Thursday, January 31, 2013

The "A" List

It kinda snuck up on us but the other day Rob and I realized that we have been breeding Simmental cattle  together for 30 years.  I grew up on a Simmental farm, my parents and Aunt and Uncle operated Highwood Land & Cattle.  They began crossing their Hereford commercial cows to Simmental in the late 60's.  As things would go it was taking way to long to advance the herd to purebred status.  They were presented with the opportunity to buy 100 purebred cows from one of the founding herds in North America, SBL at Cardston, AB. The home of Parisian the first Simmental bull imported to Canada.

 Many of those cows carried the tattoo year letter "A" and were born in 1969.

Fast forward 22 years and Rob and I are now developing our own herd of Simmentals.  The first Simmental that was given to our daughter Stacy, was a red & white heifer named RJY Miss Stacy 16A.  She produced our first black Simmental and the first heifer that Stacy showed at her first junior Simmental show - RJY Black Lace 1C.

RJY Black Lace 1C - first daughter of 16A
RJY Cajun - was at the side of 16A
when named Champion Female at Drayton Valley Show
 The 16A cow family planted a seed, one that would take a young girl that loved her Stacy Cow and is now developing her own herd of Simmentals. 
RJY Black Lace 1C - the first black Simmental
to show at a Junior Show in Alberta
Fast forward to 2013 and we are now on our 3rd cycle of  "A" calves.  When we began looking at the calving list, we realized that if things went according to plan, Stacy could have 16A again..... and she did.  This time SLY 16A is a red blaze faced heifer calf.

SLY 16A - Born January 14, 2013
I`m not sure if Rob and I will be calving cows 22 years from now, but maybe we can go and visit Stacy and Dan and see the 4th go round on the A list.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

New Babies

We are now into our 3rd week of calving and other than being a bit sleep deprived things have gone really well. We are about 55% done with several that could pop any day.  Calving is our favorite time of the year.  The decisions that you made not only last spring but for many years previous to that all come together at once.  There is nothing more special that to see a new momma cow that loves her baby, and then a few hours later see that new calf explore the world.

 We have lots of snow this year and have had some sunny days recently.  The calves are enjoying laying out in the sunshine and running through the snow.  We already each have our favorites and will continue to see how they develop over the next few months.

We have had a few of our city friends visit in the last few weeks hoping that they will see a calf being born.  It's fun to see their expressions.  We hope that if you are currently in calving season that it is going well and you are enjoying your new arrivals as much as we are.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Roll of the Dice

Rob and I would not consider ourselves gamblers. We've been to Las Vegas once for our 25 Anniversary, I play the Lotto some and I think we have been to a casino only a couple of other times. I guess you can say that we work hard for our money and don't like to take a lot of chances.

The Spring of 2012 was one time that we decided to step out of the box. We had been talking for a really long time of how to incorporate some new blood lines into our Red Simmental Genetics. We have been breeding these cattle for 30 years and the genetic pool in the Simmental cattle that are solid red or red factor seemed to be getting fairly small. So we began to start looking at the Fullblood Simmental cattle that were still solid red or with very little white. That is when we found this guy:

JHSN The Fleck 59Y

The Fleck is a total out cross to the red side of Simmental Genetics.  We bred about a dozen heifers and cows to him.  The calves are now arriving and we couldn't be happier.  They have come solid colored and more importantly they are easy calving and look good at this point.  We did have a bit of anxiety waiting to see what he would produce.  I guess sometime you have to step outside of the box and take that chance. 

Watch for these calves in the upcoming months and the opportunity to have these out cross genetics.
P.S. Did we mention that he is homozygous polled as well.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Happy New Year

Welcome to 2013.  I am not sure where the last year went but it sure seemed to fly by.  Time for blogging was limited, so I will try to be more diligent this year.  Or maybe teach Rob how to blog.  It seems when we are so busy that we sometimes forget all of the great things that happened in the last year so here is a recap.

  • Calving begins and the first calves of Elegant Force and Sure Fire arrive.
  • Rob and I attend the National Western Stock Show - first time in over 20 years.
  • Mom & Dad celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary
  • Drayton Valley Livestock Show committee folds after 20 years. :(


  • Revolution sons sell well at Red Deer Bull Sale.  Bulls sell to Alberta, Manitoba, and New Brunswick.
  • Crystal and Jon are married in Independence Iowa.
  • Stacy & Dan Move into their new house.
  • We get tickets to see Garth Brooks at the Calgary Stampede.
  • Dad celebrates his 75th birthday.
  • Spring rains bring early grass for cows to go to pasture.


  • Robs mom celebrates her 80th birthday.
  • We display cattle at the Alberta Simmental Association Tour and annual meeting.
  • Bathroom renovation is completed.

  • Garth Brooks Concert at the 100th Calgary Stampede.
  • Stacy and Dan are engaged.
  • Meet Brandon Callis and his family after many stories from Crystal when he was her judging coach.
  • Celebrate Uncle Jacks 70th birthday.
  • Rob helps Jon & Crystal at the Iowa State Fair, while I attend Ryan & Nanita's wedding.
  • Attend pasture tour of Mappin Simmentals.
  • Attend annual meeting of the Canadian Simmental Association in Nova Scotia. 
  • Rob judges National Young Canadian Simmental Association show in Nova Scotia.
  • Crops are harvested - poor quality from hail damage.
  • Steer calves are sold = net $950
  • Beautiful fall days to finish off some of those projects.
Res. Jr Champion @ Farmfair 2012
  • Cattle shows take up most of the month. 
  • Quick trip to Iowa to see Crystal and Jon. 
  • Stacy buys her wedding dress, with a surprize visit from Crystal.
  • Checkers sale is amazing - High Country has high selling heifer calf  @ $25,000 and her momma sells for $20,000
  • Year ends with embryos and semen selling at the New Years Resolution Sale