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BIF Seedstock Nominees

Eight seedstock producers nominated for Seedstock Producer of the Year.

Circle Ranch | Edgewood Angus | McBee Cattle Co. | Rincker Simmentals | Sandhill Farms | Schuler Red Angus | Spring Creeks Cattle Co. | Windy Hill Angus Farm

Circle Ranch
Owners: Tim and Jill Curran and Family, Ione, Calif.
Circle Ranch is owned and operated by Tim and Jill Curran and family and is located in Jackson Valley near Ione, Calif. The Currans are a fifth-generation Amador County ranching family that dates back to 1856.

Circle Ranch has been in the commercial cattle business since 1975, but in 1992 purchased a group of Simmental heifers from Nichols Farms in Iowa to produce bulls for their commercial cow herd. At the time, Circle Ranch was in a partnership with Jim and Rebecca Kirk of Monterey County, Calif. The partnership had a set of Angus-based commercial cows they felt needed some Continental influence.

They liked what the Simmental breed had to offer, but, like many breeds at the time, it tended to be larger-framed. The Nichols heifers they selected accomplished what they were looking for to produce bulls for their commercial Angus-based cow herd. They retained the moderate frame, reaped the benefits of hybrid vigor, increased red meat yield, and ended up with a set of half-blood females perfect for their environment.

Within a few years they were producing more bulls than they could use and started to sell a few. They felt the ideal beef cow was a blend of 25%-50% Simmental and the balance Angus. It soon became obvious that to help their customers maintain females of this percentage the logical solution was to produce composite bulls. Today Circle Ranch markets 90 bulls annually, with the majority of those a SimAngus composite of 50% Simmental and 50% Angus.

Today, Circle Ranch maintains a cow herd containing 350 mother cows of which 275 are registered SimAngus or Angus. The cow herd is nearly all fall calvers, with the heifers calving in mid-July and the cows starting Aug. 1. The cows are summered on irrigated pasture on both owned and leased land in Jackson Valley and near Sloughhouse. The cows are wintered in the foothills also near Ione and Sloughhouse.

In 2007, Circle Ranch partnered with Bruin Ranch (Auburn, Calif.) to create the Beef Solutions Bull Sale. The bull sale is held in September at their home ranch in Ione. In 2009, Beef Solutions marketed 144 bulls, including 70 bulls from Circle Ranch.

The California Beef Cattle Improvement Association (BCIA) is proud to nominate Circle Ranch.

Edgewood Angus
Owners: Pete, Connie and Peter Henderson, West Point, Va.
Edgewood Angus consists of a 200-cow registered Angus herd, which has been developed since the early 1980s from a commercial herd. Pete and his wife, Connie, along with their son, Peter, and in conjunction with their daughters and Peter's wife have managed to make Edgewood a family affair. In 2000, the operation expanded from 75 acres to roughly 450 acres and moved the primary operation from Williamsburg to King William, Va. Since that time, they have all worked very hard on improving pastures, fencing and cattle management infrastructure.

Edgewood Angus has been consigning bulls to BCIA test stations for more than 14 years. During that time they have developed a strong reputation for quality genetics and have had several bulls top the BCIA tests and sales. Consistent, predictable genetics has been the focus, accomplished through the use of proven sires. Customer service is a high priority for Edgewood Angus, and they work diligently to assess the needs of their commercial bull buyers to design genetics that will do the job for them.

Edgewood has been awarded the Bartenslager Award and Premier Angus Breeder Award on two occasions from the Virginia BCIA in 2007 and 2009. In December, Edgewood hosted its second annual on-farm performance-tested open-house bull sale. Select females are offered through consignment sales.

Pete is past president of the Virginia BCIA and is currently the chair of the BCIA Culpeper Test and Sale Committee. He is very active with Virginia Angus and other beef and ag entities.

The Virginia BCIA is proud to nominate Edgewood Angus.

McBee Cattle Co.
Owners: Ron and Teri McBee, Fayette, Mo.
McBee Cattle Co., owned and operated by Ron and Teri McBee, has been located in north-central Missouri since 1979. The ranch presently consists of 1,650 acres of rolling fescue-based pasture in an 80-paddock intensive grazing system that is home to 250 registered Braunvieh/Angus hybrid females and 200 commercial females of mostly Braunvieh-influenced genetics. Utilizing both spring and fall calving seasons, an extensive artificial insemination (AI) program, and several home-raised sires are used to advance both the purebred and hybrid herds.

Beginning in 1999, the best Braunvieh cows have been mated to some of the top performance Angus bulls to begin the development of their first generation F1s, called McBeef Builder Hybrids. Mating their top F1 bulls to their F1 females, they are now producing second and third generation hybrids.

Including bulls from customers who have purchased McBee genetics in a cooperator program, 100-120 bulls are developed annually with a high-fiber, low-starch commodity ration. Performance is measured for growth and carcass traits. After a rigid culling program, only 60% are offered for breeding in an annual selection day sale at the ranch.

Customer service has always been part of the McBee program. Since 1993, bull customers' calves have been grouped and marketed through the McBee Calf Roundups every spring and fall. Customers can see additional premiums through the McBee Gate Cut Heifer Sale and the new McBee Genetic Advantage Program.

The Braunvieh Association of America nominates McBee Cattle Co.

Rincker Simmentals
Owners: Curt, Pam, Cari and Brent Rincker, Shelbyville, Ill.
Rincker Simmentals of Shelbyville, Ill., have been in the purebred beef seedstock business since 1972, when Curt began raising Simmental cattle with his father, Leland. Prior to this, the Leland Rincker family was in the Angus business. Leland was recently recognized as the 2008 Illinois Simmental Pioneer Breeder of the year. The Rincker Simmental herd comprises 80 Simmental brood cows that produce seedstock for purebred and commercial herds. Bulls and heifers are sold through the Illinois Performance-Tested Bull Sale, Mid-American Showcase Simmental Sale, and the farm's Illini Elite Sale. Bulls are also consigned in an Eastern Missouri sale at Bowling Green. Another way to market their genetics is through the farm's website at www.rincker.com.

An aggressive embryo transfer (ET) program has been used for several years to multiply the progeny of outstanding females in the herd. This breeding program has resulted in numerous successes at the Illinois State Fair Open and Junior Shows. The herd is predominantly a winter- and spring-calving herd, although recent interest has led to limited fall calving to enhance the interest in both breeding bulls and females.

Performance testing, expected progeny differences (EPDs) and dollar value indexes ($Values) are stressed at Rincker Simmentals, with these traits combined into a phenotypic package that possesses structural soundness, desirable conformation and balance for the beef cattle industry. Rincker Simmentals have continually consigned several of the top-indexing and selling bulls in the Illinois Performance-Tested Bull Sale.

One of the major components that has allowed the Rincker Simmental operation to succeed is its pasture and grazing program. The primarily cattle farm comprises 265 acres with 105 acres dedicated totally to grazing, 50 acres for hay production and grazing, and the remainder for cash grain production and winter grazing.

Rincker Simmentals is nominated by the University of Illinois Extension and the Illinois Beef Association.

Sandhill Farms
Owners: Kevin and Vera Schultz Haviland, Kan.
Sandhill Farms is a family operation located in south central Kansas near Haviland. Originally homesteaded in 1869, each generation of the Schultz family, which currently is raising its sixth generation, has made its living on the resources provided by the land, principally in Edwards County. Today, as in the past, the operation is comprised of both farming and ranching enterprises.

Roy Schultz originally purchased registered polled Hereford bulls for use on the commercial cow herd in the mid-1940s. His son, Ron, continued this program. Since that time, all females retained for replacements in the commercial herd have been raised on the ranch. In the 1970s, as part of a 4-H project, grandson Kevin bought and started the registered Hereford herd. The herd today consists of 300 brood cows, with about two-thirds being registered and one-third being purebred commercial.

The spring-only breeding program uses AI, ET and cleanup bulls. AI is utilized on all commercial and registered yearling heifers, and top-performing registered cows. The commercial and bottom-end registered cows are used as recipients in the ET program. Sandhill Farms has tested more bulls in American Hereford Association (AHA) sire tests than any other breeder in the last 10 years. After being tested and proven, the top bulls are used in the breeding program. Outside bulls that are highly accurate and proven from multiple herds are also used.

Ultrasound has been used in the program for the past 17 years. At first, little or no improvement was made in this area, as they were addressing other more limiting factors in customer acceptance. However, as they worked toward their goal of making the cattle better, they found outliers that could provide both the type of cattle they knew worked and the backing of proven EPDs. Today, their sale bulls' average EPDs rank in the top 1% of the breed in two of the four indexes, and top 10% in the remaining indexes.

In the cow herd, turning generations is a goal. In their spring sale, they sold all the 5-year-old cows with heifer calves. Prior to calving, the pregnancies are sexed. This allows them to continue keeping all the yearling females, and maintain stability in the cow herd. Next to selling bulls, their favorite thing to do is cull the cow herd. This enables them to improve the overall quality of their cattle. They believe when buying cattle from a seedstock producer, you are buying the benefits and discipline of their culling program.

Sandhill Farms is nominated by the Kansas Livestock Association.

Schuler Red Angus
Owners: Schuler-Olsen Ranches Inc. and the Darrell Schuler Family, Bridgeport, Neb.
Located in the panhandle of western Nebraska, Schuler-Olsen Ranches was started by Darrell and Mary Lou Schuler in 1959 with commercial Hereford cattle. A crossbreeding program was implemented in the early 1970s, and after witnessing the benefits of heterosis and breed complementarity firsthand, a registered Red Angus herd was started in 1976 to develop seedstock for use on the ranch's commercial cattle and to sell to neighboring operations.

The seedstock herd expanded in the 1980s and was improved through AI, utilization of EPDs and a complete performance-testing program. Recognizing the need for identifiable carcass traits, in 1991 Schuler Red Angus began finishing its commercial progeny and collecting carcass data with the assistance of UNL Beef Cattle Specialist Ivan Rush. This program expanded to include structured carcass testing on customer cattle sired by Schuler Red Angus bulls. Greater than 25% of the Red Angus breed's high-accuracy carcass trait sires have been proven by Schuler Red Angus. A composite cow herd was started in 1992, including Red Angus, Hereford, Gelbvieh and Simmental genetics.

The current ranching operation encompasses 17,000 acres, including 2,000 acres of private pasture leases and 1,250 acres of irrigated farm ground. Butch and Susan Schuler and their children, Stephanie and David, manage the operation today with approximately 1,000 head of spring-calving females. The Schulers hosted their 28th production sale this spring, selling 150 Red Angus and Red Angus composite bulls and 40 head of registered Red Angus heifers.

Schuler Red Angus is nominated by the Nebraska Cattlemen.

Spring Creeks Cattle Co.
Owners: Bob and Rhonda Mitchell and sons Matt, Bart and Scott, Wauzeka, Wis.
Near the Wisconsin River in southwestern Wisconsin, Spring Creeks Cattle Co. manages more than 600 registered Limousin, Lim-Flex® and Angus breeding stock. Over the course of 35 years, the enterprise has grown to include 3,000 acres of owned and leased pasture and cropland. While farming is the norm around them, the Mitchells take a ranching approach to their operation and farm to support the cattle, allowing them to optimize their natural resources responsibly.

They focus on producing sound, practical cattle that can be productive in any environment. They have built their cow herd with proven herd bulls and elite AI sires. Their breeding program centers around "breedin' the feedin' kind" and producing seedstock that have a positive effect in today's beef industry. They sell bulls, mature cows, bred females and open heifers off the farm.

The Mitchells raise calves without antibiotics or hormones and promote their naturally lean, meaty carcasses. A portion of their calf crop goes to Laura's Lean Beef and Strauss Free Raised® veal each year. They were happy to help introduce Strauss Brands to the Limousin breed and forge its sourcing agreement with the North American Limousin Foundation (NALF), providing a new marketing opportunity to all Limousin-influenced calves.

The Spring Creeks Cattle Co. crew are proud spokespeople for the industry, including Bart and Amy's appearance on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in 2008 to explain how they raise and manage free-raised veal calves. Their family is involved in a variety of industry organizations, including Bob's recent service on the NALF Board of Directors and his terms as its vice president and treasurer.

The NALF nominates Spring Creeks Cattle Co.

Windy Hill Angus Farm
Owner: Jack Tate, Boaz, Ala.
Windy Hill Angus Farm has been raising registered Angus cattle for 32 years in Boaz near Sardis City, Ala. The cow herd has ranged from 30 to 90 cows, and at present consists of 65 cows and 10 open heifers. The breeding herd consists of primarily a fall calving season from September to January to capitalize on bull evaluations and production sale marketing with a small spring herd calving in March, as well. All breeding females are bred using estrous synchronization and artificial insemination with a cleanup bull for a 75%-90% AI-sired calf crop with 10% of the calf crop produced from the ET program.

All production weights, carcass ultrasound, and average daily gains from an on-farm 84-day test are collected. All performance information has been maintained by utilizing the Angus Herd Improvement Records (AHIR®) for the past 30 years. For years, bull calves and their bloodlines were evaluated by participating in the Alabama BCIA North Alabama Bull Evaluation and more recently in the University of Florida Bull Test. Bulls are also marketed by private treaty, in the Northeast Alabama Performance Breeders Bull Sale, and in Alabama BCIA-sponsored sales. In 2009, Windy Hill Angus conducted its first production sale with guest consignors on the first Saturday in May and conducted its second sale May 1, 2010.

Jack Tate is an active leader in his state and national breed associations. He is a past-president and director of the Alabama Angus Association and has served as a delegate to the American Angus Association national meeting in Louisville, Ky., for the past 20 years.

Windy Hill Angus Farm is nominated by the Alabama BCIA.


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