Southeast Field Day Generates Big Response

SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS–The Southeast Brangus Breeders Association (SBBA) hosted its annual field day at the Draggin’ M Ranch in El Dorado, Ark., August 22-23, 2014. With more than 225 producers in attendance, the event was fun and informative for all who participated and demonstrated a growing interest in expansion opportunities.

The event kicked off Friday, August 22, with a social and steak dinner in which Evon Crooks, President of the SBBA, and John Milam, host and owner of Draggin’ M Ranch, addressed the crowd. A dance and private concert from the Ray Johnston Band provided fun entertainment for guests that evening.

Saturday’s schedule began with a preview of a few well-known herd sires, including Guardian, Landau, Onstar and Coronado just to name a few, and their progeny from several different breeding programs. Following the display of these great genetics, Dr. Noah T. Cosby, representing Purina, talked to field day participants about the importance of a nutrition plan and products available to improve herd condition and health. Dr. Andrew McPeake of VitaFerm spoke about the added value that can be gained from balanced nutrition programs.

“Nutrition is one of the big issues that is always on the breeder’s mind,” Crooks said. “How can they get more pounds for the same amount of feed…because that is what it’s all about.”

Lorna Marshall and Justin Hergenreder, representatives of Genex, gave a presentation about the benefits and trends of artificial insemination and the value of data reporting.

Dr. Tommy Perkins, Executive Vice President of the International Brangus Breeders Association (IBBA), addressed the group regarding the positive outlook for the Brangus breed as the industry begins to rebuild the cow herd and answered questions about DNA testing procedures.

“The Field Day was very organized, extremely educational and well attended,” said Perkins. “Having several mature herd sires and their progeny on display was just ‘icing on the cake’ for an already outstanding event”.

Later that afternoon participants directed questions and topics to a panel of producers representing both the commercial and seedstock sectors. Jason Bates, IBBA’s Director of Field Services and Commercial Marketing, moderated the panel consisting of Lorna Marshall of Burlington, Colo.; Mike Vorel of Luther, Okla.; Zak O’Brien of South Coffeeville, Okla.; Chad Parish of Mt. Pleasant, Texas; and Chris Heptinstall of Fairmount, Ga.

Video highlights and coverage will be available at Sponsors of the SBBA field day were the city of El Dorado, Stockman’s Supply, VitaFerm, Purina and First Financial Bank.

The IBBA, headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, strives to provide the commercial cattle industry, domestically and internationally, with the best genetics possible. It was founded as the American Brangus Breeders in 1949 and has since evolved into the IBBA. The purpose of the IBBA is to enable members to serve the commercial cattle industry. For more information, visit

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Southeast Brangus to Host Annual Field Day

By Kayla M. Wilkins, Agricultural Communications, Texas Tech University

Download the SBBA Field Day Schedule!

El Dorado map
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RSVP by Tuesday, August 19, to any of the following:
Include the number of people attending and the day(s) attending
Brittni Drennan: by email or 210-696-8231
John Milam: by email or 870-310-0781
Sharron McCreary: by email or 251-230-0276

SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS–The Southeast Brangus Breeders Association (SBBA) will be hosting a field day at the Draggin’ M Ranch in El Dorado, Ark., Aug. 22-23, 2014. All SBBA and International Brangus Breeders Association (IBBA) members are encouraged to attend.

The event will kick off Friday, Aug. 22, with a social and dinner. Evon Crooks, president of the SBBA, said this will be the ideal opportunity for Brangus breeders to meet and exchange ideas on cattle programs.

“This is an opportunity to learn about other genetics that are available,” Crooks said. “It’s also an opportunity to network with other breeders, and an opportunity to look at other facilities. I would say those are the three primary things an attendee would get out of attending the field day.”

The Saturday program will give breeders the opportunity to listen to speakers discuss how to utilize EPDs more effectively, breeding programs, sire selection, and nutrition.

“Nutrition is one of the big issues that is always on the breeder’s mind,” Crooks said. “How can they get more pounds for the same amount of feed…because that is what it’s all about.”

In conjunction with educational material, the participants will have the opportunity to tour the Draggin’ M Ranch and evaluate seedstock, particularly sires.

“We’ll have calves by sire groups, so they will be able to see what those bulls can do,” said John Milam, owner of the Draggin’ M Ranch.

Milam and Crooks both agree this event will be beneficial for breeders to gain a social network and exchange management techniques to improve Brangus genetics as a whole.

Milam said he was looking forward to having the field day at his ranch. The Milams began utilizing Brangus genetics in 2004 and have since grown to 440 registered Brangus cows and 900 total cows in his commercial operation. Milam said he utilizes artificial insemination and embryo transplant to help him raise the best stock he can.

“I always strive to improve on techniques, management on any endeavor that I ever involve myself in,” Milam said.

The IBBA, located in San Antonio, Texas, strives to increase the demand for Brangus cattle domestically and internationally. It was founded as the American Brangus Breeders in 1949 and has since evolved into the IBBA. The purpose of the IBBA is to enable members to serve the commercial cattle industry. For more information, visit

Past President Spotlight: John McKnight

John McKnight
President 1993-1994


IBBA President

John McKnight has extensive experience in a few different sectors of the beef cattle industry. He first began his ranching career more than 60 years ago in the commercial and registered Hereford business and kept thorough performance records on his herd. His knowledge of and experience reporting performance data would eventually prove beneficial in advancing the Brangus breed.

McKnight had his first hands-on experience with Brangus cattle when Spring Creek Ranch, a registered Brangus operation, moved their herd to Searcy, Ark., on some land neighboring McKnight’s. He said he was impressed with the breed’s adaptability and performance, and he started paying closer attention.

“I had always run commercial cattle with some Brahman influence and was familiar with Bos indicus cattle,” McKnight said. “I don’t think any breed does as well in the south and southeast as the Brangus breed.”

McKnight credits Joe Reznicek for getting him involved in the Brangus breed because of their similar opinions and perspectives on breeding cattle. McKnight bought his first registered Brangus bull from Reznicek after Reznicek began working at Cow Creek Ranch.

“We had similar views on cattle,” McKnight said, “and Joe was focused on producing cattle that could work good on forage, and before long, Brangus bulls were all I was using on my commercial cattle.”

McKnight said Bos indicus cattle have many advantageous qualities to provide to the beef cattle industry. He particularly emphasizes the Brangus female’s mothering ability and said when cattlemen begin to rebuild their herds, the Brangus cow will be desirable and in high demand.

“The Brangus commercial female will out perform any other breed with the beneficial mothering ability, longevity and parasite-resistance,” McKnight said. “The Brangus female fits our country and will out perform any other.”

After McKnight joined the IBBA membership in 1983, he served on a few committees and was instrumental in compiling and producing the first Sire Summary in which his experience with performance records proved beneficial. He was elected to the Board of Directors and served a term as the IBBA President in 1993-1994 while Neal Orth was IBBA’s Executive Vice President.

McKnight is well known for his support of the International Junior Brangus Breeders Association (IJBBA). He has dedicated his time and efforts to ensuring the youth’s success.

“It has always been a really good program and been a strongpoint for the Brangus breed,” McKnight said. “We’ve been very fortunate to have good leaders in the Junior association, and it has always been one of the best Junior programs of any breed association.”

McKnight said involvement in a youth program like the Junior association, allows students to develop a multitude of beneficial and necessary life skills. Participation in such organizations builds leadership, character and many other traits they will use throughout their careers, even if they choose to seek ventures outside the beef cattle industry.

Over the last 15 years, McKnight has focused primarily on raising Brangus commercial replacement heifers to supply to commercial cattlemen. He was recognized by the IBBA in 1996 as Breeder of the Year for his success in the seedstock industry, and in 2009, he was awarded the Commercial Producer of the Year award for his accomplished breeding program.