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The Midwest Cattleman · October 27, 2022 · P16
       Building a Case for Shorthorn

                                                                    By Brenda Black

         Lazy  Bar F,  near Chick-       based on one recommenda-
      asha, Ok., is not a ranch          tion: Invest in more genetics.
      passed down through many           That meant upping the game
      generations. In fact, owner        and  increasing  the  numbers
      Don Ferguson has been at it        to make room for father and
      for only 25 years. His daugh-      daughter to have a go in the
      ter  Kim came  aboard  10          seedstock industry together.
      years ago. Neither had much           Between      two    demand-
      experience in the beef busi-       ing careers, the duo has ne-
      ness, but their short sprint       gotiated work loads on the
      from 16 cows to 120 pasture        ranch, with Kim covering
      performing Shorthorns is           everything Monday through
      measure  of their  shared de-      Wednesday, and Don on duty
      termination to make a case         when Kim works Thursdays
      for Lazy Bar F.                    and Fridays at the Clinic.
         As an estate attorney, Don         “Weekends are up for
      knows how to litigate for a        grabs,” Kim said.  “We plan
      client. In this situation, it's    breedings and A.I. timings on
      his cattle he represents. After    weekends too. We A.I. about
      partnering on a small herd         50 head - all the heifers and
      with a neighbor and friend         some of the cows.  We'll put
      who owned Shorthorn, Don           embryos in around 40 head
      struck out on his own, and         also.”
      added to his resume: Short-           During spring and fall calv-
      horn breeder.                      ing seasons, they both jug-
         In 2012, his daughter           gle early morning  and after
      moved from Arizona back to         work to make herd checks. If  said.  “I figured out when I  ly,“My dad is a character. He
      Oklahoma with her husband,         they're watching heifers, it's  got the herd up to around 40  doesn't smoke, but just chews
      Air Force Lt. Col. Mike Sand-      home on lunch break too.           head, that a guy working by  on a big ol' nasty cigar all the
      ers, and their three-month-           “We enjoy it,” said Kim, “I  himself -- it's all he can han- time. He doesn't look like or
      old daughter  Talia. Once          enjoy doing it with my dad  dle. Up to 150 breeding cows,  act like an attorney. He's laid
      relocated, she filled an open-     and spending time with him  there's no way one person can  back in a lot of ways, but he's
      ing  at the Verden Veterinary      more than I would otherwise.  do  it when  they  have a  job  pretty  set  in  his ways  too. I
      Clinic as one of four lead vets.   We have conversations about  elsewhere. Even with both of  hope I have some of his char-
         “Dad looked like he need-       breeding and what we're  us, there are times when it is  acteristics. He likes to  joke,
      ed some help,” Kim said. “He       going to do next. And now my  hard to get it all done by 8:00  but cares about every per-
      was in a good job, and it was      10-year-old daughter partici- or 9:00 o'clock at night.”             son he meets. I hope I have
      getting to be too much work        pates as well.”                      While the day-to-day du- that.”
      to do alone. He was thinking          Between them, every ani- ties are divided, Don proudly               The quality of their adult
      he'd just put an Angus bull        mal divided among four loca- proclaims that he leaves the  friendship has blossomed
      on them and stop the Short-        tions is seen at least once a  breeding decisions to Kim.            since Kim stepped in to part-
      horn deal. I didn't think that     week.                                “The quality of our cattle  ner on the cattle. The quali-
      was a good idea.”                     “I enjoy cattle and work- are a lot better under her  ty of the herd has advanced
         Kim presented her case          ing  with my daughter,” Don  management!” Don said. “So,  as well. Even as Kim has in-
                                                                            I leave the breeding to her.  creased the worth of the herd
                                                                            Period. And I don't mess with  through genetic selection,
                                                                            show calves. She lives next  docility of Lazy Bar F Short-
                                                                            door to me and keeps the  horns has been -- from the
                                                                            show calves at her place, so  beginning, and will always
                                                                            she and my granddaughter  be – the one trait that won't
                                                                            can work with them.”              be forgotten.
                                                                              As adamant as Dad may be,          “I used to hunt quail with
                                                                            his daughter's verdict is a bit  a  friend  who  had  a  large
                                                                            different. When asked if her  herd of black cattle,” Don
                                                                            attorney dad's go-to strategy  said, “and I told him one time
                                                                            for conveying his ideas would  I was going to get rid of my
                                                                            be: A. Plea his case, B. Take  Shorthorn and get black cat-
                                                                            the 5th, or C. Have no fur- tle, because I was tired of get-
                                                                            ther questions, Kim laughed  ting dinged for red cattle in
                                                                            when she answered,  “Plea  the market. My friend said,
                                                                            his case, most definitely. But,  'You don't make a living like
                                                                            I think he would answer, 'I do  I do, with the cattle. But, if
                                                                            what I'm told,' but that's not  you got hurt, you would lose
                                                                            entirely true.”                   much more money from time
                                                                              Kim added affectionate- off at your job, or worse. With
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