Throughout the years we’ve continued to grow our herd as stocking rates allowed and as of today we’re able to run roughly 450 registered Herefords comfortability. Each individual here on our ranch is expected to earn their keep as our philosophy is to run our herd as close to a commercial cow herd as possible. We expect our females, whether it’s out on pastures during hottest of summer days or on corn stocks on the coldest of winter nights, to maintain themselves with as minimal input as possible. Being a family run operation, we have little patience for headaches and anything considered an issue ranging from udder quality all the way to disposition will be culled immediately.
Our belief is that every great herd sire comes from a great dam which is why every breeding season we evaluate every female both phenotypically and genomically to ensure that we’re maintaining the highest of quality within our cow herd. While we do utilize EPD’s in the process they only serve as a tool. We make sure to make our decisions by studying that particular female from top to bottom determine what sire pairing will provide us with the best offspring the following calving season. The majority of the cattle breeding here on the ranch is done so naturally, but we do utilize today’s new reproductive technologies such as synchronized A.I. protocols for only our top replacement heifers.
You cannot improve what you don’t measure and it’s because of this we do our very best to accumulate a variety of performance data for each individual calf throughout their life cycle. At birth, we’ll collect various data for every calf such as their calving ease, birthweight, and eye pigmentation while also scoring the dams mothing ability, disposition, and teat and udder score. We’ll later collect weaning and yearling weights during the appropriate time of year along with the scrotal circumferences for every range bull. By taking this information into account, it allows us to continuously progress our cow herd in a positive direction and ensures us that we are only offering the highest quality Hereford genetics for our customers.
We like to consider ourselves stewards of the land and believe that it’s our responsibility to do our part to ensure our soil is fertile and prosperous for future generations. We’ve developed multiple waterways, headlands, and terraces in our pastures and crop ground assist with the reduction of soil erosion. We continuously plant trees throughout our ranch to better the air quality and provide natural windbreaks and shade areas for the livestock. We continue to work with the USDA Soil and Water Conservation Department in the planning and establishment of wildlife habitats on land unsuitable for crop production. We’re also big believers in the benefits that cover crops provide and will drill winter cereal rye into crop ground following silage harvest. Not only do we believe this betters soil health, but provides our cow herd additional grazing and fresh bedding during calving season. It’s in combination of these practices that our ranch was awarded the NCBA Environmental Stewardship Award in 1996.