Page 4 - MWC 10-6-2022s
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The Midwest Cattleman · October 6, 2022 · P4

                                         folks rarely no-
                                         ticed.  She  was a
                                         smaller, more ef-
                                         ficient cow that
                                         weaned off one of
                                         the largest calves
                                         every  year.    She
                                         weaned off a high
                                         indexing        calf
                                         every year of her
                                         life.  She was the
                                         one female that
         Not all cows are created        should have been
                                         a  ‘donor  cow’,  but
      equal.                             until the produc-
         No matter what color or         tion was done and
      breed you prefer there is a lot    the data was tabu-
      of variation in the most uni-      lated no one would
      form herds.  There was a time      have guessed it.
      when we had bulls for sale,        Both her sons and
      that I started a kind of game      daughters      were
      with those who would come to       outstanding.  If we
      look  at  cattle.  Cowmen  – at    had been really
      least seasoned, experienced        smart, we would       Remember, genetically speaking, half your herd is the bull – the quickest place to up your game… or end it.
      cowmen have this thing about
      driving all over thunder to look   have figured out how to have a  “Some people say the price is  you can stop speculating (gam-
                                         whole herd just like her.
      through a herd of cows.  It’s                                         too low, some say the price is  bling) quite so much in the cat-
                                            Isn’t it time to stop guessing  too high, but actually the price  tle market.  That’s what you’re
      what we do.  We love to look       and gambling?
      at cattle.  In some places you                                        is just right!  It’s where the sell- doing if you have it all on the
      might drive around half of the        The  cow  that  can  milk  –  er and buyer agree.”  “That’s  line – one day of the year with-
      morning just to find them, but     raising a calf in the top third,  not all,” he continued, “It’s also  out price protection.   It used
      on our place, they would usu-      hold her condition and breed  where the average producer  to be really complicated, but
      ally meet us at the gate – they    back every year is the one you  goes out of business – where he  that’s no longer the case.  It’s
      were that quiet and calm.  Use     are looking for, but today there  goes ‘broke’!”   Now apply that  also not cost prohibitive.
      rotational grazing, and the        is less guessing, or at least  to cows and the cow business.            Let me close by introducing
      cattle will come when they see     there should be.  You can find  Can  you  afford  a  whole  herd  you to one of our new advertis-
      you  coming.    They  know  it’s   that cow a lot faster than we  of average cows?  Maybe you  ers – Missouri Metal Buildings
      time to enjoy a new piece of       used to be able to.  Today, every  can make it work if you are an  (page 9).  Whatever you own
      real estate and the forage that    breed has more reliable data,  above average manager.  Some  that’s worth having is worth
      comes with it.                     indexes and EPD information  are you know – about half.  But  protecting from the elements.
         As I would pull through the     than ever before.  The problem  the above average manager is  Hay, equipment – even your
      gate, my game was to challenge     is very few producers cull hard  not going to be satisfied with  cattle working area and equip-
      the visitor to look through our    enough.  This year is certainly  average, and he (or she) is sure  ment will last longer and hold
      small herd and tell me which       going to change that.   Tough  not going to be guessing – no,  value better under a metal
      cow was the best. “I want you      years make good managers  there is going to be a constant  building.  If you like the idea
      to pick out the best cow in the    better and show below-aver- push to improve based on reli- of dealing directly with a local
      pasture.” I’d say, “Which one do   age managers the gate.  It’s  able data.                             family-owned business, give
                                         not a time to be guessing and
      you think she is?” No one ever                                          Where is the best place to do  them a call!
      passed up the challenge, but       gambling with your livelihood. that?  Remember, genetically             May the Lord bless you in
      very few ever got it right.           For some traits there are no  speaking, half your herd is the  this difficult season – May
         Inevitability, they would       numbers, but they have a way  bull or bulls.   There is where  you find that outstanding cow
      usually choose the same kind       of showing up in the final anal- you  start.    There  is  where  in your herd early in life and
      of cow.  She would usually be      ysis.  That cow out grazing on a  you cull the hardest.  There is  make many more like her.
                                         sunny day when the rest of the  where you pay the most atten- When the dust settles, and it
      bigger than average – maybe
      a real showstopper.   I remem-     herd is in the shade is proba- tion to the information. There  will settle, may you be in the
                                         bly more productive.   The cow  is the quickest place to up your  top half.
      ber one such cow.  Visitors put
      the virtual ‘blue ribbon’ on her   that is more protective at calv- game… or end it.                       Enjoy life’s simple plea-
      more than any other.  Without      ing time may be a challenge,         Genetics is not the only  sures.   The ones that matter
      any real data or history, she      but what are the chances that  place where producers need to  most.
      sure looked the part, but had      she’ll bring in a calf at weaning  stop guessing and gambling.       KwC
      they had her production infor-     time over some others?  Both  A lot of folks are still market-
      mation in front of them, they      of these are hard to measure  ing their entire calf crop on
      would have surely passed her       but will show up in the herd  one day without any attention
      over and looked at the rest a      data eventually.  If we don’t  to price protection.  School is
      little closer.                     have that herd data, we’re just  never out for the successful
         During that decade, records     guessing and gambling.             cattleman.    On  page  eight  of
      and experience came to prove          I remember an economics  every edition, there is a man’s
      that the best – most valuable      lesson where the instructor re- name and phone number.  Pick
      cow in that pasture was one        ally got my attention.  He said,  up the phone and ask him how
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