Western Cowman

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DECEMBER 2016

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57th Annual

KLAMATH BULL & SELECT RANCH HORSE SALE established

1960

FEBRUARY 2-5

2017

Klamath County Fairgounds Klamath Falls, Oregon

Photo: Camy Duncan

Brought to you by the Klamath Cattlemen’s Association

◆ 57th Annual Bull Sale ◆ Replacement Heifer Sale ◆ Select Ranch Horse Sale ◆ Western Trade Show ◆ Stockdog Trials ◆ Open & Mixed Branding ◆ CattleWomen’s Dinner

◆ Beef N Brews ◆ CattleWomen’s Silent Auction ◆ Stock Horse Show ◆ Stray Gathering ◆ KBHS Ranch Roping ◆ Kid’s Events ◆ Sat. & Sun. Ranch Rodeo

For details on Event Center admission go to:

www.klamathbullsale.com • 541-274-1499 December  2016  -

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8 F E A T U R E S The 2017 Calendar

Ranch 8 Marchi A passion for the cattle business and

Montana make this enterprising couple a great read. By Heather Smith-Thomas

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16 Flair for Photography

Her photos are the talk of the industry, because there that good. Meet Kate Roberts. By Kindra Gordon

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Strong 44 Family Four generations strong this Montana family is producing bulls that get the job done. By Tierra Kessler

for Success 48 Recipe This Bozeman establishment is one of the best in the state of Montana. By Kindra Gordon

BE SURE TO GET THE 2017 PULL-OUT CALENDAR

Happy Holidays!

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re g u l ars 5

Trails

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Ridin’ Drag

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Riding the Gap

“Keeper of the Light” By Tyrell Marchant

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The Bull Board

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COVER

“Blessed” By Sherry Danekas

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Index

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Advertisers. -

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“Adding Opportunity & Risk With Weight” By Wes Ishmael

Christmas Eve Treats for All!

“Merry & Bright”

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BUSINESS&ADVERTISING

TR AILS Life is a flame that is always burning itself out, but it catches fire again every time a child is born. ~ George Bernard Shaw ~

Editor

Sherry Danekas sherry@jdaonline.com

Associate Editor

Mercedes Danekas-Lohse mercedes@jdaonline.com

Advertising

Mercedes Danekas-Lohse (916) 837-1432 (916) 849-2725

Graphic Artist

Circulation

Hannah Ballard hannah@jdaonline.com Morgan Fryer morgan@jdaonline.com

Mailing Address P.O. Box 8629, Woodland, CA 95776 Office Phone P (530) 668-1224 National Sales Representative. THE POWELL GROUP, INC. 4162-B Carmichael Court Montgomery, AL 36106 (334) 271-6100 Attn: Davy Taff

Website www.westerncowman.com

Western Cowman, is owned and published monthly except May/June and July/ August combined by James Danekas & Associates, Inc., P.O. Box 8629, Woodland, CA 95776. Subscriptions are $20.00 per year. Presort Standard U.S. Postage Paid: Tucson, Arizona. Address corrections requested. contributing writers: Sherry Danekas, Heather Smith-Thomas, Tierra Kessler, Kindra Gordon, Wes Ishmael, and Tyrell Marchant.

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i i

Wagyu Experience

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2017


OFFERING BULLS SIRED BY:

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MARCHI RANCH Raising Angus and Wagyu in Montana By Heather Smith-Thomas

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e started in 1985 on a ranch just outside Polson and has been there ever since. “I always wanted to get back into the cattle business; that’s my real passion.”

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iz and Jon Marchi are committed to raising top-notch beef animals on their ranch near Polson, Montana. They have a herd of registered Angus cows, and registered Wagyu cattle. Jon grew up on a ranch near Red Lodge, Montana at the foot of the Bear Tooth Mountains. He and his parents and three brothers and sisters moved to that ranch from the Helena area in 1954. “Yellowstone National Park is on the other side of the mountain from Red Lodge and we had terrible problems with grizzly bears in the spring. They came over the mountains and down into the ranches.” Growing up, Jon was in 4-H and FFA and started his own cow herd with one registered black Angus heifer in 1955 when he was 9 years

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old. He graduated from Red Lodge High School and then got a degree in finance from the University of Montana in 1968. He then spent 13 months as a combat officer in the Army overseas. “I came back and got a masters degree in finance from University of Montana and went to work for D.A. Davidson which in those days was still a small company. I was with them for 13 years, and a part owner, working 8 hours a day, 6 ½ days a week. You can do that, when you are young! The company did extremely well and I retired in 1985 and received my share of the profits—and decided to go back into ranching.” He started in 1985 on a ranch just outside Polson and has been there ever since. “I always wanted to get back into the cattle business; that’s my real passion,” he says.

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Liz says Jon is an extremely sharp finance person. “He can do cash flow analysis in his sleep, but his real love is cattle. He has rarely been without a cow of some kind in his life, ever since he owned his first one. When he was in college he’d take out student loans and buy heifers, feed them, sell them and make money, and then buy low cost rental property,” she says. He was able to make enough money to pay off the loans and increase his investments. “Ranching is his love, however, and I hope he can now continue to make enough money to just keep ranching and die here with his boots on. Even when it’s minus 20 below zero he loves it!” she says. She grew up in Auburn, Alabama. “My grandparents were farmers and I enjoyed spending summers there, but my love of cows


had to be cultivated; I was not born with it! I love our two Corgi dogs, but the cows—for me—are an acquired taste. I have come to love ranching and cows, and I’m ok now with sub-zero weather and going out to check cows,” Liz says. Though she and Jon were from opposite ends of the country, they met in Montana. Liz went from New York to run the first privately-funded economic development organization in Montana. “I had a great career in the Southeast but I wasn’t living the life I wanted. I wasn’t really sure what I wanted, but I moved to Montana and have been here 16 years. When I got here, I had a plan—to meet 90 people in 90 days—in conjunction with the economic development organization. I had met with 89 of the 90 people but Jon Marchi was the one person

who would never call me back, or respond to my e-mails. I was very aggressive, but he didn’t know who I was, even though I knew who he was,” she recalls. “Even though he was busy ranching, Jon has always been extremely active in the business community in the northwestern U.S. and in public service. He chaired Montana’s Facility Finance Authority board for 12 years through his two administrations. This board provides tax-exempt bonding for non-profit hospitals, health care centers and drug treatment centers. They put out more than two billion dollars under Jon’s leadership for new hospitals and clinics all over rural Montana and some larger areas like Billings. That’s his no-pay job that he spends a lot of time doing,” says Liz. “I knew he was chairman of the board of Big Sky Airlines and I leased an airplane to take community leaders to Boise, Idaho to see what had been happening in Boise over the previous 20 years. Boise State University had grown a lot and this had become a very outdoor-

friendly community. The president of the airline said they wanted to take their CEO. I was expecting Jon to be a really unpleasant, unattractive person, and was very surprised! Even though our first words were not all that friendly, that changed very quickly,” she says. “We have now been married 11 and a half years and blended a family of 5 kids and have two grandchildren. We share many common interests, and I’ve never been happier in my life!” Liz says. Her office, dealing with equity funds that invest in early-stage companies, is in the upstairs of their barn at the ranch. “I have 300 square feet in the hay barn, some used furniture and a space heater and fan, and have an awesome view. Our ranch is in very beautiful country.” The ranch, though surrounded by mountains, is only 2900 feet elevation, with a mild climate. “It’s an ideal climate for cattle, and we live about 1000 feet above the canyon of the Flathead River. We look across at the Mission Mountains. The grasses here in the Northwest and particularly in our part of Montana

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are incredibly nutritious. Over the years we have gone toward allnatural beef production,” says Liz. She and Jon are also certified members of the Western Sustainability Exchange, with headquarters in Livingston, Montana. This is targeted toward ranches that practice sustainable practices, which include no hormones or antibiotics in beef production. “We are certified annually,” says Jon. This move to producing natural/organic beef is being espoused by more and more beef producers today. “Jon has very sweet cows, bred for good temperament. For the beef program, I get all of the fencejumpers, low sperm producers and other culls and there aren’t that many! We feed out about 8 to 10 a year and I have a private clientele (all over the country) who buy quarters, wholes and halves of beef from me,” she says. “I am also a meat depot and sell retail Wagyu ground beef locally in our Super One store. We have clients who are summer people at Flathead Lake; they come out to the ranch and ask for more! We are not marketing commodity beef; I just love good food and love cattle people,” says Liz.

cattle in 1968. After I got back from the Army I kept finding ways to have some cattle. Even though I didn’t buy any land and was busy doing other things, I leased some land and kept 50 to 100 cows. When I was getting my masters degree I borrowed money from the University of Montana, used it to buy cows and then pay the money back about 6 months later. It was a way to get a start,” he says. “When I left D.A. Davidson in 1985 I bought a ranch here. Then the ranch/farm market went to heck in about 1987. Properties like what I initially paid $2000 an acre for (irrigated land), went down to about $1000 an acre. So I bought several more ranches over the next 4 or 5 years. These are scattered over a 12 mile area but they are excellent places with really good land. This gave me an opportunity to significantly expand the Angus herd,” says Jon. “From that point on I only bought registered Angus. Initially I had one sale a year, but now we are doing 2 sales a year—one in the fall and one in the spring. This was before we got into the Wagyu cattle,” he says. “I had a good relationship with Washington State University and they asked me if I would raise some Wagyu-cross cattle if they provided semen for free. They wanted me to breed 15 to 20 registered Angus heifers to Wagyu bulls, to see what the calves looked like. We did that,

THE CATTLE Jon started with Angus, with his first 4-H heifer. “I slowly built up my Angus herd, then sold those

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and were absolutely amazed at the calving ease,” he says. It was a good combination. “At that point I became involved with the American Wagyu Association. In those days there were only about 25 people in that group, but it continued to grow, and after a few years I became president of the AWA. I did that for 2 years and learned a lot. There are only 2 universities in the U.S. that are following and paying attention to Wagyu cattle—Texas A&M and Washington State University. I learned a lot and we’re still learning,” says Jon. “Our goal (and we are about 90% there) is to produce cattle that are 93.75% Wagyu and 6.25% Angus (from registered stock). The advantage is hybrid vigor. It doesn’t sound like 6.25% would make much difference, but it’s amazing what the Angus breed can do in helping the Wagyu in certain aspects. It creates a good blend.” Most of his buyers for these cattle are commercial cattlemen. It is important to them to have a slightly larger animal than a Wagyu and have the hybrid vigor and better milk production—from the Angus influence. These breeds complement each other. “The negatives on the fullblood Wagyu are inadequate milk production. Some of the lines in this breed don’t have much milk. I have been to Japan a few times to look at their cattle, and typically those breed-


“We are almost there on reaching our polled goal. I think in another 2 years we will be totally polled. This is so important to commercial producers because the last thing they want is to dehorn calves,” Jon says. ers wean calves when they are 2 or 3 months old. We wean ours at 6 to 9 months because our cows are feeding them better. We have taken care of this problem, with the Angus influence. We are also very careful when we buy fullblood Wagyu herd bulls, to look at milk production,” says Jon. “The other negative with Wagyu is horns. We have been working on changing this, for the past 22 years. We have finally gotten our own herd to where 90% of the cows are polled. This is quite an accomplishment because it takes a lot of patience. You start off with an Angus heifer and a Wagyu bull and the offspring are 50-50 (some will produce calves with horns).” The polled Angus trait is dominant but it still doesn’t mean that you’ll get a polled animal after that first cross. You often get scurs or horns. “We are almost there on reaching our polled goal. I think in another 2 years we will be totally polled. This is so important to commercial producers because the last thing they want is to dehorn calves,” Jon says. Liz says Jon does much of the work with the cattle himself. “He does all the vaccinating, etc. We work with a great veterinarian, and often have a 100% pregnancy rate. I think Jon’s finance background has served him well in working with genetics because he is meticulous. He went back to college to learn more about genetics,” she says. “The original Wagyu breed was developed in Japan about 1000 years ago,” says Jon. These cattle were selected and bred to be draft animals. The Wagyu have now been bred for beef for about 75 years, concentrating on producing the best meat they can.” Yet these cattle still have some of the structural strengths and longevity they had originally, and are also very fertile. “Their reproductive ability is

outstanding. The vet we use for our semen testing is always amazed. It’s not unusual for the whole crop of bulls to pass their tests 100%, with no problems. The cows are very good mothers, and easy to deal with. They are good at taking care of their calves, and now we have selected for more milking ability,” he says. “Another thing that is unique about Wagyu cattle that I discovered after living most of my life with Angus is how easy the Wagyu are to handle and move. When moving Angus cattle a long distance they don’t always behave well or stay together as a herd; they are very independent. The Wagyu have a tremendous herd instinct and stay together rather than going off by themselves when you are trying to herd them. It makes life a lot easier when moving them around,” he says. One winter, someone left a gate open and the entire Wagyu herd got out and went into a neighbor’s front yard. Jon went to get them, and they all just went back where he wanted them to go. “They are very easy to deal with and you don’t have to worry about them knocking you over or kicking at you,” he says. In Japan the average producer only has 2 or 3 Wagyu cows to clean up any forage or crop aftermath and then eventually they go to be slaughtered. “If you only have a few cows,

they have to be user-friendly!” SALES AT THE RANCH A few years ago Jon and Liz cleaned out their old hay barn and started doing their cattle sales at the ranch. Then they tried a new idea, with a silent auction. “We got this idea 6 years ago from some of the sales of expensive horses, where the buyers didn’t want their identity known,” says Jon. “The cattle for sale are in pens for the buyers to see. The silent auction starts the first of November and people have 12 days to come look at the cattle. We give them a bid number; everyone has a number rather than a name. Our buyers like this, particularly the ones who are buying a lot of cattle,” he says. “Then we added the idea of a maximum bid. For example, in our sale this spring, we put maximum bids on some of the yearling Wagyu bulls, at $3500. If a person makes the maximum bid, they automatically own the animal and don’t have to worry about someone out-bidding them. This has become very popular, because they don’t even have to come look at the cattle. They see all the information in the catalog, choose the animal they want, and can pay $3500 for it. If they get their bid in before anyone else, they own the animal,” he explains.

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Liz says Wagyu bulls are becoming more popular with Angus producers, for their Angus heifers. We have more buyers now, and sell bulls all over the country. Genetics for Wagyu cattle are limited in the U.S. since the Japanese are not letting any more of their cattle out of Japan. Jon has always bred for good temperament, and it doesn’t make much sense to run an animal through a ring for 2 minutes when you’ve spent 2 years making them be calm!” she says. “We quit clipping, washing and all the things people have to do for selling cattle, and it’s made the sale and buying process much easier for us and for the buyers. It has saved us some cost, and those savings can be passed on to our buyers. When we ship the bulls to their new owners we pay for the first 250 miles, for instance,” she says. “We do a lunch on sale day, for the people who come. Sometimes we’ll have 60 people and sometimes 20—depending on what else is going on. But we have a larger buyer base and it gives them a lot more opportunity to buy from us. The sale catalog can be seen on our website,” says Liz. Last year Jon was on the first team that showed Wagyu cattle at the National Western Stock Show in Denver. “That was interesting because they put us way out on the edge. About 40 people came by to look,” he says. This breed is still new in the U.S. and many people are not familiar with it. THE BEEF Liz has been going with Jon to Wagyu meetings. “Those started

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out very small but at the recent national meeting in Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho there were about 600 people. At the early meeting at Baker City, Oregon in 2003 there were more chefs and foody people than ranchers. I was a vegetarian when I met Jon. I grew up in the Deep South

where beef was very expensive and it wasn’t that good. I am now a complete Wagyu carnivore!” she says. “The Wagyu beef itself is wonderful. There are great Angus steaks, and great Wagyu steaks, but as you go down the chain of cuts to the flank, round steaks, etc. the Wagyu product is superior. We don’t feed out our Wagyu to marble excessively and be hugely fat, because the grass-fed Wagyu is so tasty and tender. The ground beef from our grassfed Wagyu is phenomenal. I like to cook, and win every chili cook-off with our ground beef, winning people’s choice awards,” she says. CONTINUED ON PAGE 13

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“Bozeman, Montana has a highclientele restaurant that we supply, and the grass-fed Wagyu product is so superior to any other grass-fed animal. The flank steaks can be cut with a fork. One of the fun things for me, going to the meetings, was meeting top level chefs. An Australian researcher is currently looking at the actual fat composition of Wagyu beef, so we can make accurate claims about the health benefits. We talk about the omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, and the flashpoint of the fat, etc. The Wagyu fat is actually

the highest—and the higher the better. It takes research to make the health claims, but we are impressed with the protein value of the Wagyu breed,” says Liz. “One of our challenges in this country is that we don’t have people trained to grade this type of beef. Americans don’t raise them like the Japanese do, so their system of grading isn’t going to work that well for us. This is a big issue every year at the annual Wagyu meeting, trying to figure out how we can grade Wagyu

carcasses and train people to grade them. I am a natural/organic person and I don’t want the kind of beef that you’d buy in Las Vegas for $100 an ounce. It’s awesome meat, but I prefer an animal with less fat,” she says. It’s a great product. She enjoys making people aware of the benefits of this beef, and the positive benefits of raising cattle. “And as a gardener I really appreciate that good manure, which has made for an excellent yard and garden!”

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Keepers of the Light

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. Matthew 5:16 Frank and Phyllis ran one of the biggest feedlots in the valley, out on Marion Road, just a couple miles west of the high school. They were cow people in every sense, their ancestors having begun ranching in the nearby high desert country before there was even a town to speak of. They were proud of that heritage, and embraced it with the way they led their own lives. Frank and Phyllis—or whichever employees happened to be near the road—smiled and waved whenever the neighbors drove by, and the neighbors always smiled and waved back from their minivans, threequarter tons and four-wheelers. The feedlot and its owners were very much a part of the fabric of the community, and the community was better for it. Every day at the feedlot, the cowboys rode pens, the feeders filled the feed bunks, and trucks came and went, collecting and delivering their

loads of bovine cargo. It was a soupy mess in the spring, a dusty haze in the summer, and a slick, jagged sheet of muddy ice in the winter. Standard feedlot stuff—for most of the year. Come December, though, the feedlot was transformed into something much more. Tens of thousands—perhaps millions—of tiny bulbs turned the place into a veritable beacon of Christmas magic along a hundred-yard stretch of Marion

Road. Red, green, white, gold, blue, pink—it was a joyous display of warmth against the biting winds that would come whistling across the bare potato and wheat fields. Walking out of the gym after a high school basketball game, folks were apt to look to the west and smile when they saw the feedlot’s glow. Lights spelled out cheerful holiday messages. A few tiny (but big enough for a grown man to step into) buildings were arranged in an Old West-themed Christmas village, complete with a slightly cowboyized Nativity scene. Above it all, Rudolph’s red nose lit the way as he and his team pulled Santa’s sleigh up into the cold, starry night. Everyone in town would, at least once each December, bundle up the kids and head out to the feedlot

to walk through the lights. Neighbors would bump into each other there and exchange warm holiday greetings. It wasn’t at all uncommon for outof-towners to make their way to the famous feedlot with the Christmas lights. In fact, a guestbook was kept on site, and names from Newfoundland to New Mexico, from the Palouse to the bayou, were added every year. A popular game among the locals was to guess at how big a spike Frank and Phyllis’s power bill made in December. The diligent dedication required to pull off the feedlot’s light display, as much as the display

itself, was cause for admiration and gratitude. Frank and Phyllis never made a penny from the endeavor; they were rarely even present to collect on people’s praise and appreciation. They felt they had been blessed, and at the most wonderful time of the year, they wanted to share just a little bit of the light and joy with which the good Lord had filled their lives. A few years back, Frank and

Phyllis sold the feedlot, and the lights were shut off. The new owners are a salt-of-the-earth family, a credit to the community, descended from hardy pioneer stock much like Frank and Phyllis are. I can’t say I blame them for not going to the trouble; I don’t think I would want to, either. But the lights are gone now, and it’s kind of a shame. The magic, however, remains. Not just at the feedlot, but in the myriad acts, subtle or overt, by which people like Frank and Phyllis (and, very likely, you) ensure good tidings of great joy are brought to all people, particularly at this blessed time of year. Merry Christmas!

By Tyrell Marchant

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By Kindra Gordon

A passion for cattle – combined with a photographer’s eye – has created a special niche for Montana’s Kate Roberts.

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here’s a saying that suggests “If you do what you love, you’ll never work another day in your life.” Many people in the cattle industry know that phenomenon to ring true – Montanabased photographer Kate Roberts is among them. She notes that during her days of taking cattle photos and video for sale catalogs and promotions the hours and miles can be long, the weather can be uncooperative, and the projects can sometimes be frustrating, but she wouldn’t trade a minute of it. Roberts says, “This allows me to go places and see the cattle…I love looking at the cattle. I love my customers. It’s fun. I don’t know why I haven’t been doing this for years.”

California Ranch Roots

Interestingly, 33-year-old Roberts just picked up a camera and 16

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began taking cattle photos for sale promotions about two-and-a-half years ago, with her livestock photography business picking up steam in the past year. Her path to get to this point began with her upbringing in California, where she was raised on a commercial cattle operation in the northern part of the state. Her passion for cattle was planted there and she learned the business and developed an eye. She spent most of her twenties in Oregon, with a few years back in California, as an independent dealer for several semen companies and she also devoted time to showing cattle and raising show steers. It was the show ring that introduced her to her husband, Jeremy Roberts. The couple met at the Northern International Livestock Expo (NILE) held each October in Billings, MT. They married three years ago and settled in Absarokee,

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MT. Jeremy owns Roberts Cattle Services, which provides clipping and fitting services prior to bull sales, and in addition to that Jeremy and Kate do many additional projects – raising show steers, hauling cattle, and selling semen. Kate recognized that their Montana location – with numerous seedstock operations and A.I. bull studs in the region – provided an opportunity for cattle photography. She began taking sale photos of bulls and females, as well as bull stud pictures, and as the saying goes, “the rest is history.” She credits her husband Jeremey for introducing her to many of the breeders in the state as she accompanied him to clip sale bulls or while they attended sales and show events together. Many of those respected breeders have now become her photo customers, and Kate’s eye for cattle has resulted in photos that


earn high acclaim from them. As a result, demand for her services has soared. “It’s been a wild ride; it’s been growing so fast,” she says. She attributes her success to her life in the cattle business, saying, “I’ve been around cattle and know what the photos need to look like.” She notes that she has also always had in interest in the marketing aspect of the cattle business. One of her highlights to date was photographing a bull raised by Hinman Angus Ranch at Malta, MT, after he sold for a record-breaking $350,000 in April 2016. The bull, today known as HA Cowboy Up 5405, was at ORIgen when she pictured him for his AI promotional photo. She also has enjoyed taking additional AI sire photos for several of the national semen companies.

On-The-Job

Roberts uses a Nikon camera, but admits, “I’m really not that techie.” She is largely self-taught and says, “It’s good to get out and take as many photos as you can. You make mistakes, and you learn from them.” Roberts has previous graphic design experience, designing ads for Midland Bull Test for a couple years, which she says has provided her a foundation in knowing the design process. While she does not do layout and design today, she says, “I know the process and can help give direction. I know what the customers like.” A portion of Roberts time is also spent on video work, taking promotional footage of sale animals and A.I. sires. She also works for LiveAuctions and will do live broadcasts at sales. Roberts stresses that good videos are an essential part to follow-up a good picture. She says, “There are right and wrong ways to do it.” In addition to the traditional cattle photos, Roberts enjoys taking candid shots of cattle and people while on the job. Her customers often use those images for promotion, websites and calendars.

During bull sale season, most of Roberts’ photo and video work keeps her in Montana, but she has traveled outside of the state some, particularly for picturing AI sires for semen companies. Roberts admits that the hardest part of this job she loves is time management. She tends to be her own worst critic and says, “It’s hard to know when to quit when you are trying to get better.” She also notes that she’s learned it takes a lot of drive, patience and a certain type of personality for photography. She says, “You have to ask yourself all the time, “how bad do you really want it?” She adds, “The best advice I can give in anything and one of the biggest things I have learned is to pay attention to the people who are the best at what they do. Watch, listen and learn.” When asked what customers can do to help get the best cattle photos possible, Roberts advises taking the time to prepare. “Make sure everything is ready before the photographer gets there,” she suggests. From the picture pen being just right, to cattle being clipped – and possibly halter broke. She says, “Whatever little special things the photographer suggests, do it. The outcome of the photos will be better.” She further explains, “Livestock photography is not just taking pictures to me, it is an art. You have about three seconds to analyze the cattle as they walk into the pen, you need to be able | CONTINUED ON PAGE 18 December  2016  -

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CONTINUED FROM PAGE 17 | to look at them and know your picture that fast. I get anxiety over this! People need to understand the importance of being prepared in the pen. Know how to move them, take charge of the pen. In the beginning, I was hesitant at directing, but now, it’s either you get the shot or you don’t. Many of the pictures I take will have the potential to retrieve high dividends based on that one photo. A good photo will make a lasting impression; it is an essential part of a

Kate Roberts exhibiting cattle

good marketing program.” Looking ahead, Roberts says she is enjoying this “job” that has come into her life. She counts herself very fortunate and concludes, “The people are great. Montana feels like the place I’m supposed to be.” Find Kate on Facebook at Kate Roberts (Roberts Cattle).

A good photo will make a lasting impression; it is an essential part of a good marketing program. 18

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By Tierra Kessler

WC

T

he Heiken family strives to produce cattle that stand up to harsh winters and hot, dry summers. This family run ranch, located in Broadview, Montana, was homesteaded in the early part of the century and now has its fourth generation involved in management. John, Brian, and Ben are involved in the day to day operations along with their father, Joe. In 1992, Joe Heiken made the decision to start JC Heiken Angus & Sons with the purchase of embryos

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from Van Dyke Angus Ranch. Prior to this purchase, the family had run some Hereford cattle on the ranch. About 700 registered Angus momma cows are expected to calve this year, which provides a busy winter for the family. However, the cowherd has been designed with fertility and efficiency in mind, helping the cows calve easy and raise big calves with little to no assistance. Running the pairs on hard, dryland pasture without creep ensures that poor-doing cattle don’t stay in the herd and cows with the ability to

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hold up and wean good calves continue to pass their genetics on to replacement females and sale bulls. Everyone works together daily to get chores done around the ranch. While the families all live on separate parts of property, a typical morning will start with John feeding any animals currently in the feedlot while Brian and Ben might be found processing cattle or checking calving pens. The boys run their cattle in with Joe’s but each one has his own set, which is represented through the


females as replacements rather than bringing in genetics through females from outside herds has also helped them develop their ideal set of cows. “We keep our own heifers back rather than buying females because ours have the look that we like,” John said. “We have never had to try to buy cows because we keep that top replacement.” When you go through the Heiken herd, you’ll see “the look” that they talk about. The cattle are thick topped and deep bodied, making them easy-doing with the ability to milk and wean big calves. Recently, the decision has been made to take advantage of purchased herd bulls. Watching the first few calf crops of these young sires allows the ability to know exactly how a bull performs compared to others. Using that knowledge to their advantage helps the Heikens to use bulls they own to

continue producing ideal cattle for their environment. “We use the best bulls we can find,” John said. “Our herd bulls are pretty well second to none and we get better calves because of them.” JC Heiken bulls give commercial cattlemen in Eastern Montana and high-desert Wyoming country the ability to introduce efficient genetics to their cowherds. Their bulls should sire soggy-made calves that come small and grow to wean heavy, even in tough environments. Heiken bulls are ready to get out and travel tough country without worry of them falling apart. “We keep bulls in fairly large pens,” John said. “We don’t get them as heavy - big enough to realize potential and not over fat. We don’t feed too hot so we have better luck with feet. Our bulls will be better muscled and not as fat as other yearlings so

various prefixes shown when one flips through a JC Heiken sale catalog. “Dad set it up pretty well,” John said. “We each have our own cows within the herd, use our own bankers and own a piece of our own land. But all the cows run together and we work together.” Since the purchase of those original embryos, the Heikens have chosen to move away from embryo transplant work. They focus on bringing new genetics into the herd through nationally proven sires and the acquisition of elite herd bulls. Retaining their own December  2016  -

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they don’t melt when they get turned out.” For 20 years, the Heikens sold only private treaty through word of mouth. Their bull customers were pleased with the results of their purchases and in turn were eager to talk about those genetics with their neighbors. Word of mouth is the only type of marketing that can’t be purchased,

so it is a true testament to the quality of the cattle you see on a trip to the Heiken ranch. They have been able to sell bulls based on nothing but customer success. However, 10 years ago they decided to begin offering the top third of their bulls in a sale held at the Miles City Livestock Commission. This sale is held annually on the last Tuesday in February and offers everyone

February 8th, 2017 - Echo, Oregon

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Richard Correa (541) 449-3558 ~ Devin Correa (541) 379-0632 Cell Email: meadowacresangus@msn.com ~ www.meadowacresangus.com

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an equal chance at 130 top yearling bulls. When the sale is over, there are around 150 bulls offered private treaty at the ranch. A bull sale in the middle of a Montana winter causes weather to be one of the bigger worries they face. Therefore, the sale is also offered online through an auction service with Bill Pelton. Buyers can see videos of the bulls and place phone bids if they can’t get off the ranch due to work or weather. Free wintering and delivery within 500 miles comes with the purchase of a Heiken bull along with a warranty that’s based on simply making customers happy. “Our warranty is if anything is wrong or you don’t like him, we’ll give money back or replace him,” John said. “We have a 100 percent guaranteed warranty. If you don’t like the bull, we’ll make it right.” However, the Heikens have little worry about warranty as their bulls continue to prove themselves in tough desert country. Their calves tip the scales at weaning and show the worth of their genetics with ease. Cattlemen throughout Montana, Wyoming and the Dakotas proudly use JC Heiken Angus & Sons genetics with confidence. Contact the Heikens and learn more about their upcoming bull offering and current herd sires by visiting jcheikenangusandsons.com. Be sure to join them in Miles City on February 28 to purchase your next herd bull.


Have A Happy Holiday Season!

A Big

Thank You To All Of Our Buyers This Past Year!

See Our Consignments At The 2017 Klamath Bull Sale on February 4th!

PHEASANT TREK 916-849-2725

The Danekas-Lohse Families

916-768-1431

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Recipe

Success Open Range Restaurant makes guests at home in Bozeman. By Kindra Gordon

I

nteresting food, friendly people, western ambience that pays tribute to Montana’s ranch country, plus the magic touch of owners Jay and Mary Bentley and their hardworking staff, and you’ve got the recipe for their highly acclaimed Open Range restaurant at 241 East Main Street in downtown Bozeman. The venue opened in late September 2013, and Jay says, “We’ve been pleased with the outcome.” Jay likes to describe the restaurant as “a steakhouse with lots of interesting options.” Indeed. Baked brie and smoked rainbow trout are among the starters, entrees – in addition to several steaks – include duck breast, pappardelle and a changing selection of fresh seafood. Specialty sides, like smoked mashed potatoes and mac and cheese with chives, bacon and cheddar, along with unique sauces from truffle butter to caramelized whiskey

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onions, give patrons the extra details that move dining from good to great. While their menu changes often to keep it fresh and exciting, Jay says one focus doesn’t waver: “Our primary emphasis is on beef and bison.” He notes that they do some in-house aging of their meats, and, when available, offer some grass-fed cuts.

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They are also committed to featuring local fare. “We strive to purchase beef from local Montana ranchers, our pork comes from Whitehall, MT, and our lamb is raised in Big Timber, MT,” he tells. Local greenhouses supply the produce, herbs and tomatoes. As an aside, the pork chop –served with creamy polenta, braised greens, local tomatoes


and chimichurri butter – is one of Jay’s favorite menu items. Wait staff are encouraged to visit with patrons about the local sourcing of the food – Jay notes it adds to the customer’s experience and better connects people to their food. In addition to the wonderful offering of cocktails, wines, food and desserts, Open Range is also

raved about for its ambience. Located in a 6,240 foot industrial space that once housed a car dealership, the restaurant boasts high ceilings with steel beams, large windows and concrete floors. Mary, whose background is in interior design, chose earthy colors and warm woods to add the essence of Big Sky country. One of the fun features in

the restaurant pays homage to man’s best friend – dogs. Jay explains, “People in Bozeman are crazy about their dogs and Mary really picked up on that. The city has three different dog parks. So she incorporated into the ambience a long wall with black and white, 8x10 photos of people’s dogs. In our previous restaurant (The Mint Bar | CONTINUED ON PAGE 50

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and Café in Belgrade, MT) we filled a wall with pictures of friends and customers and this is the same concept. People love it.”

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 50 |

Not Their First Rodeo Opening a successful restaurant is not new to Jay and Mary Bentley. He grew up in St. Louis, and his love for food earned him a spot training under New Orleans chef Daniel Bonnot in

one of the city’s best French restaurants. Mary’s a “Michigan gal” with a flair for interior design. Jay’s first restaurant the Continental Divide opened in Ennis, MT. in 1982. In 1994, Jay opened the Mint Bar and Café in Belgrade a classic western steakhouse and with the help of Mary it became a Montana legend. In 2012, Jay authored his first cookbook – titled Open Range: Steaks, Chops and More from Big

WAtch AnD biD live eveRy WeDnesDAy:

cAttleusA.cOM

Wishes You A And A

THD ©

Join Us Ringside at Galt winter sale schedule

special Feeder sale – Wednesday, December 14 customer Appreciation lunch & sale – Wednesday, December 21 closed for the holidays – no sale on December 28 & January 4 special Feeder sale & First sale of 2017 – Wednesday, January 11

Representatives Jake Parnell .......916-662-1298 George Gookin....209-482-1648 Mark Fischer ......209-768-6522 Rex Whittle .........209-996-6994 Joe Gates ...........707-694-3063 Abel Jimenez ......209-401-2515 Jason Dailey .......916-439-7761

12495 stockton blvd., Galt, cA 95632

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Office ..................209-745-1515 Fax ......................209-745-1582 Website ........www.clmgalt.com

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Sky Country. It was inspired by his experiences at the Mint Bar and Café as well as, “traditional food I grew up with,” he says. The book is a collection of food philosophies and stories along with Cajun, Creole, French, and Italian influences woven throughout the recipes. When Jay and Mary set their sights on opening a restaurant in Bozeman in 2013, the Open Range name seemed appropriate. Above all, Jay says their aim with their newest restaurant is to be welcoming to everyone. “We do not want to be a big city restaurant. We want everyone to walk in the door and feel comfortable.” There’s no dress code, kids are welcome and they have their own “grown-up” menu. Jay credits his wife for the success of the restaurant; she designed it and runs it. She’s a great manager who has the ability to see the big picture.” He acknowledges that turnover can be one of the greatest challenges in the restaurant business – but he adds, “She has built a great team.” To that end, it is also the people that Jay counts among the rewards. He notes that Bozeman gets a steady stream of visitors from all over the country and world. They come attracted to Big Sky country, skiing and Yellowstone National Park. He adds, “The people you meet are incredible: presidents, actors and tycoons, statesmen and politicians. People love great food, and everyone likes to know the owner. We love food and wine, but the best part of the business is the people we meet.” Open Range operates every night, opening at 5 p.m. Learn more at www.openrangemt.com.


A BIG THANKS goes out to all of our consignors and buyers who have supported Producers - Madera this past year. We sincerely appreciate your business and look forward to an even brighter 2017.

(559) 674 - 4674

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Trent Stewart

809 N. Main • Colfax, WA 99111 (509) 397-4434 Cell: (509) 989-2855 Email: cartha@colfax.com

Auctioneer

(541) 325-3662 tsauctions@gmail.com

WESTERN REGION FIELD REPRESENTATIVE AZ, CA, ID, NV, OR, UT, WA (208) 369-7425 mholt@hereford.org

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Quality Angus Bulls & Females available at the Ranch

Home of Quality Calving-Ease and Growth Bulls David & Jeanene Dal Porto 694 Bartlett Ct. • Brentwood, CA 94513

925/634-0933

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Double Eagle Ranch The finest in Red Angus genetics.

Sires:

Consensus, Hoover Dam, Brilliance, Mytty in Focus, and New Design 878

Brown Alliance X7795 Reg# 1384813 Doug, Betty, Dave Dunn

9695 Lowerbridge Way Terrebonne, OR

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Kay Siller 1453 Bogue Road Yuba City, CA 95993 530/674-7136 • 530/755-7357 kzangus@neteze.com

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619 East 400 South • Jerome, Idaho 83338 (208) 308-8220

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Jim Coleman, Owner Doug Worthington, Manager

Brian & Joan, Managers “Angus Cattle With Practical Balanced Genetics”

2702 Scenic Bend  •  Modesto, CA 95355 209/521-0537 • www.vintageangusranch.com

3623 W. King Road  Kuna, ID 83634 (208) 465-4516  (208) 899-0530

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Dr. Neal Dow•PH/FAX (541) 477-3332 28000 SE Paulina Hwy•Prineville, OR 97754 Contact: R.L. Freeborn•PH (541) 480-2471 RLFreeborn@aol.com

Willis & Cindy Kinder • Laura Hooper • Roderick Atwood 2225 S. 1200 E., Bliss, ID 83314 • 208.358.2322 Email: tlcangus@hotmail.com Doug, Jackie & Jake Kohntopp 1078 Hwy 25, Jerome, ID 83338 • 208.324.5342 Email: j.kohntopp@yahoo.com

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BR ANGUS

CHAROL AIS

Romans Brangus Production Sale March 14th, 2017

Bulls with Beef.

Bulls available at the ranch Carolyn Belden 1483 Lone Tree Rd. Oroville, CA 95695 530-534-0585

Registered Brangus Bulls and Females Greg Romans Cell: (541) 212-1790 Vale, OR • 541/473-3822

150 Bulls • Westfall, Oregon Ask us about our Bull Buyer Incentive Program with Agri Beef

Bill & Cindy Romans 541-358-2921 Jeff & Julie Romans 541-358-2905

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Angus • Sim-Angus • Gelbvieh-Angus Composite Cattle Available Tom Price 541-969-8970 43215 Old Wingville Road, Baker City, OR 97814 Email: interwest@wtechlink.us

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Carl, Susan & Tracy (530) 846-4354

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Steven, Amanda & Joseph (530) 864-2855

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Miguel A. Machado President 25525 E. Lone Tree Road • Escalon, CA 95320 Office: (209) 838-7011 • Fax (209) 838-1535 Cellular (209) 595-2014

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Representatives

JAKE PARNELL........................... (916) 662-1298 GEORGE GOOKIN....................... (209) 482-1648 MARK FISHER............................. (209) 768-6522 REX WHITTLE.............................. (209) 996-6994 JOE GATES.................................. (707) 694-3063 ABLE JIMENEZ............................ (209) 401-2515 JASON DAILEY............................ (916) 439-7761

D e c e m b e r   2 0 1 6

12495 STOCKTON BLVD., GALT, CA 95632 (209) 745-1515 Office • (209) 745-1582 Fax Web: www.clmgalt.com


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Logan • Semen, Storage and shipping • Liquid Nitrogen, tanks and A.I. supplies available • Semen marketing assistance through Hoffman A.I. Breeders sire directory

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5 J Angus .....................................................52 American Livestock Mortality ...............51, 55 Bar CK Cattle Company .............................54 Bovine Elite..................................................53 Broken Arrow Angus Ranch.......................52 Buchanan Angus......................................... 52 Cattle Vision ............................................... 57 Cattlemen’s Livestock Market ................... 50 CD “Butch” Booker ....................................52 Crystalyx..................................................... 51 Dal Porto Livestock .................................... 52 Double Eagle Ranch................................... 52 Dow Ranches.............................................. 53 Escalon Livestock Market ...........................54

Genoa Livestock ......................................... 54 P.W. Gillibrand Cattle Co. ...........................57 Hoffman A.I. Breeders................................55 James F. Bessler.......................................... 55 JC Heiken Angus & Sons.............................. 2 JDA Livestock Sales Management.............. 54 KC Angus.................................................... 53 Kerndt Livestock Products......................... 55 Kessler Angus .........................................7, 53 Klamath Bull Sale .........................................3 Meadow Acres Angus ................................. 46 Mile High Wagyu Sale ..................................6 Nelson Angus ............................................. 53 Norbrook ............................................ 12, 13,

Pheasant Trek ...................................... 47, 53 Prestige Angus ............................................53 Price Cattle Company ................................ 54 Pristine Springs Angus................................53 Producers Livestock ................................... 51 Rancher Lives Matter .................................15 Reynolds Brothers ..................................... 53 Romans Brangus........................................ 54 Romans Ranches Charolais.........................54 San Juan Ranch ......................................... 54 Scales Northwest .........................................51 Schohr Herefords .................................54, 59 Siller Ponderosa Angus .............................. 53 Snyder Livestock Company, Inc. ............... 55 Tehama Angus Ranch ................................ 53 TLC - Sugar Top Angus............................. 53 Trent Stewart ..............................................52 Universal Semen Sales................................ 55 Vintage Angus Ranch..................................53 Western Cowman ........................................43 Western Cowman Cookbook .................. 60 Wyman Creek Brangus .............................. 54 2017 Western Cowman Calendar January ......................... Red Bluff Bull Sale February ..................... Snake River Bull Test March....... Calif Angus Breeders Female Sale April ................... Western Stockman’s Market May ...................... Turlock Livestock Market June ................ Cattlemen’s Livestock Market July ............................ Arellano Bravo Angus August .............................. Schohr Herefords September .................. Vintage Angus Ranch October ...... Western Red Angus Association November............. Dos Palos Y Auction Yard December ........................................JR Ranch

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Adding Opportunity & Risk With Weight “When feeder cattle markets are in balance, prices for lighter-weight feeder cattle adjust to account for the cost of gain to put the additional weight on those cattle such that feedlots are relatively indifferent to buying feeder cattle of various weights,” says Derrell Peel, Extension livestock marketing specialist at Oklahoma State University, in his weekly market comments the first week of November. “This is what we observe on average most of the time. Sometimes, anomalies will develop in feeder markets which create different incentives for producers.” This is one of those times. “In January of 2015, when markets were near their peak we had a difference of nearly $100/ cwt. between cattle weighing 400500 lbs. and cattle weighing 800-900 lbs., while last week that difference narrowed to about $20/cwt. for the same weight ranges,” expained Brian Williams, livestock economist at Mississippi State University, in the Nov. 7 issue of In the Cattle Markets (ICM). “Even when we factor in the lower prices in general, we have gone from a 50% price differential in early 2015 to an 18% price differential last week when compared to nearby feeder futures prices.” “It is very clear that feedlots are placing a large risk premium against lighter feeder cattle,” Peel explained at the end of October. “It could be that feedlots simply don’t want lighter-weight cattle because there is an ample supply of heavy feeders which they often prefer to feed. However, the year-overyear decrease in September feedlot placements and the fact that feedlot inventories are barely 1% above last year, despite the fact that there lots more feeder cattle, would suggest

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that feedlots are not attempting to grow feedlot numbers very fast.” To illustrate the point, Peel shared an example from the week of Oct. 21: steers weighing 826 lbs. (average of federally reported Oklahoma Auctions, Medium and Large #1) had an average prices of $121.59/cwt. Marketing Pounds Now or Later “Given that price, and assuming that feedlot cost of gain is $0.70/ lb., feedlots could pay as much as $141/cwt. for a 600-lb. steer,” Peel explained. “However, the average price for 600-lb. steers last week in Oklahoma was $119.78/cwt. In fact, the price of 550-600-lb. steers was less per pound than all heavier animals up to 850 lbs. There was less than $2/cwt. difference in prices for steers from 600 to 850 lbs. The point is, according to Peel, the market is encouraging cattle to stay in the country longer and come to the feedlot later. “While it still may have been ideal for cow-calf producers to have sold their calves back in late August/ early September before prices came tumbling down, many producers were not able to take advantage,” Williams explains. “The next best alternative may be to place a hedge or a put option to manage downside price risk and hold onto the cattle through the winter to take advantage of the narrowing price slide.” Considering the lighter auction receipts through the first week of November, along with fewer yearto-year feedlot placements, more cow-calf producers are delaying marketing, at least for now. “Calf and stocker prices this fall have been sharply undervalued relative to heavy feeder cattle because

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stocker demand has not yet kicked in to replace weak feedlot demand for these lighter cattle,” Peel explains. “For cow-calf producers with calves to sell, the same signals suggest that retaining calves for stocker or backgrounding should be evaluated. Certainly, pushing lots of calves into a yearling market next year has risks and means that conditions have to be monitored carefully going forward, but the big market signal is clear: there is a need to slow cattle down and spread them out over time and that provides opportunities in the country.” In the meantime, Williams says a broader implication of the narrowing prices across calf and feeder weights could be a short-term boost to calf prices overall as cattle feeders compete for fewer cattle than they expected, as more cow-calf producers hold on to calves. “This is likely one of the primary drivers of the temporary bull market that we have seen over the last couple of weeks,” Williams explains. “But, as Stephen Koontz (agricultural economist at Colorado State University) said in the previous week’s ICM, the fundamentals are still bearish in the long term, making risk management a major key for anyone thinking of buying/retaining cattle through the winter.” Heading into Next Year “There continues to be a wide variation of opinions about the cattle market in 2017,” says Chris Hurt, agricultural economist at Purdue University, in the Nov. 7 Weekly Outlook: Cattle Prices, More Room for Recovery? “Cash cattle prices have recovered about $7 in the


past three weeks. Futures prices also recovered. However, futures traders remain far more pessimistic than the current fundamentals seem to suggest. Using futures prices on November 7 as a proxy for cash prices suggest 2017 finished cattle would average in the higher $90’s. USDA analysts who use fundamental price models are forecasting the average finished cattle price to be $112 to $121. The mid-point of their forecast range is $116.50/ cwt., which is more consistent with current supply and demand expectations.” One of the keys to price wonderment is the growing supply of beef and other livestock protein. “In calendar year 2016, U.S. total red meat production will increase about 3.4% compared to 2015,” say analysts with the Livestock Marketing Information Center. “Looking ahead to 2017 and 2018, forecasts call for more year-over-year increases. Next year, beef production may increase 4%-5% year-over-year, while pork output rises up to 3%. Along the way, retail beef prices should continue adjusting to lower wholesale beef values, albeit slowly. “Into 2017, retail beef prices will likely continue to decrease and marketing margins will likely decrease with a greater share of the retail beef dollar getting back to the cattle price,” Hurt, says. “While it is difficult to accurately predict how large this impact will be, it seems within reason to expect about an $8 to $12 improvement in finished cattle prices just based on narrowing marketing margins in 2017.” Hurt adds that international trade should add support to cattle prices next year. “As U.S. beef prices come down in 2017 there will be less beef imports and more beef exports. USDA’s current projections are for 11% less beef imports and a 6% rise in beef exports,” Hurt explains. “Even though U.S. beef production could be up 3-4% in 2017, the positive impacts of trade mean The Western Source for Superior Hereford Genetics that per capita beef supplies in Bulls, Females & Semen Available the U.S. may only rise less than • Packaged Beef Sales Available Fall of 2017 • 1%. If demand stays similar, 2017 For More Information Visit: finished cattle prices would be www.PWGCATTLE.com expected to be modestly lower than this year’s $118 to $120.” Dwight Joos, Manager 805/428/9781 dwight.joos@pwgcoinc.com

Office 805/520/8731

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A Family Tradition of Superior Hereford Genetics

Thank You to All of Our Buyers in 2016 Antelope Creek Ranch • Red Bluff, CA Richard Bettencourt • Atwater, CA Dorrance Ranches • Salinas, CA Jess Ranch • Ione, CA Ben McRae • Jamestown, CA Thomas Osborn • Angels Camp, CA Dan Sachau • Livermore, CA Jan Smith • LeGrand, CA

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

Carl & Susan Schohr

P.O. Box 391 • Gridley, California 95948

ricencows@schohr.com • 530-846-4354

WWW.SCHOHRHEREFORDS.COM

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c/o James Danekas & Associates, Inc. P.O. Box 8629 Woodland, CA 95776

What’s onYour wish list this Christmas?

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