Thursday, February 7, 2013

New Venture

Over the years we have marketed our gentics through a number of ways.  Consignment sales like Checkers, Red & Black, Agribiton, Farm Fair, Private Treaty  for the Females, embryos and semen at the North American in Louisville and most recently at the New Years Resolution sale.  On the bull side of things we marketed them directly off the farm for a number of years  and then joined the consignment sale of The Red Deer Bull Sale for the last few.  For 2013 we are really excited to be a part of the Simmental Bull Summit on February 25, 2013 at Bentley, AB
Our good friends and fellow Simmental breeders John and Stefon Beechinor have built a beautiful and big sale facility at their farm just  south of Bentley.  They have been feeding our bulls along with theirs and those of Eagle Ridge Simmentals since weaning.  Sale day will be stress free (at least for the bulls) as they only have to move from one side of the farm to the sale barn on the other.

We will have 10 bulls in the sale.  Here is a sampling

  Most from our walking bulls McIntosh Sweet Meat 32X,

3D Mr Red Sure Fire 449X

and IPU Revolution 172U

Along with  ET calves from LFE Rochfort 3013T and Black Joker.  68 lots are catalogued and we invite you to join us for an Alberta Beef lunch at 11:00 with the sale starting at 1:00.

If you would like to check out the sale offering before sale day, the catalog link is on our website at High Country Cattle as well as  a video of some of the bulls.  If you are unable to join us that day but something catches your eye give us a call, we always love to talk cows or just have a visit with our fellow cattlemen and cattle women.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

We could of had a Superbowl Commercial

Ok so the superbowl was a couple of days ago.  A marketing opportunity that companies strive to have success at.  It is the one time that you are almost 100% guarenteed that the viewer is going to actually watch your message.  I had two favorties - Dodge's - God Created A Farmer and Budweisers - Brotherhood.  I commented on God Created a Farmer, but  would like to share a story about Brotherhood, or should I say Sisterhood.

Back in the spring of 1994 we were managing McDougal Cattle Station, at Breton.  When we first went there they only had a Red Angus herd but wanted to develop another breed.  We assisted them with the development of a Simmental herd.  The girls were young Crystal 9 and Stacy 7.  That spring they spent a lot of time with us doing chores and working cattle.  Stacy formed a unique bond with a red baldy heifer, right from the time she was born.  She helped name her MCC Red Dream 12D.  Dream could be out in the middle of a big pasture and if Stacy called out to her she would come over.  Without being halter broke, she would let Stacy scratch her.  Only Stacy.  That fall we entered into a production sale with Garth & Judy Sweet of 4S Simmentals.  Dream was selected for the sale.

On the morning of the sale, the girls and I were just about to drive out of the yard, when Stacy asked me to stop the car.  She quickly hopped out and went into the house.  She came back carrying a big object.  When she was back in the car I asked what she had forgotten, she showed me her piggy bank.  I told her that she really didn't need to take that to the sale and she informed me that she did.  She was going to buy Dream.  I knew this wasn't going to end well.

Stacy stayed by Dreams side all day.  She combed her and talked to her.  She hardly moved from her when she had to go to the sale ring.  We didn't buy Dream, she went to live at Lazy S Simmentals at Mayerthorpe about an hour away.  Stacy cried herself to sleep that night.

2 years later, Rob decided to go to the Lazy S Simmentals bull sale that they hold on their farm.  The girls went with him.  They arrived a bit early and spoke with Doreen.  They inquired how Dream was doing.  Doreen mentioned that she had just calved a couple of days prior and was in a pen near by if they wanted to see her.  Stacy was headed out the door.  She ran over to the pen (with about 50 cow calf pairs in it), climbed up on the fence and called out to Dream.  On the far side of the pen a cows head lifted from the feeder, turned towards the girl calling her name and came running over to the fence.  She stood there letting Stacy scratch her.  Dream still remembered her.

I wish we had this on video.  The bonds that we form with our livestock are very special.  I don't know a farmer or rancher that would ever do harm to them.  They usually go above and beyond for their care and comfort.  Budweiser made a wonderful commercial.  One that we can relate to in more ways than one.  I sure hope this colt gets to be on the Budweiser hitch that visits the Calgary Stampede.  Would love to meet him.

Monday, February 4, 2013

The Eighth Day

Many of you have probably seen the Superbowl that Dodge did by now.  But I wanted to share the words that went with it and a small tribute to some of the farmers I know.

And on the 8th day God looked down on his planned paradise and said, "I need a caretaker!". So, God made a farmer!

God said I need somebody to get up before dawn and milk cows and work all day in the fields, milk cows again, eat supper and then go to town and stay past midnight at a meeting of the school board. So, God made a farmer!
I need somebody with strong arms. Strong enough to rustle a calf, yet gentle enough to deliver his own grandchild. Somebody to call hogs, tame cantankerous machinery, come home hungry and have to wait for lunch until his wife is done feeding and visiting with the ladies and telling them to be sure to come back real soon...and mean it. So, God made a farmer!
God said "I need somebody that can shape an ax handle, shoe a horse with a hunk of car tire make a harness out of hay wire, feed sacks and shoe scraps. And...who, at planting time and harvest season, will finish his forty hour week by Tuesday noon. Then, pain'n from "tractor back", put in another seventy two hours. So, God made a farmer!
God had to have somebody willing to ride the ruts at double speed to get the hay in ahead of the rain clouds and yet stop on mid-field and race to help when he sees the first smoke from a neighbor's place. So, God made a farmer!
God said, "I need somebody strong enough to clear trees, heave bails and yet gentle enough to tame lambs and wean pigs and tend the pink combed pullets...and who will stop his mower for an hour to mend the broken leg of a meadow lark. So, God made a farmer!
It had to be somebody who'd plow deep and straight...and not cut corners. Somebody to seed and weed, feed and breed...and rake and disc and plow and plant and tie the fleece and strain the milk. Somebody to replenish the self feeder and then finish a hard days work with a five mile drive to church. Somebody who'd bale a family together with the soft strong bonds of sharing, who'd laugh and then sigh...and then respond with smiling eyes, when his son says he wants to spend his life "doing what dad does". So, God made a farmer!


Thank you Paul Harvey and to everyone around the world who every day lives this life. 
 We am so blessed to be one of those people, together with my husband and daughters and their partners.  Our daughters are the fourth generation and we can only hope that there are many more in our family.


Saturday, February 2, 2013

Checkers Sale Day - one we won't forget.

Checkers 2012
This blog is a bit over due but for over the past 20 years we have been a part of the Simmental sale - Checkers.  It started out with a unique feel to it.  In the way that the cattle were displayed, the genetics that were being offered and it was usually the last sale of the year, so it was a great way for us to celebrate the Christmas season with our cattle friends (family).

When you look back over the history of Checkers, you find that many of the animals that have sold through that ring have gone on to be top producers for the breed.  As well each year it is noted that many of the animals in that years offering are offspring of animals that were purchased at a previous Checkers sale.

For the 2012 sale we had a bred cow that fit that bill.  Here grandmother JDN 19L was purchased by Crystal at Checkers in 2001 as a heifer calf.  Crystal fell in love with her and through some assistance by us she took her home that day.  "Signature 19L" became a foundation cow in our herd.  She joined the ET program and was one of those production cows that you dream of.  The offspring that she produced those that Crystal marketed, paid for Crystal to buy her first car, go to University, and travel to Australia.

In the spring of 2012 CDY 20W a daughter of 19L's had a beautiful heifer calf by our herd sire Revolution.  The pair was admired by all that visited over the summer. Crystal and Jon had begun to talk about buying their first farm.  It was decided that with Crystal being in Iowa that this may be the time to cut down on her Simmental herd and focus on their Herefords and potential farm.

Crystal & Jon had to have wedding pictures
taken in their barn.
 20W and her calf were selected for Checkers 2012. 

December 15 brought mixed emotions.  We were excited to consign this pair to a great sale, but we knew the value of those genetics and what we were loosing from our herd.  At the end of the day though, it was gratifying to know that many breeders appreciated the breeding potential of this young cow and her heifer calf.

It was amazing to see them sell. CDY 20W now has a new home at Starwest Farms, Chilliwack, BC. We know that she has a great place to live and we hope to go visit soon.
Thank you Ken, Carol, Randy & Michele
Starwest Farms
 Signature brought $20,000 in the same ring that her momma was purchased in.
Her daughter CDY Red Signature 25Z stayed a little closer to home and was purchased by Bar L7 Simmentals,  - Lyle Peterson from Calgary for $25,000. 

Thank you to Lyle Peterson
Bar L7 Simmentals
Again Signature is making a great contribution to Crystals longevity in Agriculture.  This sale will go a long ways towards them purchasing their farm.  Some day I hope there is a descendant of 19L's at JJB Cattle Co, in Independence, Iowa. 

Thank you to Randy, Michelle, Ken and Carol from Starwest, Lyle from Bar L7 Simmentals, the LFE crew from Lewis Farms and Jodi Hampton for supporting our program at Checkers.  It is a day we won't ever forget and was an incredible weekend for the Simmental breed.