"The Grit" - Winter 2023 - Town Creek Farm Newsletter

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Town Creek Farm

The Grit welcomes your inquiries and feedback. The Grit is published by Town Creek Farm, West Point, Mississippi.

Town Creek Farm

Milton Sundbeck, Owner Office: 32476 Hwy. 50 East West Point, Mississippi 39773-5207 www.TownCreekFarm.com

Joy Reznicek Sundbeck, President (205)399-0221


Cody Glenn, Ranch Manager (601)508-8689



Clint Ladner • (662) 812-8370

Logan Perry • (863)634-4810

Michael Agar • (336)406-4143

South American Representative Ing. Agr. Federico Maisonnave (011) 595 981 362 898


Viva Las Vegas

ON THE FINAL NIGHT OF THE NATIONAL RODEO FINALS (NFR) IN LAS VEGAS, A RECORD NUMBER OF SPECTATORS IN A SOLD-OUT COLISEUM WATCHED 150 PRO-RODEO ATHLETES COMPETE FOR WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP TITLES The culmination of the rodeo season was marked by 10 consecutive nights of rodeo in Vegas where the top 15 contestants in 10 events vied for their share of a multi-million-dollar purse.

Milton and I watched the last three performances from the edge of our seats. The rodeos were electrifying. Opening ceremonies were patriotic, spiritual, and mindful of our freedoms and liberties. It spoke to the core values of rural Americans. Of how we live our lives with unique sets of values and core principles that drive us to do what we do. It spoke to our desires to help others and make our communities better places to live.

Former Vice President of the United States, Mike Pence, and his wife, attended a performance. The entire crowd erupted with applause and gave them a full standing ovation when they were introduced. It brought tears to our eyes.

There was a unique sense of familiarity at the rodeo finals. No matter by whom we stood or sat, nearly everyone we spoke with was involved in agriculture. From ranchers in Wyoming, Utah, Missouri, and Texas to cattle feeders in Wisconsin. It was a chance to step away from our demanding ways of life and to step into a different place with a change of air and pace, and to be entertained by rodeo, something we relate to and understand.

Our conversations flowed easily. Common threads wove our words together and brought on a sense of intrigue about each other’s ways of life and challenges

We met a couple from Nevada in their early 70’s. They ran cattle on lease land in the desert high country. A decade prior, they lost their second-generation owned land to foreclosure. Their two sons worked with them on the ranch –the third generation. Livelihoods of three families were forever changed. Their loss was largely driven by an on-going drought in the west. They weren’t bitter. It was just so.

We visited with a young couple from Wisconsin, Nicholas and Jenassa Harren, both in their late twenties. They were wide-eyed with optimism about the future. Nicholas’ father operated a dairy for most of his life. Then the pandemic caused overwhelming supply and transportation issues, so the Harrens converted

their dairy to a bull-finishing feedlot. The transition made sense. They were not far from a Kosher packing plant where bulls are slaughtered humanely by a specially trained Jewish male who is called the “shochet.” He ensures animals are slaughtered so that they feel no pain.

Nicholas and his dad are the only laborers in the operation. They grow and harvest all their feed. Bulls are fed seven days a week on concrete pads where snow can easily be scooped away with a skid steer. Bull inventory turns every 60 days and Nicholas hopes to reach 500 bulls in a turn. Jenassa wasn’t raised in agriculture. Nicholas realizes working seven days a week can be challenging to his young family. “That’s why we are here at the NFR. We both enjoy watching rodeos. But we do this for the good of our family. We are here in Vegas as a couple. We left our son at home,” Nicholas said.

In another encounter, we spoke with cattle ranchers from Wyoming whose annual rainfall is four inches a year. And the past two years they haven’t received any amount near four inches. “Several years ago, we got four inches of rain, but it was all in two days,” the rancher recalled. He shared pictures of mountain lions and other predators that roam their countryside and wreak havoc on their livestock. We learned it’s challenging just to gather cattle because it takes so much land to stock a cow.

Then, during a late-night meal after a rodeo performance, we sat next to first- and secondgeneration immigrants from Nicaragua. We heard fascinating stories of their journey, their parent’s journey, and the family’s rise to success. They expressed their deep love for the United States of America and their gratefulness for the opportunities it offers.

Our primary reason for our trip to Vegas was to cheer-on Professional Steer Wrestlers Tyler Waguespack and Will Lummus of whom Town Creek Farm sponsors. Milton and I proudly witnessed Tyler winning the World Championship Gold Buckle and Will winning the Reserve World Championship title; both for the second year in a row. Their race for the steer wrestling gold buckle was the closest of all the events. Only $2692 separated these two guys.

Attending the National Rodeo Finals was a reality check of our way of life. We were surrounded by folks, just like us, who shared the same values and respect for our country. Maybe our attraction to the rodeo mirrors our own way of living. You ride or get bucked off. No matter what, you get up and do it again.

Since 1993
WINTER 2023 Volume 11, Issue 1 • Published by Town Creek Farm, West
Point, Mississippi

Town Creek Farm Sees Powerful Demand for Genetics

Top commercial cattlemen from across the southern tier convincingly endorsed the Town Creek Farm Sale offering on October 15, 2022. The Town Creek Farm team welcomed more than 200 buyers and bidders, both in person and online, from 12 states, Brazil, and Paraguay as appraisers of the Town Creek Farm offering. The auction was fast-paced with aggressive bidding signaling optimism of a return to a bullish market. When the gavel fell for the final time, 130 Town Creek Farm bulls averaged $6525 and 210 customer-owned commercial Brangus bred heifers averaged $1974. The sale grossed $1,256,300.

Throughout the weekend cattlemen described the bull offering as powerful, extremely uniform, and consistent from pen to pen. “You could buy any bull here today and you would advance your program,” said one cattleman. This acknowledgment comes in large part because of Town Creek Farm’s dedication to breeding innovation and its approach to practical and profitable genetics. Town Creek Farm has established itself as a breeder of functional, fertile, heat and humidity-tolerant genetics that perform and last in real-world commercial ranching operations.

South American enterprise Green Pastures Group SA of Paraguay nabbed the top-selling Brangus lot in the bull sale. Han Kotterman and his partner Federico Maisonnave spotted Lot 25, 057H3, on a previous trip to Town Creek Farm and couldn’t live without him. He earned a price tag of $12,000. The sale topper is a son of a throwback herd sire, CCR Sleep Easy 46T3, with moderate frame size, yet was powerfully made, long-sided, user-friendly bull and carried tremendous muscle definition.

Lot 80, 036J8, had an incredible number of admirers who appreciated his depth of body and volume, coupled with calving ease. He was the second

high-selling Brangus bull lot of the day at $11,500. 036J8 was sired by CCR Rapid Reward 145E6, posted a 70-pound birth weight, was user friendly and boasted a negative birth EPD. Longtime customer Lowell Dollar Farms of Georgia made the determined and final bid.

Longtime customers, Charlie Creek Cattle Co. of Florida, took home the third top Brangus bull in the sale, Lot 32, 70H8 at $11,000. The herd sire was a featured calving ease bull posting a -3.0 birth EPD and CED EPD of 9.9. With a near-ideal phenotype, this bull was moderately-framed, sound-footed and had a 43 cm. scrotal measurement. He will be an asset as a maternal bull to new owners Mike and Carol Sanders.

In the Town Creek Farm Commercial Brangus Bred Heifer Sale, multigenerational, genetically tracked females commanded strong interest and demand from buyers. The customer-owned heifers were offered by River Oaks Farm, Searcy, AR, 22-year consignor; CP Bar Ranch, Holcomb, MS, 23-year consignor; Megehee Cattle Company, Macon, MS, 19-year consignor; along with Montgomery Farms, Moulton, AL, 14-year consignor. Other consigners included B&B Farm, Linden, AL, 10-year consignor; Longino Ranch, Sidell, FL, eight-year consignor; and Lowell Dollar Farms, Bainbridge, GA, a seven-year consignor. Triple S Ranch, Okeechobee, FL, consigned heifers for their second year. Newcomers participating were Spur W Cattle Company, Preston, MS, and R&R Cattle Company, Apopka, FL.

The top-selling pen of bred heifers came from John McKnight’s River Oaks Farm at $2900 each. Tennessee buyers, Allan Varner, and Jeff Jones, took home the fancy, fall calving heifers.

The day’s volume buyers were from Florida, Louisiana, and Alabama. Doak Lambert, Coppell, TX, was the auctioneer.

The Law of Chinese Markets

percent of beginning inventory is our culling rate. Over time it averages under 11 percent. This year we will have a new record at over 13%. We’ve never had a larger cull rate of beef cow herds in our history.” Comparatively, steer slaughter was down in 2022.

The China/Hong Kong import market has eclipsed nearly two times and since 2017 has become the largest beef importer in the world. Ten years ago, China was not a factor in global meat markets. “We must keep in mind that the Chinese do not eat as much beef as we do – only 11 to 12 pounds per capita. The U.S. eats 57 to 58 pounds annually. A small increase in consumption for China is a lot of pounds of beef,” says Peel.

Dr. Peel, one of the leading beef industry economists, spoke at the Mississippi Cattlemen’s Convention. He reviewed the livestock market situation and outlook for the future.

China is only part of the equation. Exports are strong and growing. They set records in 2021 and again in 2022 and have helped sustain U.S. cattle prices. “It’s remarkable that prices have stayed strong given the number of cows we’ve slaughtered the past two years,” says Peel.

“We’ve had a tremendous volume of cull cows move through the markets bringing cow herd stocks down,” says Peel. “Yet, prices, for the most part, have been quite good. That is a very positive story for beef demand.”

Wide-spread drought across much of the country is the main contributor to declining cow herd inventories. “Our current drought situation began in late 2020,” Peel says. “We have not recorded a period of drought worse than now since drought maps were established in 2000. There are some cumulative effects of a drought for one year, but when drought persists into the second and third years, it begins to have some additional impact.”

One of the accrued effects of two or three years of drought is limited hay and forage supplies. Hay stocks on May 1, 2022 were down due to the drought in 2021. Hay production was down again this year. “We are working with the lowest hay supply since the mid-1970s when hay stocks were first recorded. We’ve never had tighter hay supplies,” says Peel. Producers should be aware that a drought in one region is supplemented by hay stocks from another region. “Hay prices are at record levels. There are not many alternatives for feed. This situation will not change until next hay crop year,” says Peel.

Global grain prices have nearly doubled from May 2020 to May 2022 due to strong demand, supply concerns and geopolitical interference. Feedlot steer costs of gain in Kansas at the beginning of 2022 were 82 cents a pound. “We are heading to $1.35 or higher a pound cost of gain,” Peels says. “There is no real relief in sight. Certainly not in the next few months. That’s true for supplemental feed out in the country.”

Feedlot inventories have been at record occupancy levels for much of the year due to drought. For the last few months feedlot numbers have declined and are expected to come down for the foreseeable future. “We’ve pushed the envelope as to how far we could stretch cattle supplies. The last place this shows up is in the feedlots,” Peel says.

United States cattle inventories peaked in 2019 after bottoming nearly a decade ago in 2014. “Our cow herds have been getting smaller, accelerated by the drought, the last few years,” says Peel. “The drought situation means we are slaughter ing cows, and we are slaughtering heifers. Not because it is sustainable. We are eating inventory. You can do that for a while, but you cannot do it indefinitely,” says Peel.

On October 1, the number of heifers on feed, as a percent of all cattle in feedlots, was the highest level in 21 years. Heifer slaughter is up nearly 5% this year on top of a 4% increase last year. “We have pushed heifers through the feedlot and are eating them. It impacts beef production now and will have lots of implications for the future,” says Peel.

Total female slaughter, heifers plus cows, represents 52% of total slaughter in 2022. The last time female slaughter was over 50% of total cattle slaughtered was in 1986. The severe drought a decade ago did not cause female slaughter to get to this level. “We have really taken a hit on the female side of the industry,” says Peel. “The beef cow slaughter as a

Estimations for beef production in 2023 are to be down 5%. Peel says the number could be anywhere from 4.5% and 7%. “That is an extremely sharp drop in beef production. Beef consumption will decline next year and the year after that,” Peel says. “Beef consumption is nothing more than a measure of supply. We will eat less beef next year because we are not going to produce as much beef. You can’t eat it if you don’t produce it.

“My projection for where we settle on beef cow inventory is just about where we were in 2014. It could be a little smaller,” Peel predicts. “The drought of 2011 and 2012 forced cow numbers down. That is what is happening again. When we get the chance, there will be incentives to rebuild cow herds. How do we do that?” Peel asks. “We do it with heifer retention.”

The revenue side of cattle production will be less of a concern in 2023, at least as far as cattle prices go. However, managing and maintaining production and managing the rising cost of production will continue to be major challenges for cattle producers this year.

Around 50% of U.S. operations are experiencing drought. There has been no period of drought worse since drought maps were established in 2000.

High grain prices will continue to be a challenge for producers, especially with poor pasture conditions in many areas of the U.S. How long drought conditions persist will be a key driver of cattle markets. High cattle prices could send signals for producers to expand, but they will need improved pasture conditions to do so.

The U.S. is experiencing the lowest hay inventory since the mid-1970s when hay stocks were first recorded.

Cost increases in supply chains likely stay with us in 2023. Feed, fertilizer and fuel will remain high.

Expect beef production to decline in 2023 and beyond as heifers and cows are retained to rebuild cow herds. Estimations are for beef production in 2023 to be down 4.5% to 7%.

Expect shrink-flation in food retail and food services to continue in the beef protein complex.

Plant-based meat substitutes have throttled down in 2022 as a result of declining consumer interest. Beyond Meat, Inc. (BYND) stock traded at an all-time high of $234 per share in 2019. Today it is trading at around $13 per share. Beyond Meat’s market capitalization has fallen from $1.14 billion to $722.8 million.


Waguespack and Lummus End Season One and Two in the World


DETERMINING THE 2022 WORLD CHAMPION STEER WRESTLER CAME DOWN THE NAIL-BITING FINAL RODEO PERFORMANCE OF THE 2022 NATIONAL RODEO FINALS (NFR) IN LAS VEGAS. TYLER WAGUESPACK BESTED THE FIELD TO WIN THE 2022 WORLD CHAMPION PROFESSIONAL STEER WRESTLER TITLE FOR THE SECOND CONSECUTIVE YEAR. West Point, Mississippi’s hometown sensation Will Lummus was runner-up to Tyler and earned the 2022 Reserve World Champion Professional Steer Wrestler title, also for the second year in a row. The Town Creek Farm community is extremely proud of these two athletes. Town Creek Farm has relished witnessing the growth and progression of Tyler and Will’s professional rodeo careers. These superstar athletes have set powerful examples of work ethic, leadership and humility both in and out of rodeo arenas. Great work.

Spring Private Treaty Bulls for Sale

TOWN CREEK FARM IS OFFERING FOR SALE THIS SPRING A NEW CROP OF PRIVATE TREATY BULLS. BULL VIDEOS, DATA AND PRICING WILL BE POSTED ON TOWNCREEKFARM.COM. Or, for more information please contact Cody Glenn at (601)508-8689 or Joy Reznicek Sundbeck at (205)399-0221.

Town Creek Farm bulls are developed to go out and hustle and breed as many females as possible in pastures. We encourage you to keep Town Creek Farm replacement heifers as they are highly proven for fertility and maternal traits. Financial opportunities lie ahead in the cattle business with heifer retention, development and marketing.

We are committed to producing and providing genetics that add long-term value and profitability for our customers in real-world environments. Town Creek Farm takes every measure possible to ensure the success of our customers and our own success.

Semen for Sale – Proven Sires

FOR ORDERS AND MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Cody Glenn (601)508-8689 Cody@TownCreekFarm.com Joy Reznicek Sundbeck (205)399-0221 • Joy@TownCreekFarm.com.

Semen $40 per straw. Commercial Use $20 per straw. Volume Discounts.

TOWN CREEK FARM HAS ANNOUNCED ITS 2023 SPONSORSHIP OF WILL LUMMUS, PROFESSIONAL STEER WRESTLER AND WEST POINT PRODIGY. Will has become a force and icon in the steer wrestling world both in and out of the rodeo arena. We are delighted to see success meeting this young professional athlete and arew so humbled to see the Town Creek Farm brand and logo on his shirts.

has proven to be a highly reliable calving ease bull. Calves are light at birth and grow with an abundance of rib shape, body, and natural muscle and are easy fleshing. Average calf birth weight is 67 lbs. on more than 200 calves.

– National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Convention and Trade Show, New Orleans,

February 1-3, 2023


Louisiana March 2-5, 2023 – International Brangus Breeders Association Convention and Show, Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo
17 & 18, 2023 – Alabama Cattlemen’s Convention, Montgomery, Alabama
20-22, 2023 – Florida Cattlemen’s Convention, Marco Island, Florida July 3-6, 2023 – Beef Improvement Federation (BIF) Symposium, Calgary, Canada Save Saturday, October 21, 2023 – Town Creek Farm Sale • 150 Town Creek Farm Bulls 225 Commercial Brangus Heifers at the ranch, West Point,
4861F7 TCF INTEGRITY 4861F7 145E6 is loaded with a massive hip, extreme depth of rib, body shape and bone and stands on near ideal feet and legs.145E6 sired the second high selling bull of our 2022 sale at $11,500. His sons averaged $8000 at the same sale. TCF RAPID REWARD 145E6 PRIVATE TREATY BULL TYLER WAGUESPACK WILL LUMMUS LOOK FOR TOWN CREEK FARM AT THESE EVENTS
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