The past meets the present

In the 50th anniversary of the breed we want to share some highlights, thoughts and ramblings of the past. Today we had the privilege of being at the Virginia Beef Expo and assisting the Virginia Simmental Association. Virginia Simmental history is some of the best and the lifetime of breeders are a large and important list. The Simmental breed in early years in Virginia and the surrounding states was a force to be reckon with and the breeders and sales were quite numerous.
In the history of the breed there have been many changes however in the early years there was several herds of black Simmentals in Virginia. At that time they had there struggles being accepted and were not cool. However with the dedication, hard work, breeding and marketing that changed as a few of those breeders gained prominence for their efforts. At the Virginia Beef Expo we met a couple of those people today.

In the past traveling and assisting Doug Paul in the sales management business I had the honor and privilege to met on several occasions Scott Burtner of Bunker Hill Simmental of Mount Solon, Va. ASA # 601.  A few will remember his ads  on the inside front cover of the Simmental Shield titled B.S. by S.B.  People could not wait to get the breed publication to see what Scott was going to say next. He was the first to promote Nuts, Butts, and Guts. Sorry, Willie. He was at the 2018 Virginia Beef Expo. We shot a picture with him and Smith Reasor.

Next is Mr Personality and never met a stranger, Ken Mohler. He and his wife Suzan operated Mohler’s Black Simmentals with a ASA number of 6919 and still operate out of Rockbridge Bath, Va and is still the home of Rick Mast famous race car driver. Many successful black Simmental sales were held at his location. Yes, people came from far and wide to attend the sale called In the Black. One year Jim Taylor drove in all way from Kansas in his Cadillac. Ken is still enthusiastic and is very supportive. Holli and I were all smiles today because Ken was sitting in the bleachers assisting a new buyer helping her make smart buying decisions. He is still a disciplined bidder and his catalog was marked in several different colors. When he checked out for his purchase he told Holli he got two new Simmental members today. He is still active and hasn’t changed  much and still over flows with happiness.  Here is he pictured with Kegley Bumgardner from the Country Folks magazine.

Both of the above breeders, had partnership with another instrumental breeder Tom Mitchell from W. Virginia.

Another special couple from the past in attendance at the 2018 Virginia Beef Expo was Scott and Kim Heslup. They were very good black Simmental breeders and operated under Double H Simmentals Brownsburg, Va. Of course good friends of the Mohler’s and live right down the road.

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What if someone was giving you $2,000?

Hey AJSA member, I know you hate it when your parents ask so instead I will, “Have you worked on your Merit Award yet?”

I know how it goes. I’ll work on it tomorrow, but the next thing you know its May 30th and you haven’t rounded up your letters of recommendation. So why wait? 

First lets start with those of you just beginning the Merit Award Process with the Bronze. Do that right now. The Bronze Merit Award carries no age requirement so if you are a young Simmental breeder, take the time to fill out the application here. Parents and State Associations, we need to be encouraging more junior members to apply for this award. As a former AJSA member, a Simmental breeder, and Foundation board member I think this is where we are missing the boat. We aren’t getting these junior members when they are new, excited, and really involved to fill out this simple application to receive this award. They might not go to many National Simmental events, but they are very involved on their local and state level, and that deserve to be commended. Don’t let the juniors in your state wait to apply for the Bronze when they realize they have to have it to apply for the Silver; make it a big deal to do it and win it in your state!

Once you turn 16 there are many things you are looking forward to, right? Driving, Prom, Driving, College. College costs money… lots of money. The Foundation gives AJSA members an opportunity to win scholarship money, and if you are reading this than more than likely you are one of those AJSA members who can apply for that. Because you already filled out that Bronze Merit that I mentioned above. The application which can be found here requires a little time and effort along with 2 letters of recommendation. So you can ask your youth pastor, 4-H or FFA Leader, employer, or anyone who knows you and can vouch for your awesomeness to write a letter for you. When chosen and awarded this scholarship you will get to walk up front at the banquet, get your picture in the Register, and have some money toward college. All for a few hours of application time.

I should really skip over those of you who are able to apply for the Gold Merit Award because more than likely no one has to tell you twice to do it. Your headed off to college or already there, and you know the amount of money it takes. Humor me here. So instead of trying to tell you to apply, let’s talk about what its like to win. You are sitting at the AJSA National Classic banquet after a long, hard week of competition. You are nervous or is that excited?  Maybe a little tired? Maybe pure adrenaline? Once they start the Merit Awards, you are trying to guess who each person is from their bios. I know I did. Until that one that is all too familiar. Familiar because its you. Your mom cries. Your parents tell you how proud they are, and you walk to the front to receive your award. Did I mention your picture goes in the Register? For an AJSA member the Gold Merit Award is the highest honor you can receive, so why would you wait any longer to achieve it? Gold Merit can be found here.

The Merit Awards are only as successful as the AJSA members its serves. The Foundation is giving away money to help advance the education and lives of AJSA members, and you should definitely take advantage of that. It is a prestigious honor to win a Merit Award. I can remember reading the bios about the winners each year in the Register following the junior nationals waiting for my time. So when your mom or dad reminds you to work on it don’t roll your eyes; tell them, “I know, Holli already told me to!”

Merit Award Applications are due June 1. For complete information on the Merit Scholarships – click here

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Suits and Boots at the new Bluegrass

Recently, the Bulls of the Bluegrass Sale celebrated their 20th anniversary producing and marketing Simmental and SimAngus bulls. The group of breeders who make up this group of consignors are all from Kentucky, and support Agriculture and the beef industry in our state. As the group considered making some changes on their location, and they felt the best place to partner with to market bulls was the new Bluegrass Regional Marketplace in Lexington, Kentucky. 

The Bluegrass Regional Marketplace is led by Jim Akers. History lesson: Jim Akers managed Triple J Farms in Paris, Kentucky, and the Belles/Bulls of the Bluegrass Sale was first held there. Speaking at the beginning of sale, Akers commented on history with the group, and how his path had came full circle with the group. He was happy to welcome them to the new Bluegrass Stockyards.

In case you aren’t from Kentucky or don’t know, the Bluegrass Stockyards caught fire in January 2016, and was a total loss. Fast forward to September 2017, a new state of the art Agricultural center was opened in Lexington taking the word “stockyards” to a whole new level. Not only is the new Bluegrass Regional Marketplace a stockyards, but it also features retail space, and a first class restaurant.

First is Hayden’s. Can we say hello yummy food! Let me tell you, order the breakfast. Order all the breakfast especially the South on a Plate. Hayden’s is open from 7:00 am to 3pm, and feature evening specials on Thursday for fried chicken and Friday for a fish fry. Perhaps what I think showcases the beautiful diversity that the new Bluegrass Regional Marketplace brings is when you sit down for a meal at Haydens. As we sat there for lunch on a Thursday afternoon, the dining room was packed; packed with farmers, families, business people in suits, and those “city folk” you don’t usually see at a stockyards. It was an amazing example of how everyone was gathered in a place of Agriculture without even knowing it. 

After you finish your meal, you can wander around the hallways of the facility. You might be able to take in a cattle sale, shop at stores selling meat or western wear, browse the Bluegrass Stockyards Museum, or learn from the Learning Center perfect for engaging the budding Agriculture leaders. The walls are lined with beautiful photographs from my friend and fellow Paris resident Bobby Shiflet of Frames on Main. His photos bring to light many of the wonderful aspects of Agriculture in Kentucky including beef, equine, and bourbon.

It’s easy to walk through the facility and forget you are at a stockyards, but the amount of regular, everyday people who enter the doors is astounding. Not only is the new Bluegrass Regional Marketplace an ideal place for hosting livestock sales, but it is a talking point for bringing Agriculture to the forefront of the conversation in Kentucky to both agricultural and non-agricultural parties. A quote says that a candle that lights another candle never burns out, but in this case the flames that brought down the original Bluegrass Stockyards ignited the bright future for a new Agricultural community in Kentucky.

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In the picture pen with Walt

After arriving back home from Denver from the National Western Stock Show, I decided personally want to share a few comments about a great individual from the past. That person is Walt Brownary from Canada. The first time I had the privilege of meeting this exceptional individual was in the 80’s working for Breck Ellison Farms. We had Walt scheduled to come state side to Tennessee to take pictures for an upcoming sale. This was our first experience with Walt however I and several others were quite excited about the fact of someone of this magnitude taking professional pictures. So we didn’t really know what to expect. This was in a time when they were limited individuals in this profession and Walt was considered the best in the business.

The day he arrived, we all looked over the site and the cattle to be pictured. I, along with the picture crew had everything in place and the process happened over the next day or two. At the conclusion of the pictures we had a different opinion of  this process and felt, “Why is this man so picky and so hard to please?” After that first session, Walt made numerous trips to Tennessee and he always explained to us about the sun, the shadows, the angles and the picture pen. He even explained about the summer and winter equinox and the position of the picture pen. I will have to say I learned something from Walt each time I was around him over the years. Now remember this all happened in a different era and way before everything went digital.

In my travels over the years and after the dispersal of Breck Ellison Farms I traveled as a sale consultant in Canada and our paths crossed at many sales across Canada. Each year Walt was hired to take all the sale photos at Bar 5. He always took time to visit and share ideas about the seed stock business and more importantly the people. The most important and interesting trip was a trip in eastern Canada during the Ontario weekend of sales.  Walt was on this trip and had his faithful camera. To this day, I have not seen any of those pictures. A few in attendance on that trip which involved a boat was Ken Lewis, Terry Cowan, Tim and Derri Massey, Doug Nimmo, Frank Mapletoft, Danny O’Brein and a few others.

Over the past 40 years it was like a huge honor and privilege to have your animal photographed by Walt. Today we know that Walt is no longer with us however his legacy his carried on by his company that he developed and his son, Allan. I always admired Walt and his passion about the business. So each year as I add up the years of going to Denver, I always make a point to stop, shake hands and even hug Allan Brownary. Brownary Photography is definitely the role model in the business of seed stock photography. The technology has rapidly advanced in the last several years however the industry owes a “Big Thanks to Walt and Allan plus the rest of the Show Champions team. A leader in the industry.

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An engineer, dancer, and a Simmental breeder…

Walk into a bar.

I’m kidding.

Though you typically do not put all of those professions into one sentence (or joke) together it does explain a past Simmental operation from the state of Ohio.

When we began thinking about the beef expo’s this spring, and DP is a lover of the history of the breed, we began thinking about long time Simmental breeders in the states that are having expos. When you think of Ohio you can quickly run off a list of names of Simmental breeders that have been raising Simmentals for many years. One of those is K B J Ranch owned by the late Erv Nutter and his wife Zoe Dell (ASA # 3295). 

Zoe Nutter pictured with Dave Greenhorn

If you want to read about someone interesting please google them. Erv is a graduate of the University of Kentucky and a large benefactor of the university. Ervin was an engineer. He passed the state of Ohio’s state test; the youngest ever to pass after his sophomore year at the University of Kentucky. Though he passed the test, but did not have a degree he had to return to the university to finish his degree. My personal favorite story I read was that he worked at Memorial Coliseum for Adolph Rupp. Erv’s job was to keep the light on for the UK Basketball games, and I believe he made around $2 a game. The article said that the lights never went out under his watch. His company Elano is still in operation today. His wife Zoe, who turns 103 this spring looks to be quite the spit fire. I would like to be her friend. She was a dancer, model, commercial pilot, philanthropist, and Simmental breeder. She still owns a few cows today with Greenhorn Cattle Co. She was even said to be the most photographed women in the world appearing on Life magazine in February 1938.

UK basketball and modeling aside, let’s talk cattle. KBJ Ranch, Xenia, Ohio has been raising Simmentals since 1972. They were home to the first embryo transplant center east of the Mississippi in 1974, and the Ohio Junior Simmental Association was formed at a KBJ Ranch Field day in the late 1970s. They co-owned and co-exhibited the first black Simmental female to win the National Western Stock Show in 1993 with their partner Randy Favorite. Over the years they exhibited 6 National Western Stock Show Champions, 5 NAILE Champions, and held 13 successful club calf sales.

As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Simmental breed it is important to take a look back at the cattle and operations that have shaped the legacy of the breed. KBJ Ranch was a huge supporter of the American Simmental Association and the breed for many years. Outsiders are quick to stereotype livestock producers and farmers, but you can look across the industry and find some very interesting and unique individuals who all shared a love of raising and producing cattle.

 

 

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Then Go and Get it!

Coming off the National Western Stock Show I must admit that my mind wondered a bit during the open Simmental shows. From the sidelines I watched Lindsay Hall assist her dad John Grimes judge the Simmental shows. Nothing tugs at my heartstrings more than a parent/child combo judging shows.

My mind wondered because I was watching a young woman who has had great success raising and showing livestock, served a leadership role in her junior breed Association, obtaining a Masters degree in a field that years ago many would deem for males, and go on to work for a highly successful Agriculture company.

Now I’m not trying to start a discussion on sexism. There is enough of that going on in our country today. All I want to talk about is the impact woman have on our industry. What many call a glass ceiling in politics needing to be broken has already been shattered in the livestock industry.

As a young girl and still today I idealized and admired Christy Collins. Her class, creativity, vision, and forethought has always intrigued and motivated me. As a young girl I remember emailing (I might still have that email) Christy asking her advice on design, college, photography, whatever she would give me. A few years ago when she offered a seminar in Stillwater, Drew and I attended and soaked in all the knowledge we could from her. Christy has been a leader and role model for woman in the Beef industry for years.

Today as I find my profession grounded in the seedstock industry I am thankful for people like Christy Collins, Rachel Cutrer, Crystal Blin to name just a few who personally have been excellent role models for myself and I know many others. I remember watching the State FFA Secretary Brooke Core Powers speak at my freshmen Greenhand banquet, and I wanted to be just like her. Extremely blessed four years later, I took my place as State FFA Secretary. Growing up in the livestock industry and as a heavily active FFA member, I quickly realized just as I watched others as a role model, I, too had to realize my actions, ideas, and values were watched by those younger than me.

Many can say that the livestock industry professions in the past have been dominated my males. I think of Terri Barber being Chair of the Hereford Board. Is she their first woman? I am not completely sure, but I know that her role intrigues and motivates myself to take on leadership roles in our Association. The Simmental Association has never had a female chair. Tell me that doesn’t have to change!

Across the country more and more woman are judging shows and major shows at that; just as I watched today. They are dominating judging contests, coaching, and taking their rightful place as industry influencers. Young woman are chairing junior breed association boards, and just this past October the first African American young lady was elected National FFA President (along with a very special lady from Kentucky!). There are no barriers or boundaries to what girls can accomplish, and there shouldn’t be anyone to tell them they can’t. In fact, there isn’t anyone who should tell anyone they can’t accomplish anything. Turn those dreams into goals, and make them happen!

I was listening to Oprah’s podcast this morning with Maya Angelou. She was the first African American girl to be hired to drive a street car in San Fransisco, and she was only 16. Her mother asked her why she wanted to be a driver, and she said, “Because I like their uniform.”  Her mom said, “Then go and get it!” Shouldn’t that be what we tell ourselves or those who need encouragement.

Woman are strong, creative, set goals, have vision, and get things done! Isn’t it exciting to think about all the future leaders coming up through 4-H, FFA, and junior breed associations who will be making such a positive impact on our industry. I am lucky enough to call some of the greats friends, mentors, and motivators. Though I am not raising any young girls myself, I am excited to see girls continue to make a mark in Agriculture, and teach my boys the value woman in our industry bring to the table.

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Thoughts on the NWSS female show

The female show is history at the 2018 National Western. If you were in attendance; I realize everyone left with an opinion and I hope it was a positive one. I feel we have as a breed experienced loads of progress and I am positive about the future. The Simmentals breed as a whole is a versatile breed. I have heard individuals say that is a weakness and many say it is a positive. From the ASA and other breeders we refer to having a big tool box with access to
many tools that can be beneficial; however this depends on your needs and your customers needs. So I would encourage old breeders, new breeders, and junior members to continue to educate themselves and their operation on all the programs available by our association. I agree; we at this day and time we have a huge toolbox and many tools to offer our purebred breeders and Commerical breeders. Like any tools some are needed depending on your customers needs and demands, geographic location, feed resources, size of operation and many other factors.

The Denver show judges did an exceptional job. How can you leave Denver and not be excited. Yes, being in the breed for many years we have been faced with challenges and will continue to have those for us and the younger generation. Let’s embrace all the parts of our ever growing breed and make all the individuals involved feel welcome. Don’t be afraid or even hold back on sharing ideas, thoughts, questions, suggestions and recommendations. The opinion is no one will listen however if you are concerned about the future of your operation or your customers please pass on to the ASA staff or a trustee. There is no doubt the position of our breed is good and it will continue with loads of growth.

Remember all the tools in the toolbox are available however with our diverse and versatile breed let each breeder select what is needed.

1/17/2018 Doug Parke

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Reflecting on the past

2017 was a great for the Simmental breed. However, two of the major breeders that were highly active in the show ring, and had a major impact in our breed dispersed their herds. Dispersal sales have happened in the breed since its inception as a breed in the seed stock industry.

Craig Mc Callum at Circle M and his team did great things for the breed in a short period of time. He invested in the breed purchasing top females and bulls that would compete in the show ring and impact their program. While he invested in the genetics, more importantly Craig invested in the youth and the future of our breed. He did this time and time again and probably will continue to do so. At his dispersal his genetics sold well and went across the country. There is no doubt that his genetics will continue to make an impact in the future of our breed. He will be missed however where one door closes and another opens. Again, thanks to the Circle M crew and Craig.

On November 1st the Hudson Pines Farm herd was dispersed In Tarrytown, New York. Whether you were there for the first time or whether you had attended many of the past sales it was a great event no doubt. The HP Forever A Legacy sale was a historic event with a sale gross which exceeded $2.4 million. Just like many of the past sales, Hudson Pines exhibited great hospitality, good food, a great atmosphere and all the staff possessed the same sincere pride, dedication and commitment that David, Peggy and Miranda all expected to the end. In a final farewell Hudson Pines went on beyond the call of duty and hosted a final farewell party at the Rockefeller Playhouse. This was second to none and the breed will be forever grateful for this long time program and the impact they had on the Simmental industry.

Hudson Pines Simmental program was established in 1975 by the late Peggy Rockefeller so they had been the business for 43 years. Peggy dedicated her life to the preservation of agriculture and the advancement of the Simmental breed. Hudson Pines Farm won many shows and awards over the years in the breed; however their contribution to the Simmental Association and the junior programs was unmatched. Their commitment to excellence and giving back was started decades ago.  I personally want to thank again all the people involved not only in the dispersal sale but all the individuals that had worked at Hudson Pines in the past 40 years. Some of those individuals were not born at the start of  HPF and some of those are not with us today. Ryan Haefner in the end did an exceptional job of following out the wishes of others to the end. I know Miranda, John and many others were extremely proud of his job to the end. I am sure Mr. David Rockefeller and Peggy would have been pleased with Ryan and all the staff for the job each did to the end.

On the way to the Hudson Pines, I began to reflect on some of the past dispersal sales over the years.  I as a younger individual was the Manager at Breck Ellison Farms. I know some of the challenges that Ryan Haefner faced on putting on such an event and all the emotions dealing with something you do every day and the dedication to that operation and the breed. After arriving back home in Lenoir City, Tennessee from the show at the Simmental Breeders Sweepstakes the next day Breck Ellison informed me and other staff due to his increase health and heart issues the cattle operation would be dispersed. That was the first week of August and the sale has held December 8th, 1990 at the newly constructed Knoxville Livestock center. That day there were approximately 1700 people at the sale with people watching the auction from a remote tent with two video monitors, another inside and sale arena full of enthusiastic buyers.  That day the sale grossed in excess of million with 160 buyers from 25 states and Canada. Some may reconigize a few names. Volume buyers were Twin Hills Farms and Royal Crown Ranch, Tn. KBJ Ranch, Ohio, Windridge Farms, Iowa, Latta Simmental Ranch, Ark. Woodring Simmental Ranch, Tx. Shawest Farms Alberta, Canada, High Ridge Farms, North Carolina, Triple Creek Farm, Ga, Edward Pierce, NJ. The high seller that day was KBJ That’s My Lady at $40,000.

Over the years, the Simmental breed has really not been faced with that many dispersal sales however here are a few that I have been involved in as a sale manager or sale consultant. The year and order is not exact by any means.

Pine Ridge Southern Heritage dispersal Valdosta, Georgia. 2010

Having a sale in south Georgia in May has some challenges however the cattle were videoed, not run in the ring, and the great group of genetics did extremely well. Several of those genetics still flourish today. A couple of the high sellers were Welsh Dew It Right and Triple C Empriss. What a pretty place in South Georgia and from the highly respected Larry Rogers. Another great event remembered by many.

Remington Cattle Co. Alberta Canada 2011

The Remington Cattle dispersal was a large offering consisting of Angus and Simmental. It was a great event with loads of quality in all breeds represented. The sale consisted of loads cattle however a couple of the best in the sale made their new home to the United States. Lock N Load sold for $47,500 to Lazy H in Ohio and HPF Honey sold for 20,000 going to Lazy H as well. Red Rush sold for 15,000 going to Beshears Simmentals. All those individuals we still here about quite a bit.

Triple C dispersal sale 2009

The Triple C sale was a major event.  Peter Courtney started with his first purchase and building his cattle program at the High Ridge dispersal. Many years in the business Triple C dominated and made a huge impact in the Simmental business. Most importantly Peter started some of the fund raising programs in the AJSA which are still in effect today. If you ever were around Peter Courtney his enthusiasm was contagious and believed in the future of the breed and the juniors that was going to be carrying the touch and be the leaders of tomorrow. His sale that day grossed $1.3 million. The standouts and top sellers still are working today. Remember Liberty, Crazy Queen, No Doubt and others. Some of the volume buyers Damar Farms, Lazy H, Circle M, Moore Land and Cattle, and Remington.

Ray Farms Dispersal, Illinois

The Ray sale was a multi day sale with app 2200 head expected to sell in the 3 day process. Well, that sale had a long list of challenges and one was the weather. A week before the sale it decided to start raining and it did for a long extended time. Corn stalls and bedding was trucked in from the surrounding areas, cows were calving, calves were sick and the sale had a long list of challenges. The sale help was acquired across the country and I mean some of the best cowboys and sale help around at that time.  In the end prices went extremely well and it was great success. I will have to say I was glad to in attendance providing assistance to my friend Doug Paul. I was glad I got to witness. Some people still don’t believe the stories. Some of the stats from the sale were staggering that would sale prices and daily activities of the overall sale dispersal sale process and cattle management. If I remember right the top was $75,000 on a Draft Pick x Meyer cow.

Burns Brand James Burns and sons, Almond, WI. 2007

Many good genetics came out of that dispersal sale. The crowd was over flowing and several breeders purchased animals by the truck load. They ran them thru the ring about as fast as any sale; you had to pay attention that day. Just ask Wesner about that trip.

G and L dispersal, Idaho 1996

The G and L dispersal was held at the Midland bull test center in Midland Montana. This herd of cattle was phenomenal and was well received by many breeders across the country. Rob Laird purchased the calf champion at Denver that year, WLE Power Stroke, he went to Idaho and bred heifers. The sale was Sept 23rd that same year. He was purchased by Cheryl Wagoner in Colorado and went to Denver again in 1997 and was division champion and was in the Phillips Cattle Co string. The other matriarch to leave that sale was G and L Savannah purchased by Triple C Farms. Both of the individuals still influence many herds today. Study your extended pedigrees.

High Ridge Farms Bruce Cuddy, North Carolina. 1994

The High Ridge sale for the times was just kind of stupid and crazy. Bruce Cuddy had assembled a great herd of black cows from all across the country and with most of them originating from west of the Mississippi. The sale consisted of donors, herd sires, cows, breds, opens and everything. This was the first time people in the east had the opportunity to purchase black genetics without traveling west. That day we didn’t have enough cattle for the large crowd in attendance. The volume buyer showed up that day and purchased most of the top lots Peter Courtney later known as Triple C Farms.

P/T Livestock Pete Thompson, Wyoming 1994

This was another special dispersal that was widely attended and was held at the Midland Bull Test in Midland, Montana. The herd was from Big Piney, Wyoming. The herd mainly consisted of red cattle however blacks as well. Many good dependable genetics derived from that breeding program. PTL Red Obession was one of the favorites and she went on to be a Denver champion and produced a Denver champion, WLE CSA Snafu.

Holley Cattle Co dispersal sale, Ohio 1995

I would have to go in storage and find some of my old catalogs however the sale in Ohio went well. Cows sold such as Hearts A Fire, Whitney, Holley’s Polled Ebony and the dam of Moonglow and Elivia. Again, if my memory is correct Greg Burden and I worked as sale consultants and we both had bag phones. We both were pretty cool back then especially Greg on his run with Bad Monday.

NBI Ancel Armstrong, Kansas.

Ancel was an early mover and shaker in the Simmental Breed and was very well respected by all breeders across the seed stock industry. He never had a large group of cows and didn’t sell that many in the end however his semen bank was off the charts with a huge inventory. Bruce Miller got tired of selling semen that day, just ask him. Ancel Armstrong was instrumental in the early years of the development in the breed. On the way to Denver we stopped by and looked at Signal at his place.

Shafer Shoestring Ranch, Minnesota September 2001

Yes, I know what you are thinking. I had the privilege to work Wade Shafer’s dispersal sale in 2001. Not really knowing what to expect and never been to his operation in the end I purchased some of the top lots for different customers in the South and they really did well for those customers. The Shoestring herd had the influence of Black Irish Kansas and 600U and was built on calving ease. Remember Shoestring 600U J107. Remember this sale happened a week after 9-11.

Bozone Ranch David Bozone, Rolla, Kansas. 1997

David Bozone was a great cattleman and was highly respected. His cow herd reflected all that and more at his dispersal sale. Many sharp breeders were in attendance and picked out the good ones. Many of his genetics had some Fleckvieh influence. The top lot BOZ Sweet Temptation was the top sellers going to Triple C Farms. She later became a Denver champion and many of her progeny did as well.  She was a huge influence on that program till they dispersed in 2009.

Nichols Farms Cow herd dispersal, Iowa 10/27/1992

This one of a lifetime sale was a mature cow herd dispersal sale by the Nichols Family. Dave and crew put a lot of time and effort into planning that cow herd sale. The outcome was a huge success. The young Barry Wesner selected several of the elite lots that day and all have been a huge influence on his program and others as well. Those cows went to many great breeders across the country and got involved into embryo transplant programs and flourished even more. The impact cows from that sale were Joliette 107W which produced the JBH Sheza Dandy which no doubt is one of breeds best ever. Another great was Nichols Joliette C75, the dam of the WLE Power Stroke. A few years ago Dave Nichols was inducted into the Saddle and Sirloin at the NAILE. He invited Drew, Holli, and I out to the farm to pick a female to be auctioned off for the Foundation.

Latta Simmental Ranch, Lincoln, Arkansas

The Latta herd was a superb program that was backed by many show champions and elite donor cows. Rex Allen was head of the show team. The dispersal sale was a big event that was a big time success. There program was admired by many.

Woods Knoll Farms, Alabama

Woods Knoll dispersal sale was held at the Cullman stockyards. The sale consisted of fullboods with Fleckvieh influence. They were a high respected fullblood operation and had many successful sales prior to their dispersal. Some of the top lots that day were purchased by Champion Farms in Ohio.

Faulkner Farms, Alabama 1997

Jim and Rose Faulkner dispersed their small herd in Alabama. In the early years they had a sale which was called the Southern Gentlemen group. Those cattle were red and white and consisted of fullboods and purebreds. That year I purchased a 1200 open heifer off the side of a cow and that was one that ended up as Holli’s show heifers. Later as a Sr yearling she was 3rd overall in Columbus Ohio in 1998. That is probably the last year a tradition colored heifer to be in top ten.

Kintyre Farms, Gloster, Mississippi.

Colville Jackson was a promoter extraordinaire. He was a true southerner and was good at many things to raising flowers, dogs and cattle. Colville was one of the original founders of the Simmental Breeders Sweepstakes and his cattle dominated the show in the early years with the assistance of the legendary show person Knic Overpeck. The sale was a big success. The couple funny notes is to hear a chain saw running and repairing boards on the alley coming into the sale. The other thing was Colville always talking so finally Merrill Anderson auctioneer just un plugged his microphone. It took Colville several lots till he noticed.

Stagg Cattle Co, Mt Pleasant, Texas

Dr Gerald Stagg dispersed his herd which consisted of Simmentals, Sim Angus, Fleckvieh influenced, Red, Black and some outstanding Simbrah. Some of his  Simbrah genetics are the base to genetics that are still instrumental today.

National Double R Bar Richard Betterton.

That catalog is in the archives however back in those days Richard herd consisted of fullbloods in central Illinois. I think John Caviness and AL Vary were in attendance.

Happy Valley Ranch, Athens, Texas

Sambo Sewalt as manager was a good cowman and was highly respected as they come. The beautiful ranch in east Texas always had great sales and it was no different when Bill Breedlove decided to disperse the herd. Do you remember the Fenella cow family and all her descendants? One of the best herds of fullbood cattle in the day.

Mille Cent Ranch Bob Messer, Tx.

The Mille Cent herd was dispersed in Stafford, Missouri. Bob Messer’s breeding was always somewhat old school Fleckvieh genetics. Stanley Stout was the auctioneer that day in which he and Doug Paul got passing notes back and forth on matter on a potential buyer. Lucky Doug Paul come thru in the end. Stanley was a great auctioneer however always added some humor to any event.

Taylor Black Simmental dispersal sale, Kansas

Jim Taylor was one of the early leaders in black Simmental and the promotion of Black Irish Kansas which he bred and raised. Black Irish Kansas was sired by Irish Black Knight owned by NBI Ancel Armstrong. Black Irish Kansas was born in 1990.

Kieckhefer Simmental, Paris, Ky

As a young herdsman and show barn helper, I as employed by Kieckhefer Simmental. I worked four summers while going to college. After completion of college at Eastern Ky University I accepted a full time position.  I worked three summers and six years after that. Working with Simmental cattle and the people is what I envisioned for my future however at the time most young people and ag kids worked to put their way thru college. Like most I personally didn’t have a long term plan. The Kieckhefer herd at the time was well known for its breeding program and long list of show champions. The dispersal consisted of some of the first homozygous polled fullboods. The two day dispersal sale was held May 29 and 30th, 1981.

I hope some find this helpful and or interesting and I am sure I missed some other notable sales. Please reflect on the past to see the changes in the breed that several have witnessed over the years. We have come along way and hopefully the younger generation and new breeders today will understand and realize the great strides we came as a breed. We have a great breed of cattle. Remember this is 50th Anniversary of the Simmental breed. We will still be faced with challenges, changes both good and bad and no doubt the Simmental breed will continue to flourish and prosper. We hope you are a part of it.

1/21/2018 Doug Parke

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Innovator: genetics meets the showring

As I sit on the airplane headed back to Kentucky, the National Western Stock Show in Denver is now over. The Percentage bull show on Tuesday was won by CDI Innovator; owned by Wayward Hill Farms, Dr. Henry and Chris Allen and JS Simmental, Ken & Claudia, Jay & Dani, Scott & Amy, and of course the grandkids.

Both members went to North Dakota to look for a bull to add to and benefit their programs. After looking through the CDI bulls, they both ended with same bull and decided to partner. Both operations at the time of purchase had no intentions of showing this herd bull. Innovator was liked by many others throughout this past year, and has already been utilized in herds across the country. We saw him this fall just after he had been on on cows, and he was very impressive, not only in person but on paper as well.

I am not speaking for the C Diamond program; however I would guess they did not think they were selling a Denver champion at the time of the sale. C Diamond has been a long time Simmental breeder of bulls and females that add great value to someone’s herd. This past fall, they had a special female sale which they don’t typically do. A sale which offered maternal genetics to Innovator.

The buying process is to purchase bulls and genetics that you feel will help make genetic progress and add to your existing program. So look at the end results and how our breed and breeders continue to flourish and gain market share. CDI Innovator was bred to add value both through EPD’s and genetics, and profit to his calves. Did JS and Wayward Hill believe that might come with a purple banner? At the time of purchase, maybe not, but due to their purchase for the betterment of their program, and their patience on a maturing bull; they leave the National Western with one.

CDI Innovator is collected at Nichols CyroGenetics, and can be purchased by calling their office.

Congratulations to all that exhibited at the National Western. It was one of the best bull shows the Simmental breed has had there in the last several years.

Written by Doug Parke on 1/17/18

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Marketing at Beef Expos

By: Garrett Stanfield, DP Sales Intern

As the 2018 calving season begins, and you wrap up your planned matings for the fall calf crop, there are certainly a number of questions going through your head. Ideally, one of those questions is “where will I market these new genetics and my previous calf crop”? Establishing a marketing plan for your herd is of the highest importance to ensure your operation is able to thrive.

As a producer, you have several options to market your genetics. You can choose from online sales, private treaty sales, live auctions, and more. Furthermore, there are a variety of considerations to take into account when making your final decision. These considerations often include things such as, which choice will generate the most exposure for my operation, which one best fits my scope as a producer, and which one will generate the most revenue. As you consider your options, we hope you will consider consigning some of your most elite to a beef expo.

Reviewing the considerations, beef expos are able to contribute to each mentioned item. Beef expos are often considered one of the best sources to obtain some of the best genetics in the country. Consigning your cattle to a beef expo allows you to showcase your genetic base to potential customers across the nation, and offers the potential to expand your clientele in to the future. Your cattle and genetics are on display for stockmen from different segments within the industry, including both the commercial and seedstock sectors. Additionally, beef expos are able to benefit producers with any size of an operation. They allow producers with small herds to bring their most elite and establish a reputation within the industry, but also allow larger producers to showcase some of their best to expand their customer base. While beef expos often generate added interest for cattle across the board, it is the responsibility of the producer to ensure that they consign a quality animal or genetic lot that will command an equally good price. As you continue the day to day tasks associated with livestock production, it is important to establish a marketing strategy. As you finalize that plan, we hope you will consider consigning lots to an upcoming beef expo this spring!

To nominate an animal for the spring expos please visit our website.

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