IBBA Launches Brangus Built Commercial Program

SAN ANTONIO, TX- The International Brangus Breeders Association (IBBA) launched the Brangus Built commercial program designed to help producers identify and garner the added value associated with the Brangus influence of their commercial replacements.

BrangusBUILT tag“The Brangus Built program will give producers who use Brangus genetics an opportunity to highlight those cattle so they can be easily identified,” said Jason Bates, IBBA Director of Field Services and Commercial Marketing. “Most importantly it will help commercial producers looking to purchase Brangus influenced replacements identify those cattle and rest assured they are not just a black or red cow with a little ear.” 

Brangus Built cattle are commercial cattle that are identified as having high valued Brangus influence. The eligible cattle will be assigned ear tags that have the Brangus Built logo along with an individual ID number as well as plenty of room for the producer to add any identification that fits into their program (example: herd ID, dam and/or sire ID, lot number). These tags can stay with that animal indefinitely.

For more than 65 years, the Brangus breed has been known to excel in maternal traits. Brangus cattle have the built-in heterosis from the combination of Angus and Brahman genetics the allows them to transcend other breeds in terms of longevity, fertility, udder soundness, early breed back, and other important maternal traits while still maintaining outstanding performance and carcass characteristics.

The current lows in the nation’s cow inventory and price of feeder cattle has caused a surge in the price of replacement females because so many producers are sending the heifers to the feedlots. The Brangus Built program will help producers maximize their return because a buyer will be willing to spend more knowing those cattle have been identified as having Brangus influence.

In the future, as commercial replacement female prices level off, it will be vital for producers to have an avenue that identifies the added value of their product. The Brangus Built program was designed with that in mind. Contact Jason Bates at (210) 696-8231 to find out about using Brangus genetics and how you can get enrolled for your FREE tags for a limited time, or visit us at www.gobrangus.com for more information.

replacement heifers

Brangus Beat 1.1- Brangus Sales

Welcome to the new “Brangus Beat”. The Brangus Beat is a new educational and information source for IBBA members which will feature topics of interest including market updates, marketing tools, IBBA services, and updates from the IBBA office. This episode gives a market summary of Brangus sales so far in 2014.

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Longevity and Fertility are Profit Drivers for Cattle Operations

by Clifford Mitchell

Reblogged from Cattle Today

DSC_0094_6x4_72Producers in the 21st century beef industry come better prepared than ever before. Continued education programs and an abundance of online resources help cattlemen stay well informed. Record keeping practices have improved and cattlemen have a good handle on the costs associated with their operation.

Tightening margins have forced producers to further evaluate the management plan, running through many different scenarios to find the best production model. For some this was a real eye-opener, for others it reinforced the approach they were taking to manage the herd for a profit. A genetic base complete with a bundle of traits also played a key role in the success of the operation. Many cattlemen have argued with neighbors and colleagues until they were blue in the face over their point of view; however, most will agree longevity built into the female is a definite advantage for most outfits.

“Every year I can keep a cow it cuts my costs $1,500. Because that’s what it costs to get a female into production,” says James Henderson, Bradley 3 Ranch, LTD, Memphis, Texas.

Photo by Penny Bowie

Photo by Penny Bowie

“Operations have to be profit driven. Fertility is a good trait to have and will lead to a long life on many ranches, but females have to be productive. Make sure cows are able to live in your environment, breed back and do it profitably year after year,” says Dr. Robert Wells, Livestock Consultant, Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation in Ardmore, Oklahoma.

“Longevity is one of the reasons we have Brangus females. A lot of times you wouldn’t know that old cow, is not a six or seven year old, because she’s still milking well and raising a good calf,” says Adam Whitesell, Lockwood, Missouri. This operation maintains 600 to 650 Brangus females and retains ownership of the calf crop most years at Decatur County Feedyard in Oberlin, Kansas.

Cattlemen have been programmed into two schools of thought; either buy or raise the replacements that the operation needs. Costs are associated with each method; another big debate among cattlemen looking for the most profitable answers.

“I know it costs us something to get that heifer into production. I have never put a pencil to actual costs. When it’s time, we select our replacements they go to grass and the cull heifers go to the feedyard,” Whitesell says. “I would think a five-year-old after producing three calves would have paid for herself in our program.”

“The cost of a replacement will vary from one operation to the next depending on if heifers are home-raised or bought. The first thing producers need to do is maximize the salvage value of that cull cow,” Wells says. “Quality replacements, from a known source and bred to good calving ease bulls are costing any where from $1,000 to $1,200 in our current market. Most females, depending on the value of the calf she is producing, should pay for themselves by the time they are four or five years old.”

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“Just to break even in our operation a cow has to be six and produced four calves,” Henderson says. “According to my calculations, it costs me $1,500 every time I replace a cow. This includes feed, facilities, pasture, semen and labor. None of these things come without a cost.”

Care and handling of these replacements will bring genetics to the forefront when done right. Management could help these females lead long productive lives just by making the right decisions as they are introduced to the next stage in the production cycle.

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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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Why I Import U.S. Brangus Genetics

carlos ojea_72dpiA fifth generation producer from Argentina, Carlos Ojea Rullan and his family have been involved in the cattle business since 1878. One of the world’s most prestigious cattleman, Ojea has chosen the Brangus breed as a personal investment. In 2010, he started a new cattle company, and after much research, decided that Brangus was the best option for his new operation.

Ojea manages or consults 17 other cattle companies as well as his own family’s operations. In the last 20 years, these ranches have collectively obtained the world record of 124 Grand Champions, Reserve Grand Champions and Third Best bull or female titles in the prestigious global Palermo Show in the Angus, Brangus, Hereford, Braford and Shorthorn breeds.

Ojea has also served as a respectable judge in numerous show rings around the world. In the last six years, he has judged 18 of the most prestigious shows in for the Brangus, Angus, Hereford and Braford breeds. Having judged shows in the United States, Canada, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Paraguay and Colombia, his extensive experience and knowledge makes him one of the most demanded judges in the world.

“I have been involved in the cattle business for 35 years, more than 70 percent of my lifetime,” Ojea said.

Ojea said there were very few things in his life as a cattleman that have impressed him more than the Brangus breed.

“The breed’s versatility and ability to adapt to any kind of land and limitations in the Northern Argentina’s hot subtropical climate really caught my eye since the beginning,” Ojea said. “This part of our country has high temperatures that rise up to 50 degrees Celsius with all the insects and forage limitations that these conditions generate.”

In recent years, Northern Argentina has been showing an amazing increase in numbers and quality of cattle. Ojea recognizes the Brangus breed as one of the contributors of this genetic improvement.

“Because of this phenomenon, the demand of quality bulls and heifers is increasing every year with more breeders getting involved,” Ojea said. “We put a lot emphasis on selecting Brangus that will work in the real world.”

carlos ojea_show

Ojea said producers select for longevity, functionality, productivity, fertility and need to have the capacity to produce good quality meat in subtropical weather conditions. He said their commercial breeders put a lot of weight on phenotype and demonstrate functionality and beef production in one package. “That means moderate frame, thick, deep and powerful bodies as well as short hair,” Ojea said.

“We have been using some American Brangus genetics, both black and red,” Ojea said. “When we look for an American Brangus bulls, we try to find open pedigrees, good EPDs, fundamentally moderate frame and powerful phenotype that will adapt appropriately to our environment. These kinds of American genetics have been very helpful in our advancement in quality.”

Ojea is regarded as one of the most renowned cattlemen of our time, and is well known for his leadership and advancements made in the industry for improving genetic quality.

Brangus Provides New Selection Tools to Commercial Cattlemen

SAN ANTONIO, TX [OCT. 22, 2012]– The International Brangus Breeders Association (IBBA) continues to stay on the cutting edge of the latest technology by providing tools for commercial cattlemen to assist in comparing the expected performance of Brangus sired offspring to that of other breeds. These most advanced tools are Calving Ease EPDs, including Calving Ease Direct and Calving Ease Maternal, which take into consideration the weight and shape of the calf, gestation length and breed of the sire.

“In the past we have only had birth weight EPDs which is extremely important when comparing two or more bulls’ calves within a herd or across herds from the stand point of expected birth weight,” said Joseph Massey, Ph.D., IBBA’s Executive Vice President. “But since birth weight is positively correlated with growth, there has been a tendency for producers to believe that bulls with growth potential will also produce heavier calves, therefore increasing calving difficulty.”

Calving Ease Direct and Calving Ease Maternal clearly help to identify sires that produce calves with growth potential and expected calving ease. While the Brangus breed has always been known as an easy calving breed, the Brangus breed has also become a performance-oriented breed, which has caused some producers to believe that Brangus calves would have calving difficulties like other breeds that have experienced this effect.

Massey said the Calving Ease EPDs will be very beneficial in identifying Brangus sires with both growth EPDs and highly desirable calving ease. This will be even more useful to commercial producers that have already discovered Brangus sired calves have excellent growth with little to no calving difficulties.

Calving Ease Direct is a measure of the ease of which a bull’s calves will be born since it is taking into account more than weight, like shape of the calves, and it is well established that Brangus calves have a tendency to be longer and narrower at birth than the British or Continental breeds. While Calving Ease Maternal is equally valuable, it may not be used as much at the commercial level since many, if not most, calves are terminal and most females never have a chance to produce offspring. However, it will have an important role when commercial females are retained for replacement.

As a commercial producer, understanding Calving Ease EPDs and knowing when and how to use them will pay great dividends, especially when selecting easy calving bulls with high performance EPDs. While Calving Ease EPDs have been available within other breeds, it has not been until the multi-breed models have become available that calving ease could be calculated for composite breeds or percentage cattle as recorded by other breed associations.

All commercial producers interested in evaluating Brangus Calving Ease EPDs are encouraged to visit the www.GoBrangus.com website at or call the IBBA office at 210-696-8231 for information on any specific animals of interest. All EPDs are available to anyone for review.

New Technologies and Old Techniques Key to Young Producer’s Success

By Brittni Drennan, IBBA Communications Coordinator

Most involved in the cattle industry are aware of a potential threat that began creeping up in the minds of producers across the nation and is gaining speed as it quickly approaches. The question lingering among farmers and producers is, “Who is going to lead the future of agriculture”?

While many producers are ready to hand down the reins of their operations, there are fewer young people willing to take over. However, that does not mean there are not still some out there willing to jump in and give it a try.

Brody Wallis grew up in Atoka located in southeastern Oklahoma and was always drawn to the agriculture industry. He was raised on his family’s small ranch in which a commercial cow-calf operation was in place to manage the property as well as keep family ties to the cattle industry. He then began taking more of an interest in the cattle operation as he was exposed to agriculture through 4-H and showing cattle throughout high school in FFA. He especially enjoyed visiting relatives on larger cattle operations in north Texas where he was able to watch and learn how large-scale commercial cattle ranches operated.

Wallis started college at Oklahoma State University with the intent of practicing large animal veterinary medicine. He later decided that he wanted to be in the beef industry in another capacity. He changed his Animal Science option from pre-vet to business and began taking classes in economics and range management to gain knowledge that would prepare him for a future in the cattle industry. His formal education helped Wallis form the basis for a small herd of cows on his family ranch.

“As a long-term goal, I want to be a producer who can make a positive impact in the industry,” Wallis said. “With an aging industry and aging producers, there are going to be more opportunities for young producers to introduce new ideas and perspectives to advance and grow the industry all while maintaining the values and beliefs that leaders ahead of us instilled.”

Wallis grew up around commercial cow-calf operations, but when he went to college one of his goal was to diversify himself within the beef industry. He worked for the OSU purebred cattle operation while obtaining his bachelor’s degree as well as worked for a year in the OSU meat laboratory on the campus in Stillwater. To gain valuable experience in the cattle feeding industry he worked as an intern for JBS Five Rivers Cattle Feeding LLC in Hartley, Texas. Wallis is now about to complete his master’s degree at OSU in animal science specializing in ruminant nutrition while doing his research in grazing stocker cattle and subsequent feedyard performance.

“As young people in the industry, we can bring advanced technologies and higher education back to introduce to the operation,” Wallis said. “And with my background and the mentors I’ve had, I want to provide quality genetics to commercial producers whether it’s Brangus bulls and females or crossbred females.

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