie

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SEBBA Dixie National Sale Report


Tunica, MS 3-31-18

  • 3 Bulls $13,250  avg $4,417
  • 2 3n1 $5,800  avg $2,900
  • 2 Pair $6,100  avg $3,050
  • 14 Bred $33,900 avg $2,421
  • 18 Open $46,650 avg $2,592
  • 2 Picks $8,000 avg $4,000
  • 1 Semen $25,00
  • 1 Embryo Lot $4,525
  • 43 Lots $120,725 Avg $2,808

Top Bull

  • Lot 14- Sire, CHRK Sledgehammer, consigned by brock Clay, Meridian, MS:  Sold to Ty Reeves, Carthage, MS for $7000.

Top Females

  • Lot 4- Bred to CF Brock, consigned by Bailey Farms, Pinson, TN:  Sold to Windy Hills, Poplarville, MS for $4500.
  • Lot 43- Open, Sire, EMS Captain Britches, consigned by Gerry Stricklin, Savannah, TN:  Sold to Next Gen Cattle Co., Paxico, KS for $4500.
  • Lot 3- Open, Sire,m EMS Fire House, consigned by Bailey Farms, Pinson, TN:  Sold to Ken Gooch, Jackson, TN for $4000.
  • Lot 36- Pair, Calf Sire, Panther Creek Partners 495, consigned by Panther Creek, Bells, TN:  Sold to Steven Anderson, Amarillo, TX for $3800.
  • Lot 11- Bred to BCF’s Hopes Hammer, consigned by Brock Clay, Meridian, MS:  sold to Gene Crim 4C Farm, St Matthews, SC for $3500.

Volume Buyers:  Next Gen Cattle Co., Paxico, KS:  Tony Psencik, San Antonio, TX:  Brock Clay, Meridian, MS.

Auctioneer: Anthony Mihalski, San Antonio, TX

Sale Manger:  3G Sales and Service, Franklin, GA

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