San Antonio All Breeds Sale Proves Strong Demand for Brangus

SAN ANTONIO, TX [March 3, 2014] – The 23rd Annual San Antonio All Breed Bull and Commercial Female Sale set a new record in terms of dollars generated. Hosted February 11-12, 2014, in conjunction with the San Antonio Livestock Show & Rodeo, the event saw 550 head of cattle where 72 bulls and 478 females sold for a gross of $1,688,800.

The 72 bulls representing 10 breeds brought a gross of $370,900 for an average of $5,151 while the 478 head of females sold for a total of $1,317,900 for an average of $2,757.

JLS International's High Grading Bull tops the San Antonio All Breeds Sale. Williams Ranch, Flooresville, Texas, bought the high selling bull for $20,000.

JLS International’s High Grading Bull tops the San Antonio All Breeds Sale. Williams Ranch, Flooresville, Texas, bought the high selling bull for $20,000.

In the annual bull sale, 12 Brangus averaged $7,571, topping averages for Angus, Brahman, Charolais, Gelbvieh/Balancer, Horned Hereford, Polled Hereford, Lim-Flex and Simbrah. Topping the 60 bull offerings was a Brangus bull consigned by JLS International of Devine, Texas, which sold to Williams Ranch of Floresville, Texas, for $20,000. The second high selling bull was a Charolais bull consigned by Sturgess Double S Cattle, LaRue, Texas, which sold to Rocking T Cattle Co, Raymondville, Texas for $9,750.

Of the Brangus females, 35 open heifers averaged $2,464, 40 bred heifers averaged $3,050, and 59 pairs averaged $2,877. Five pair from Jasik Hay Farm, Pleasanton, Texas, sold to Eric Larson, San Antonio, Texas, for $3,400; five pair also from Jasik Hay Farm sold to Ken Seeker, Brenham, Texas, for $3,400. Five breds from Schoenig Land & Cattle, Honey Grove, Texas, sold to Eric Larson, for $4,200. Five opens from Bell Cattle Co., Gainesville, Texas, sold to Carl W Homeyer, Haskell, Texas, for $3,000; and five opens from Indian Hills Ranch, Cranfill Gap, Texas, sold to Kevin Pawelek, LaVernia, Texas, for $3,000.

First Place Brangus Bred Heifers were consigned by MK Ranch of Era, Texas

First Place Brangus Bred Heifers were consigned by MK Ranch of Era, Texas

The Reserve Grand Campion Pen of Females and First Place Brangus & Brangus Cross Pairs were exhibited by Jasik Hay Farms, Pleasanton, Texas

The Reserve Grand Campion Pen of Females and First Place Brangus & Brangus Cross Pairs were exhibited by Jasik Hay Farms, Pleasanton, Texas

First Place Brangus Open Heifers were consigned by Bell Cattle Co. of Gainesville, Texas

First Place Brangus Open Heifers were consigned by Bell Cattle Co. of Gainesville, Texas

Volume buyers of the sale included Eric Larson, Larson 5L Cattle Co., San Antonio, Texas; Corazon Cattle Company, Alameda, N.M.; Leo Hermes, Yoakum, Texas; Ken Seeker, Brenham, Texas; and Billy Polasek, Shiner, Texas.

The sale was managed by Southern Livestock Publishing, Inc., in San Antonio, Texas, and Anthony Mihalski from San Antonio, Texas, who also served as the sale’s auctioneer.

Photos: Southern Livestock Standard, http://www.southernlivestock.com/.

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Successful Brangus Producer Knows What Customers Want

By Brittni Drennan, IBBA Communications Coordinator

Don and Sherry Atkinson

Anyone who is an expert in marketing will tell you the key to a successful marketing plan is to know your audience. When you know who your audience is, you can better serve them and market a product that fits their needs. Don Atkinson may not claim to be an expert in marketing, but he knows exactly who his customers are and what kind of product will fit the needs of their operation.

“I want my customers to be successful in their endeavors,” Atkinson said. “I know my product and offer customers one type of cow that can thrive in their environment.”

A fourth generation cattleman, Atkinson knew at an early age what his calling was in life. Running cattle has always been a staple and a way of life in his family. Atkinson partnered with his father until his passing in 2001, and Atkinson took full ownership of the business and began ranching full time. His ultimate goal is to be remembered for creating a mother cow that thrives in her environment and maintains longevity.

Together, Atkinson and his wife of almost five years, Sherry, run 240 commercial Brangus cows and some registered Brangus cattle in Mullins, S.C. Atkinson switched to breeding Brangus when he bought his first bull in 1990 from Graham DuBose and John Spitzer. After breeding his commercial herd to the Brangus bull, he realized the advantages Brangus genetics had to offer, especially for the environment he was surrounded by near the east coast.

“People need to take advantage of crossbreeding to take advantage of all the opportunities hybrid vigor provides,” Atkinson said. “Crossbreeding allows producers to incorporate all the benefits of improved weaning weights, milk, [intramuscular fat] IMF and others.”

Shortly after buying his first bull and being pleased with his results, Atkinson went to Cow Creek’s Brangus sale in Mocksville, N.C., where he was introduced to Joe Reznicek’s breeding program. Atkinson has now been using genetics from Cow Creek for the last 21 years by utilizing artificial insemination (AI) techniques.

In 2010, Atkinson began breeding his Brangus cows to a registered Angus bull to create Ultrablack calves, following Reznicek’s model. According to Atkinson, his customers in Georgia, Florida, Mississippi and Alabama want purebred Brangus to perform better in a harsher climate. However, Ultrablack cattle enable him to market his Brangus genetics to his customers farther north of the Gulf Coast states.

2012 Weaned Heifer Crop

“If I’m selling to a breeder in Florida, they need to be Brangus to withstand the heat and humidity,” Atkinson said. “Here, not as many people take advantage of the heat tolerance that Brangus provide. They want Ultrablack bulls with a little less percentage Brahman blood. Registered Ultrablacks allow us to introduce Brangus genetics to those who are skeptical.”

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Informative Trichomoniasis Webinar

Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica recently hosted an informative webinar on trichomoniasis. This webinar supports an educational effort on trichomoniasis this fall in Texas providing great information for both seed stock and commercial producers on developing a trichomoniasis control program, as well as some recent research on protecting bulls through vaccination.

Dr. Soren Rodning, Assistant Professor at Auburn University, and Dr. Mac Devin, Senior Professional Services Veterinarian – Cattle at Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, share their extensive knowledge and advice.

Listen to the webinar and watch the presentation below, or download the webinar .mov file.

If you have any additional questions, contact Lori Maude .

2011 Brangus Show of Merits Results Announced

Champions Named at 2011 Brangus National Show

by Tyler Dean, IBBA Show Coordinator

Brangus exhibitors from six states brought 89 head of Brangus cattle to Shreveport, La., for the 2011 Brangus National Show of Merit on Saturday, November 5. Longtime Brahman breeder Billy Wayne Key, Sr. of Madisonville, Texas, judged the event. Key has multitudes of real world experience in the cattle industry and has raised not only Brahman cattle, but also Angus, Charolais, and commercial F1 crossbreds. Additionally, he has had numerous judging experiences with American cattle and is currently the oldest and longest serving member of the American Brahman Breeder’s Association’s Board of Directors. Throughout the day, Key evaluated 60 Brangus Females, two Brangus Cow/Calf Pairs, and 27 Brangus Bulls.

Grand Champion Female honor went to Doguet’s Diamond D Ranch of McCoy, Texas. DDD Ms Fancie 804W43 a November 5, 2009, daughter of Brinks Bright Side 607L11, first captured the title of Champion Senior Heifer. Coming from the Heifer Calf Division, DCC Ms Black Sally 915X91 took the Reserve Grand Champion Female title home for Dillard Land & Cattle, LLC of Katy, Texas. The September 23, 2010, female is a daughter of Blackhawk of Brinks 607M17. Miss -C- Extra Stylish 826X2 continued her winning tradition for JLS International of Robertsdale, Ala., by being named the Grand Champion Red Female. 826X2 is a September 3, 2010, daughter of R2 Extra Style 880P and was first named Champion Red Heifer Calf. The Champion Red Summer Heifer, Miss PB Princess of Powerman 596/10 was named the Reserve Grand Champion Red Female. Exhibited by Wellmann Cattle Company of Brenham, Texas, 596/10 is a May 2, 2010, daughter of CX Mr Powerman 226/T1.

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First Generation Producers: A Success Story

Photos and Story by Brittni Drennan
IBBA Communications Coordinator

If you have picked up the latest Jan/Feb issue of IBBA’s FRONTLINE Beef Producer, then you have seen the Jasik family featured on the cover of the publication. Just a few short years ago, this father and son partnership established “Jasik Hay Farms”, now a successful, family-owned commercial cattle operation. They breed their commercial cows to Brangus bulls and market Brangus Gold commercial replacement females. A first-generation farm, this young family has a refreshing perspective on the cattle industry.

Jasik Family The Jasik’s Story
There are a few producers in our demanding, competitive industry who inspire all of us to work harder, be more optimistic, and strive daily to achieve our goals while building integrity instead of just a product. These hardworking cattlemen were building fence with their fathers before they were old enough to go to school and driving tractors well before they had their license. They are those kind of producers whom you hold a high respect for. Meet the Jasik family.

Dustin grew up in the little quiet town of Pleasanton, Texas, where he learned all about the cattle business from his dad, Larry. Dustin worked alongside his dad and followed his every step. Everything Dustin knows about feeding cows, herd management, buying bulls and even fixing fence, he learned from his dad.

“My dad is my biggest influence. He raised me and he’s my best friend,” Dustin said. “We help and learn from each other. I guess that’s how we make it as partners.”

Larry and Dustin partnered to establish “Jasik Hay Farms”. They now run close to 500 Brangus cows for commercial production and have 1,300 acres for coastal hay production, but it was not a short road getting to that point. Dustin started his own business from scratch at age 14 when his dad helped him buy his first set of cows. Just three years later, he leased some land and bought 50 Brangus cows. Dustin, who solely through perseverance and hard work, built a successful business without having anything handed to him.

“If you’re starting from scratch, you have to start out small and grow from there,” Dustin said. “We started from nothing 18 years ago, and being a first generation farm sets us apart.”

Dustin’s biggest critic, he said, is his wife, Kate. The young couple met at a dance after Kate moved from Comfort to Pleasanton when she was 18. Kate was unfamiliar with the agriculture industry growing up, and had limited knowledge about the cattle business. Much like Dustin learned from his father, Kate learned from her husband and took new challenges head on.

“I didn’t know anything about cattle before I met Dustin,” Kate said. “He taught me everything I know. Now we just like to drive around and look at cattle on the farm together.”

Kate contributes significantly to the success of the business. While the guys are sorting cows, she examines the quality and helps with culling. With a smile on her face the size of Texas, Kate doesn’t mind getting her hands dirty. She drives the tractor and helps harvest hay in the summer.

Kate also does the marketing work for the family business designing and placing advertisements, managing the website and publicizing the farm on Facebook. She said there are numerous advantages to using social media, and she uses several venues to publicize the family’s achievements and create awareness and publicity for their business. Using platforms such as Facebook directs people to their website and increases visibility. After advertising their big win in San Antonio last year, Kate said she saw an increase in traffic to their Facebook page and website.

“Social media is a source of free advertising that increases publicity without the cost of print advertising,” Kate said.

Other than exploiting Facebook and the farm’s website to increase interaction with customers, Kate is working on starting a blog. She said because more and more people are joining the social media movement, it is advantageous for producers to utilize these new tools to more effectively communicate with a new audience.

“I think there are a lot of younger people wanting to stay in the ag business but don’t have the resources. Advocacy draws people to our industry,” Kate said, “and our industry must keep up with the times and explore new ways to communicate with young people.”

Between feeding cows and helping her husband, Kate does not miss a beat even with a little one on her hip. The couple had a boy, Barin, in May 2011 and are proud to raise him on a farm learning the cattle business just like Dustin did.

“We live here on the farm and working together allows us to spend more time together,” Dustin said. “We get a lot of joy being able to raise our son on the farm and look forward to teaching him a lot.”

The Jasik family has faced difficult challenges just like other producers have recently. Dustin attributes their continued success to being self sufficient with their hay production and the quality of their Brangus cattle.

“We drive on quality in our replacement females. That’s what we raise and what we market,” Dustin said. “We’re not necessarily trying to grow in numbers. We focus on quality and strive to keep satisfied customers, raising what they want and need, and that’s heifers that will breed easily, milk well and handle well.”

Dustin mentioned several reasons why he breeds his commercial cows to Brangus bulls. He said the primary reason he likes Brangus is the breed’s ability to perform in the harsh South Texas climate. Brangus cows breed back more easily, are more docile, handle better and have very little udder problems from what Dustin has experienced. Additionally, he said they always seem to top the market without fluctuating.

“There’s a market for Brangus bull calves or female calves. Brangus adapt well to different climates, they’re hardy, good quality and good breeders with good mothering-ability,” Dustin said.

Dustin said he responds to their customers’ needs and continually focuses on improving quality. To ensure this high quality, Dustin and Larry enroll their females in the Brangus Gold program, a service provided by the International Brangus Breeders Association (IBBA) that verifies Brangus genetics in commercial females.

“Having been using Brangus Gold for a year, [it] validates quality. The tags reassure our customers who are buying our replacement females that we’re breeding to registered Brangus bulls,” Dustin said.

The Jasiks take pride in the business they have built. They consider their biggest reward winning the San Antonio All-Breed Sale Overall Grand Champion in 2011. This was only the second time in the last 19 years that the Brangus breed received the title. They have also had several Breed Champion Brangus Bred Heifers and Pairs over the last eight years.

The Jasiks have an inspiring story to tell- one of tough challenges and many triumphs. Families like the Jasiks motivate us to work harder and live better.

“You can’t just give up the first dry spell you hit,” Dustin said. “You can’t give up because it will pay off in the end.”

Find out more about the Jasiks and their operation by visiting their website at www.jasikhayfarms.com.

Observe Bulls During Breeding Season

If we had not been present to observe the problem, an entire calf crop for that breeding pasture could have been in jeopardy.”
-Glenn Selk
Oklahoma State University Emeritus Extension Animal Scientist

The fall breeding season is about to begin. Herds that aim for a September 1 first calving date will turn bulls with the cows in the latter part of November. Bulls that have been recently added to the bull battery and bulls that have not been used since last year should pass a breeding soundness exam before the breeding season begins. Any newly purchased bull that has been previously exposed to cows should also have passed a test for the venereal disease “trichomoniasis”. Reports from the Oklahoma state veterinarian indicate that 2.5% of bulls routinely tested have been found to be positive for this disease. Visit with your veterinarian soon about breeding soundness exams and “trich” tests to avoid reproductive problems next year and beyond.

A good manager keeps an eye on his bulls during the breeding season to make sure they are getting the cows bred. Occasionally a bull that has passed a breeding soundness exam may have difficulty serving cows in heat, especially after heavy service.

Continue reading the full article to find out how to make the most of your breeding season.

“Where’s the Seedstock Sector Headed?”

The following article is an opinion piece written by Jacob Mayer on the Cattle Call blog.

A Look into my not so Crystal Ball

By Jacob Mayer

“However, one technology that all too often gets overlooked is beef cattle’s only free lunch – crossbreeding and heterosis. It could be the savior for breed associations as maintaining genetic diversity is critical to the long term success of beef…”

A while back I read a short article by Troy Marshall titled “Where’s the Seedstock Sector Headed?” The piece really got me thinking. Mr. Marshall complimented breed associations for their past successes, looked at the current challenges, and speculated on their role in the future. He also commented that he was opposed to the road the pork industry has taken, which has “rendered [swine breed associations] largely irrelevant.” Long before I had even finished reading, I said to myself, “Isn’t that exactly the direction we are headed?”  Why you ask, well here is why:

Trend #1: Small Number, Large Size: Doing more with less
Trend #2: Eating Inside: Individual animal welfare
Trend #3: Dressed in Black: Too much emphasis on hybrids?

Click here to continue reading the full article and find out more on these three trends. Feel free to comment and leave your opinions for discussion.