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Town Creek Farm Since 1993


Vo l u m e 5 , I s s u e 2 • P u b l i s h e d b y To w n C r e e k Fa r m , We s t Po i n t , M i s s i s s i p p i • B r a n g u s a n d U l t r a b l a c k

FifteenJ Cents Back R

BY OY EZNICEK comes from using Town Creek Farm bulls. I SPENT A DAY IN APRIL IN LOUISIANA WATCHING “My number one goal is produce top quality NEARLY 50,000 HEAD SELL IN A SUPERIOR replacement heifers,” says Thurman Floyed of LIVESTOCK BROADCAST VIDEO SALE. The sale

These bulls sell october 21, 2017.

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 662.494.5944 Joy Reznicek, President 205.399.0221 Clint Ladner 662.812.8370 South American Representative Ing. Agr. Federico Maisonnave (011) 595 981 362 898 Skype: federico.maisonnave Total Commitment


featured calves mostly from Louisiana, Florida and the Gulf Coast; places where cows with a little ear influence permeates pastures. What struck me was how many mixed loads of calves sold in which sellers took hits on heifers ranging from $15 to $4 a hundred weight. In one instance from one ranch, a set of 1000 mixed load calves sold with the heifer calves 15 cents back. That’s real money. For this conversation, I will call this missed opportunity. Marketing easily can become a missed opportunity in production agriculture simply because we allocate most of our time to producing, and not to marketing. Or, in many cases, time is spent working a job in town. Over my many years in the ranching business, I’ve seen a variety of approaches to running cattle operations. In many cases, preferences in management, nutrition and marketing are widely varied from ranch to ranch. But what I see, as I travel and talk with our customers, is that our customers are capitalizing on adding value to their heifer calves. “I’ve got the best of both worlds,” says Marty Wooldridge of Oil City, Louisiana, when speaking of his Town Creek Farm sired steers and his heifers. After Marty bought his first Cow Creek Ranch Ultrablack bulls in 1998, he never looked back in terms of maximizing profitability. “I can sell my heifers as open heifers into a replacement heifer market,” says Marty. “Or, I can keep them, breed them, then make a decision later to sell them as bred heifers if my grass is short or my cash flow needs change. I just have so much flexibility with these genetics.” Marty hustles when it comes to marketing and he focuses on “not” missing marketing opportunities. He and his wife Crystal market all-natural beef raised on their ranch, all from the same Cow Creek based genetics from which they are raising and selling replacement heifers. “Our customers love our beef,” says Wooldridge. “Selling beef, marketing replacement heifers, selling a few breeding bulls and then having quality steer calves to sell just makes a lot of sense. It makes a tremendous impact to our bottom line.” Though not all our customers are as dedicated to marketing as Marty and Crystal, most still manage to take advantage of the value-added replacement heifer market that

Ville Platte, Louisiana. “I get as much or more money for my heifers than I do my steer calves. My steers usually sell right at the top of the market and are always in the top 10 percent of the market. They’ve never been docked for the little ear they carry.” Before using Brangus bulls and Town Creek Farm bulls, Floyed used Charolais, Simmental, and some Hereford bulls. He’s been using Brangus bulls for 15 years now. “I really like the heifer market and value I get from Brangus bulls,” says Floyed. Fourth generation Florida ranchers recently joined Milton and me for dinner. The evening was comfortable and engaging. We were all just thinking out loud, discussing and exchanging knowledge. We reached a consensus that the Angus breed has been moving in a terminal direction for some time. Our Florida guests reflected on their foray with registered Angus intended for use as a base for half-blood calves (Angus x Brahman). The Angus cows simply didn’t work because they required too many inputs to maintain. Through our own similar experience of running Angus cows we learned that their maintenance inputs far out-cost the inputs of our Cow Creek Ranch genetics. What we learned from each other that evening is that within breeds considered to be acceptable maternal breeds, the ramped race for high growth EPDs has led to inefficient cows that are too big volumed, often with too much milk, and cows who simply require too much money to maintain. We used to think we had to have maternal bulls to raise replacements and accept a discount on the steers. Then have terminal sires for steers to get top dollar and accept 15 cents back on the heifers. There are more profitable options to consider that hit more targets and provide much more flexibility and many more marketing options. What our customers are seeing is that by using the environmentally fitted Cow Creek Ranch genetic base they can raise or sell replacement heifers and still be near the top of the steer market. Sure, they’ll be some feeder heifers or culls, as we call them, in the mix, but with disciplined culling over time you will have fewer and fewer of those. Our customers are finding balance between maternal, growth and carcass traits and getting rewarded for each of these traits with one set of genetics and no missed opportunities.

Fast Forward BY MILTON SUNDBECK JOHN MAXWELL IS A RENOWNED LEADERSHIP PROFESSIONAL, PROVIDING LEADERSHIP TRAINING FOR COMPANIES AND ORGANIZATIONS THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY. Every morning he produces a video segment titled “A Minute with Maxwell”. Our good friend and customer Phil Drawdy sent us the link to Maxwell. Phil said, “I start my day with him. He is great teacher of leadership.” I am always interested in what John Maxwell has to say about leadership as it relates to my company, Southern Ionics, Inc. e other day he addressed the needs of companies who desire to grow faster and move their businesses forward in a world of rapidly advancing technology and information. His fundamental message hinged on “trust” that management and production employees have in the leadership of a company. And, on “trust” that customers and suppliers have in a company as a whole. Trust and rock solid values are the engines of progress. Leaders one can trust that are true, reliable, and eliminate risk going forward at any pace. Trust is, without question, even more critical in seedstock and commercial heifer development because of the time lag it takes to determine if the herd bull or bred heifers you bought are what they are purported or as advertised. When I got into the seedstock business many years ago I was just darn lucky that Joe and Joy Reznicek lived down the road from my ranch. I really believe that if I lived anywhere else I

Total Commitment

would not be in the Brangus seedstock business today. What I learned from them and people they surrounded themselves with, like John McKnight and Lynn White, was sound and truthful advice that came from years of experience in breeding Brangus cattle. I was able to transfer more than 30 years of herd development knowledge at Cow Creek Ranch into the present Town Creek Farm brand with faith in the outcome for which I had hoped. We would not be where we are today without Joe and Joy’s honest assessment and development of their herd and the hard decisions it took to make it into the highly regarded herd it is today. eir business was based on core values of trust and reliability. Values ever present in everything we do.

Town Creek Farm


Since 1993

Saturday, October 21, 2017 • 12 noon

150 TOWN CREEK FARM BULLS Powerful, functional Brangus and Ultrablack bulls.


Sired by Cow Creek/Town Creek bulls and bred back to Cow Creek/Town Creek bulls. Town Creek Farm continues to vigorously identify progressive sires to advance our breeding program and commitment to our customers. Our commitment is to breed functional, problem free bulls that can travel, last and aggressively breed females.

✔ Bulls developed on high roughage, forage-based, low energy ration to ensure longevity and reliable travel. ✔ Expansive herd health program including annual whole herd Johnes testing. Bulls sell Trich tested and guaranteed Johnes-free. ✔ Fertility. We are committed to proving genetics that are functional and fertile. Heifers must calve as two-year olds. ✔ Large selection of user-friendly, high maternal, low birth weight bulls to produce valuable heifers. HOTEL ACCOMMODATIONS: Our sale date falls on home football games for MSU, Alabama and Ole Miss. The Hampton Inn and Suites in West Point, and The Hyatt Place in Columbus are working to accommodate our needs. Please contact Roxanne Spurgin at 205-799-6121 or email to assist you in making accommodations. Call now and make plans to join us for a fun-packed weekend.

✔Quality Assurance always comes first. Total Commitment

Since 1993

Town Creek Farm

Milton Sundbeck, Owner • Office 662.494.5944 32476 Hwy. 50 East, West Point, Mississippi 39773 Joy Reznicek 205.399.0221 • Clint Ladner 662.812.8370 • Go to our website to join our mailing list and receive a sale catalog.

“We want yearlings to be gaining 1.5 pounds a day,” Ladner says of the fall-born bulls. “On the spring-born bulls, we are looking for 2 pounds a day. We want them in fit, rock-solid condition. ese are very heat-tolerant bulls, and we don’t want them to break that grazing habit, so we make sure they leave the feed trough a little hungry.” SLOW DEVELOPMENT. Veterinarian Pallone says some heavier-muscled cattle breeds may gain twice as much as these Town Creek bulls, but there can be a downside to that. “ose larger bulls will look great, but it’s how they hold up that’s important,” he notes. “What happens when they get away from the feeder and have to work on grass with limited supplement? Slow development on a forage-based diet is just going to give you a bull with more longevity.” Ladner adds: “It’s almost impossible to get a yearling bull developed to a ready breeding condition without feeding him a highenergy diet. We believe cattle are made to eat grass.” He says if a bull is managed right, he will provide stellar service from 5 to 10 years of age. Building bulls that thrive in the environment is When choosing a bull, Pallone advises buyers to educate themselves regarding conformation of the breed and reputation of Priority 1 at Town Creek Farm. the producer. BY VICTORIA G. MYERS “Know something about the guy you’re buying bulls from,” he At Town Creek Farm, bull development is all about slowing things stresses. “ere are a lot of good bull developers out there now. Genetic predisposition and slow development are key, but you also down. It’s a philosophy built around the idea that more moderate growth rate from forage-based diets build bulls with sounder feet and need to know what normal conformation looks like.” Pallone adds it’s important to cull bulls hard early in the legs, and improved longevity. Longevity can mean a lot of things, but in the case of these bulls, development process. “Any foot or leg problems, claw or toe issues, or fluid building in it equates to 8- to 10-year-olds that are still in the herd working. is their hocks—those are all telltale signs of trouble down the road,” allows buyers to spread the cost of a bull over more years of service. Pallone says. “We don’t see much of that the way they feed those Building that longevity comes down to four things: avoiding bulls at Town Creek. If I test 200 of their bulls at a time, I might have overfeeding, forages, exercise and genetics. one or two a year that got past their initial culling.” RAPID-GROWTH STRESS. “We know that overfeeding bulls reduces By the time these bulls sell, Ladner says the 18-month-olds breeding life,” says Joy Reznicek, president of the West Point, average 1,300 to 1,400 pounds; the 2-year-olds, 1,500 to 1,600 Mississippi, operation. “e stress of rapid growth is a tremendous strain on these animals. We didn’t just hang our hat on that idea, we pounds. is year, prices on bulls averaged $4,435, a low point after prices had averaged between $6,500 and $7,000 since the sales have experience. We know firsthand what rapid development can do started in 2013. Reznicek says the operation is still in a growth to a young bull. at’s not what we’re after.” Veterinarian Mike Pallone shares that philosophy and has worked phase, currently selling between 150 and 200 bulls every October at its on-site sale. Also available are bred heifers from prior bull with Town Creek for many years. His base, Pallone Veterinary customers. e heifers are sired by a Town Creek bull and bred back Hospital, is in Rose Bud, Arkansas, but Pallone works with cattle to one. producers all across the Southeast. QUALITY CONTROL. Yearling bulls at Town Creek are ultrasounded for He says Town Creek’s emphasis on bull longevity ultimately goes rib-eye area, marbling and fat thickness. Scrotal measurements are back to the importance of the trait in females, which has its roots in taken. Bulls with subpar or underdeveloped scrotums are culled. Cow Creek Ranch’s Ultrablack genetics and founder Joe Reznicek, Feet, legs, hocks and hooves are also checked at this time. Bulls that who passed away in 2010. don’t meet standards or are poor performers are out, as well. “He came up with how important longevity was on the female Within 30 days of sale, bulls are semen-tested and given complete side, and he stressed the economic impact of an extra 4 to 5 seasons breeding-soundness examinations. is includes physical exams, out of those cows. at carries over to bull development,” Pallone scrotal measurements, manual palpations and semen-sample explains. collection, which scores motility and morphology of semen. FORAGE PRIORITIES. With its emphasis on bull development and Bulls are tested for trichomoniasis, BVD PI (bovine viral diarrhea, marketing, it might be easy to forget Town Creek is a forage-based operation. Milton Sundbeck bought the ranch in 1993, and from the persistently infected) and Johne’s disease. A Johne’s-free herd is a specific area of emphasis for the breeders. ey’ve been working with beginning, he made fertile soil and forage efficiency priorities. veterinarian Jim Brett, with Mississippi State University’s College of e Brangus and Ultrablack cattle here graze over 3,000 acres of Veterinary Medicine, on an early-testing program to cull any animals the state’s eastern Black Prairie land, known for native grasses and that may carry this disease. hay production. Reznicek says at weaning, they test for Johne’s on all dams, “Milton has long had a keen interest in forage,” Reznicek notes. culling both dam and calf if a test comes back positive. ey do both Part of that is an ongoing project in pasture renovation aimed at fecal and blood tests. removing some of the toxic tall fescue, Kentucky 31 (KY-31), “We are really emphasizing this,” she says. “It’s [Johne’s] in a lot common in this region. of herds in the U.S., and it’s not something we yet have a good “We’ve been working to renovate pastures, 50 to 100 acres at a affordable test for. We believe if a cow is positive, her calf may well time, replacing the 31 with second-generation MaxQ Texoma tall also be positive. We don’t want to sell someone a bull calf that, a fescue from Pennington,” Reznicek says. couple of years down the road, starts to waste away and has to be Reznicek adds they don’t intend to completely do away with KYsold. It’s a form of quality assurance for our buyers.” 31. “Where we have the older fescue, we knock back seed heads and TESTING ISSUES. Brett notes there is no perfect test for Johne’s. rotate bulls every 60 days to limit their exposure,” she says. “We don’t want to completely eliminate it from their diets, because many Animals are exposed as calves, usually fecal to oral, but the organism that causes Johne’s (M. paratuberculosis) can also be transmitted in of these bulls go to customers who have Kentucky 31. e early milk and transplacentally. exposure here helps them acclimate more easily.” Symptoms of Johne’s include chronic diarrhea and weight loss. RATION PROGRAM. Clint Ladner manages bull development for the e disease not only cuts short the animal’s life, it affects fertility, operation. He says bulls are raised on 40- to 50-acre tracts. ey are libido and milk production. Brett says it’s something that can given a limited high-roughage ration of Sumrall 007 Bermuda devastate a farm once it hits. haylage (40%), wet brewers grain (40-43%) and a mix of soy hull “Our industry needs to be more aware of Johne’s and understand pellets, cracked corn, protein pellets and mineral. at ration, milled that 90% of the time when there’s an outbreak on a farm, it came at the farm, is fed twice a day. e haylage is grown, harvested and ensiled on the ranch. Once bulls reach 1 year of age, corn is removed from something that producer bought and paid for. A good biosecurity plan is critical, as well as buying from breeders focused from the ration. Water and feed are at opposite ends of traps, on a Johne’s-free herd.” encouraging daily exercise for feet and leg soundness. is article is reprinted in part with the permission of Progressive Ladner says what makes their development program unique is Farmer. e article appeared in its entirety in the March 2017 their focus on forages and that slower rate of growth. ey weigh issue of Progressive Farmer. For the complete article, go to bulls every 30 to 45 days during development and adjust rations and look for TCF News. accordingly.

The Forage-Based Bull

Town Creek Farm to Host a Cattleman’s Beef Field Day on June 10 at the Ranch TOWN CREEK FARM WILL HOST A CATTLEMAN’S BEEF FIELD DAY ON JUNE 10TH AT THE TOWN CREEK PAVILION NEAR WEST POINT, MISSISSIPPI. The field day forum is intended to educate, guide and strengthen cattlemen’s stake in the industry. The Field Day is offered to the public at no charge and includes lunch. We encourage attendees to pre-register at

TOWN CREEK FARM HAS SAID HELLO AND GOODBYE TO INTERN MARCELO INSAURRALDE OF PARAGUAY. Marcelo arrived in middle February just in time to help calve out 87 recips and the remainder of our spring calving cowherd. This was Marcelo’s first taste of United States agriculture and our way of doing things. During his three-month stay, Marcelo grew to love the farm and people here so much so that both Marcelo and his wife, Johanna, plan to return in January as students of Mississippi State University through the Fulbright Scholars program.

TOWN CREEK FARM’S CLINT LADNER HAS BEEN SELECTED BY THE MISSISSIPPI CATTLEMEN’S ASSOCIATION TO ATTEND THE 2017 YOUNG CATTLEMEN’S CONFERENCE (YCC) HOSTED BY THE NATIONAL CATTLEMEN’S BEEF ASSOCIATION (NCBA). Throughout the weeklong experience, YCC participants travel the country to witness all levels of beef production, hone their leadership skills and gain a better understanding of policy issues affecting cattlemen and women. This year marks the 38th Annual YCC. The tour will begin in Denver with a comprehensive overview of the industry. The group will then travel to JBS Five Rivers Kuner Feedyard, one of the nation’s largest cattle feeding operations located in Northern Colorado. Then on to the JBS Greeley facility, one of the nation’s largest beef packing and processing plants. Chicago is the next destination. The participants will then travel to the nation’s Capitol. Here they will get a chance to meet with their respective congressmen and senators.

Nominations Due for Town Creek Farm Commercial Bred Heifer Sale

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS • 8:30 am – Registration • 9 am – Welcome • “Nutritional Management” – Dr. N.T. Cosby Nutrition is the single largest financial input into any cattle operation from grazing and haying to supplementation. When it comes to tightening spending, balancing effective cowherd nutrition and its associated costs are some of the hardest decisions we make. Dr. Cosby is recognized as the industry’s leader in helping cattlemen solve their nutritional needs. He is the leading beef nutritionist for Purina Mills. • Town Creek Bull Display and Weight Guessing Contest • Hay Sample Coring for Hay Analysis Demonstration • “Health Management” – Sam Blakeney, Bay Springs, Mississippi Sam will share his wealth of knowledge gained as Territory Business Manager at Zoetis USA to his former role as a decade-long order buyer. Sam’s practical, no-bull approach to herd health, calf health and parasite control will help cattlemen lay the foundation for a trouble-free cowherd. • “Cow, Meet Your Environment” – John McKnight, Searcy, Arkansas John has made his living in the cattle business for more than 60 years. For 30 years he was a premier Hereford breeder and over the last 20 plus years, McKnight has focused primarily on raising Brangus commercial replacement heifers to supply to commercial cattlemen. John will discuss why it is so important in matching cow production with environment. • Town Creek Farm Video Series • Lunch – Town Creek Farm Hamburger Lunch Prepared by the Clay County Cattleman’s Association • Door Prizes • Ranch Tours Available following Lunch On-line registration at or contact Town Creek Farm’s Roxanne Spurgin at 205-799-6121.

OUR 2017 TOWN CREEK FARM COMMERCIAL BRED HEIFER SALE IS RAPIDLY APPROACHING ON SATURDAY, OCTOBER 21, 2017. This sale is heading into its 20th year and has experienced tremendous growth since the initial sale started by Cow Creek Ranch. The Town Creek Farm Commerical Bred Heifer Sale is an opportunity for our customers to add value to heifers through reputation marketing channels. Buyers have the chance to tap into multi-generation Cow Creek Ranch based genetics that would otherwise take years to build. Heifer consignments must be sired by Town Creek Farm or Cow Creek Ranch bulls and bred back to Town Creek Farm or Cow Creek Ranch bulls. Nomination rules and entry forms along with additional details are available from Town Creek Farm. For more information, please contact Joy Reznicek at 205-399-0221, Clint Ladner at 662-812-8370 or Roxanne Spurgin at 205-799-6121 by email at Deadline for nominations is June 15, 2017.

IT DOESN’T GET ANY BETTER THAN THIS.This first-calf heifer with her bull calf at side is bred back with her second calf. A perfect world heifer powered by amazing genetics. She's bred and owned by long-time Cow Creek Ranch and Town Creek Farm customer and bull production partner Black River Brangus, Lynn and Dana White, of Louisiana.

Profile for Town Creek Farm

The Grit Spring 2017  

Town Creek Farm again welcomes readers to "The Grit" newsletter. Read about the Town Creek Farm genetic breeding program along with manageme...

The Grit Spring 2017  

Town Creek Farm again welcomes readers to "The Grit" newsletter. Read about the Town Creek Farm genetic breeding program along with manageme...