Racing to Rangeland
By Lynzee Glass, Managing Editor,Â Ozarks Farm & Neighbor
Paul and Rhonda Wallen of Wallen Prairie Ranch - Lockwood, MO
Paul Wallen left the racetrack and automotive repair industry and got on the fast track to raising Beefmasters full time after experiencing success with the breed first hand.
In the early â€˜80s, Paul and his father, Norban, and brother, Phillip, started raising registered Beefmaster, a breed derived from Brahman, Hereford and Shorthorns.
Norban and Phillip have built a foundation herd of 230 cows that are mostly sold to the commercial producer.
In 2006, Paul and his wife, Rhonda, bought more land outside Lockwood, Mo., and started the venture of raising their own herd of registered Beefmasters as Wallen Prairie Ranch.
â€œBeefmasters have small birth weights but grow quickly. They donâ€™t have problems with pinkeye, theyâ€™re heat tolerant, easy keepers and fertile. And the best part is you can breed for the look you want and make drastic changes in your herd,â€ said Paul.
Keeping true to Beefmaster qualities the herd is bred for disposition, fertility, weight, conformation, hardiness and milk production. Wallen Praire Ranch raises strictly performance cattle. Performance data is recorded on all cattle, which includes birth weight, 205-day weight, yearling weight, EPDs and ultrasound data.
The evidence of quality genetics can be seen in one of the herd bulls, WPR Total Package. Total Packageâ€™s daughters average birth weight is 65 pounds, 205-day weight averages 643 pounds and yearling weight averages 942 pounds. Total Packageâ€™s sons’ average birth weight is 67 pounds, 205-day weight averages 774 pounds and yearling weight averages 1,296 pounds.
The Wallens use AI and natural breeding on their 150 registered cows. They have a 90-day calving window both in the spring and fall to offer the most options for their customers. â€œWe strive to make better cattle everyday. That is why we utilize AI and embryo transfers. Our first ET calves were born this May. We had really good luck and will continue to use ET,â€ said Paul.
â€œWe credit Jason Bates, Tommy Perkins and the rest of the Beefmaster Breeders United (BBU) for our success,â€ acknowledged Paul.
To share their success and strategies Wallen Prairie Ranch is hosting a field day through the Ozark and Heart of America Beefmaster Breeders (OHOA) marketing group and Central States Beefmasters Breeders Association (CSBBA) satellite association on September 22.
To advocate the quality of the Beefmaster breed, Paul is on the board of the CSBBA and the OHOA. Paul and Rhonda were awarded Breeder of the Year of CSBBA.
Despite common misconceptions about Beefmasters being loose hided, with not as much muscle and more rib, Paul breeds his herd more clean, meaning tighter hides, strong muscled with more rib to generate better genetics. â€œWe constantly strive to create the best real world cattle that are feed efficient and the most profitable cattle we can raise,â€ concluded Paul.
Original article on Ozarks Farm & Neighbor website