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Town Creek Farm Since 1993

WINTER 2017

Vo l u m e 5 , I s s u e 1 • 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

City Meets Farm J R

BY OY EZNICEK length. In some situations we use short-duration, WE RECENTLY HOSTED 75 PEOPLE ON THE RANCH WHO concentrated hoof traffic grazing in which weeds WERE PART OF A LOCAL “FARM-CITY” TOUR. The tour

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

Since 1993 JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST TO RECEIVE THE MOST UPDATED SALE INFORMATION AVAILABLE. EMAIL INFO@TOWNCREEKFARM.COM TO JOIN OUR FOLLOWING.

TCF Rapid Reward 145Z3 semen available for spring breeding season. see back page for more information.

brought city folks – doctors, medical students, and business owners – out of city limits to see the value of agriculture in our county. In another time we might have focused on the grit, grind and manure of our daily work, but times have changed. Rather, consumers’ expectations have changed. So on this tour we chose to enlighten our audience on our personal proactivity as agricultural professionals. Our day began by stating that our overriding objective is for our cattle to be treated humanely, and, yes, with respect. We practice low stress handling. We have almost completely moved away from electric prods. We can always get cattle to move with a flag or a rattle paddle; it just takes a little more time and patience. We don’t holler or use four wheelers. We’re in our cattle on horses and foot to make our cattle more user friendly not just for us, but for our customers as well. We then shared that two years ago we committed to never reusing a needle, Subcutaneous or Intramuscular. While this might sound extreme, our decision was based on results of a study in which 10 steers were confirmed negative for Anaplasmosis. Steer 11 was positive. Sham vaccination was given to the parasitic steer 11 with a hypodermic needle fitted to a multiple dose syringe. The same needle and syringe were used to sham vaccinate the 10 negative steers. After 41 days, 6 of the 10 steers tested positive for Anaplasmosis. This practice just makes good sense to eliminate potential disease transmission and contamination of drug bottles. Needles are cheap and we expect them to deliver expensive vaccines. Changing needles has become a routine step of our cattle work. At Town Creek Farm we prefer freeze branding to permanently identify our cattle. It’s less stressful than hot iron branding and does not cause hide damage. We have less tail flicking and bellowing and freeze brands are easy to read. Back in 1987, Cow Creek Ranch was one of the first operations using freeze branding. The iconic Cow Creek freeze brand was easily identifiable just as the Town Creek Farm brand is today. We assured our tour group that we cautiously and rarely use antibiotics. It’s our last defense in treatment; however, our animal’s welfare always comes first. We find preventative ways to get results that rely less on antibiotics; nutrition, timely herd health protocols, weaning conditions, minimizing stress, etc. Antibiotic use is a hot topic and I believe its vocal chords come from consumers having knowledge of antibiotics on the human side. It’s a talk they can talk. Years ago we started experimenting with rotational and intensive grazing techniques. We’ve seen its many benefits, particularly managing through a drought this fall. We move cattle often, monitor hoof traffic and blade

are consumed, and manure and urine are trampled into the ground. So when rains finally came in December, we had improved water penetration because of the robust root system. Our pastures responded accordingly. Aside from improved forage production, our weed population has decreased, without chemicals. Our grazing practices have increased our stocking rates and reduced use of fossil fuels and chemicals. We introduced other practices that benefit our herd’s well being. Fence-line weaning is practiced on both Town Creek Farm and Cow Creek Ranch. We have few sick calves, little stress, rapid response to feed and little weight loss. And best, we don’t have breakouts from one side of the ranch to the other. I never thought I’d be writing or talking about our use of calf warmers. Every so often during spring calving, February and March, we get some ugly weather. Cold is not so bad, but real cold and wet can be intolerable to a newborn calf. Our calf warmers both dry and warm calves. At times it means the difference in life or death to a newborn. No more babies in our shop, vet room or floorboards of trucks. No more towels to wash. We work hard to get a cow to calving. It’s our job to protect when Mother Nature does not. Finally, we explained that employees on both ranches are BQA (Beef Quality Assured) certified. Each one has completed the nationally coordinated course. The program teaches common sense husbandry techniques. BQA guidelines are designed to make certain all beef consumers can trust and have confidence in the entire beef industry. We demand that our team follows the rules every time, even when they think no one is watching. The city folks could easily see the vast capital investments in a working cattle ranch. The acres of land, heads of cattle, facilities, housing, equipment, etc. were certainly an eye full. Our massive investments are a darn good reason why we should respond to the growing number of consumers who want to know how their beef is raised and know that it’s raised with an ethical eye on production. We owe it to ourselves to be advocates of our livelihood and the beef we raise. In the end, we emphasized that there is nothing that can replace human interactions we have with cattle. Technology can’t do it. Automation can’t do it. We can’t run our cattle operations with GPS. It’s only humans that can care for our cattle just as our forbearers did. That’s a grand part of our story. Both at Town Creek Farm and Cow Creek Ranch we have transitioned into a mind-set of managing for tomorrow. No one yet knows what tomorrow will look like, but we will be ready.


Town Creek Farm Adds to Reputation as Top Brangus and Ultrablack Bull Supplier CATTLEMEN FROM THE SOUTHERN U.S. RESOUNDINGLY ENDORSED THE VALUE OF THE TOWN CREEK FARM GENETIC PROGRAM AT THE TOWN CREEK FARM SALE, SATURDAY, OCTOBER 15, 2016. The sale saw 151 Town Creek Farm Bulls average $4435 and 279 Commercial Bred Heifers average $1942. The sale grossed $1,184,503. The crowd was welcomed by owner, Milton O. Sundbeck. There was a buzz in the bull pens as cattlemen described the Town Creek Farm offering as “the best set of bulls ever offered by Town Creek Farm.” That very significant acknowledgement comes in large part because of Town Creek Farm’s continuance of the Cow Creek Ranch’s benchmark genetic program and its dedication to producing a uniform, reliable, genetic-superior product. The bidding pattern of buyers representing 10 states and South America showed extraordinary confidence in the Town Creek Farm program adding to its reputation as one of the nation’s leading Brangus and Ultrablack bull suppliers. Though cattlemen are presently witnessing a new economy in the cattle business, bidders and buyers were still eager to heat up the bidding on quality genetics. Topping the sale was TCF Sleep Easy 426B who came with a high quality maternal background, calving ease and all-purpose features. Alabama cattleman Mike Stanley secured the sale topping herd sire for $11,000. Newcomer Rob Schaedle, Leipers Fork Cattle Co., of Tennessee had a final bid of $10,000 for the second high selling bull, TCF Rapid Reward 4891B3. The bull covered all breeding bases displaying outstanding phenotype with terrific muscle and fleshing ability. 4891B3 will be used in both seedstock and commercial applications. Heading up the volume purchasers were two long time buyers of

Total Commitment

Cow Creek genetics George Farm of Georgia and Triple S Ranch of Florida. First time buyer DCJ Ranch of Alabama rounded out the list of volume buyers. Town Creek Farm offers its customer base an opportunity to market Town Creek and Cow Creek sired heifers in the Town Creek Farm Commercial Bred Heifer Sale held just prior to its bull sale. The sale is a continuation of the previously held 18-year running Cow Creek Ranch Commercial Bred Heifer Sale. The genetically tracked heifers commanded strong interest and demand from buyers. When all were sold and done, 279 heifers sold for an average of $1942 per head. The customer-owned heifers were offered by Williamson Cattle Co., ranching in Florida and Alabama, a 19-year consignor sale consignor; River Oaks Farm, Arkansas, 18-year consignor; 17-year consignor, CP Bar Brangus, Mississippi; 12-year consignor, Megehee Cattle Company, also of Mississippi; along with eight-year consignor, Montgomery Farms, Alabama; and two-year consignor Longino Ranch of Florida. Other consigners included B&B Farm, Alabama, three-year consignor and Lowell Dollar Farms of Georgia. Doak Lambert, Decatur, TX, was the auctioneer.

Town Creek Farm

WEST POINT, MISSISSIPPI

Since 1993

Saturday, October 21, 2017 • 12 noon

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

250 COMMERCIAL BRANGUS BRED HEIFERS

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 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 is home games for MSU, Alabama and Ol’e 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 Roxanne@TownCreekFarm.com to assist you in making accommodations. Call now and make plans to join us for a fun-packed weekend. Total Commitment

✔Quality Assurance always comes first.

Town Creek Farm

Since 1993

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


Death Loss More Costly Than Ever

FLORIDA RANCHER AND TOWN CREEK FARM CUSTOMER SCOTT STEPHENS OF VENTURA RANCH WAS RECENTLY FEATURED IN THE DECEMBER 2016 ISSUE OF THE PROGRESSIVE FARMER lauding his resourceful use of timberland. Scott manages his family ranching land which produces cattle, forage and timber in central Florida. Stephens was accustomed to harvesting 4500 to 5000 bermudagrass round bales a year; his best hay went into the Florida horse market and the rest was consumed by his Brangus based cowherd. For added winter supplement, Scott planted 500 acres of rye annually. With advice from consulting forester Ralph Jowett, Stephens now lets his cows and calves graze under the pine timber on wire grass. More hay gets sold, and less gets fed to his cows. “We looked at a map and saw we could run a mile of fence and pick up 1200 aces of native grasses under the pines during the late winter and cut our hay costs by 30 percent, Scott said. That paid for a lot of fencing. “ By foraging wire grass under the timber, Stephens no longer grows rye, which was becoming cost prohibitive in terms of planting, water and fertilizer. “I’m using the wire grass in addition to hay when the bahiagrass and everything else is gone,” Stephens says. It’s carrying my cattle through January, February and March, until the pasture grasses start to green up. When bahiagrass gets up again, the cattle go back to it,” he explains. To increase palatability of forage undergrowth, Stephens implements regular burning in pine forests to rid unwanted undergrowth. It also burns up older, course grasses, giving cattle tender young wire grass to eat. He burns in late December and early January and burns only half of the 1200 acres in one year. That gives him 600 acres of new grass and 600 acres that are recovering from being burned. Stephens initially locked in his herd in the timber for three weeks to adapt. He watched grazing behaviors to be certain his plan worked. “They did it. It’s like you’ve been eating steak all you life, and someone tells you you’re going to eat vegetables,” said Stephens. Reprinted in part with permission from The Progressive Farmer.

Jefcoat Tops Heifer Sale with Cow Creek Genetics for Second Year MAJOR D.JEFCOAT,ELLIS, MISSISSIPPI, LONG TIME TOWN CREEK FARM AND COW CREEK RANCH CUSTOMER, consigned the high selling set of commercial bred heifers for the second year in a row at the 15th Annual Southern Producers Replacement Heifer Sale in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Jefcoat marketed 11 heifers for an average of $2360 per head with three sale toppers at $2600 in the commercial heifer division. Jefcoat, a veteran, is a familiar face at the Town Creek Farm sales and has been a Cow Creek Ranch genetic customer for more than a decade. Our congratulations to Major Jefcoat.

“WE’VE TALKED UNTIL WE’RE BLUE IN THE FACE ON CALF HEALTH AND VACCINATION PROTOCOLS,” SAYS DR. DANIEL SCRUGGS OF ZOETIS ANIMAL HEALTH PRODUCTS. Scruggs conducted an unofficial survey among diagnostic labs in Mississippi, Oklahoma, Texas, Iowa and Georgia. Every lab, correct–every lab, reported blackleg and nitrate as two of the top three reasons for cattle deaths.“In certain regions of the country, 40 percent or more of cowherds never see any vaccinations at all,” says Scruggs. Though we have better vaccines and treatments than ever before, when an animal dies, herd health becomes a mute point. Mortality risks exit in all classes of cattle even in gold standard vaccination programs. With income sides of our ledgers getting softer, every animal that we keep alive makes a difference. Our objective here at Town Creek Farm is to provide an environment in which cattle can thrive. Here are some thoughts of how to minimize risks and increase efforts to reduce death rates. CLEAN WATER. Several years ago I attended a field day in Arkansas. We toured a stocker operation for the sole purpose of observing an improved water system and its affect on death loss. The operator explained that he had an 8% to 10% death loss for years when drinking water was sourced from stock ponds. In 2010, he fenced in his ponds and set up fresh drinking water systems for his calves. Since converting, his death loss went to zero. At Town Creek Farm and Cow Creek Ranch we have filled in or fenced out all existing stock ponds. In fact, Joe Reznicek left me a “to-do” list prior to his passing. On the list was to fill in the last stock tank left on Cow Creek Ranch. Scruggs urges cattlemen to also think of water tank size.“We talk about lineal space in feed bunks for weaned calves, but not when it comes to water. Weaned calves should never have to stand in line to drink water, says Scruggs.“Fresh weaned calves are dehydrated. They need access to all the water they can drink. With limited space you sometime get a boss calf that just parks over a water trough.” STRESS AND DROUGHT. The expansive Southeast drought brought on worries other than grass and hay supplies. Veterinarian Jimmy Payne of Alabama has seen above average abortions this past year. We too were victims at both ranches. When we called Dr. Payne to talk about three abortions in our heifers, he said,“Welcome to the club. This summer was super hot and dry. That’s stressful on cattle.” Payne recalled,“A few years ago in August, Alabama Power Co. came out to check on power lines in a helicopter. It was hot. Then the noise upset my cows and they torn down fences. I had 15 abortions in 60 cows.” Drought stressed grass can produce some hidden dangers like nitrates and prussic acid that can cause abortion, or worse, deaths. Overstocking and compromised nourishment and mineral deficiencies during droughts can stunt fetus development, and it can take several years for cows to overcome. FORAGE AND CALVING ENVIRONMENTS. Clean, dry pastures or grass lots provide clean calving environments. Both at Town Creek Farm and Cow Creek Ranch we systematically ride out pairs in calving pastures to curtail scour and sick breakouts and to minimize issues with dams pairing up with newborns. PRACTICAL ADAPTABLE GENETICS THAT MATCH ENVIRONMENT. Genetics play a major role in calf size. Selecting moderate birth weight and calving ease genetics goes a long way in calf survivability. Considerations must be given to how mismatching cattle to environments may negatively affect reproduction and effective use of forage. Cows that are open because they’re not thriving in their environments result in no calves and no revenue. Town Creek Farm puts priority on economically relevant traits related to fertility and forage efficiency. Growth should always follow behind fertility, which is the most essential step in having a live calf to sell. FEED BUNK AWARENESS. Dr. Scruggs recommends that calves be creep fed one month before weaning to begin to learn to self regulate feed intake.“We used to talk about a 30 day post conditioning period on calves. Those days are gone. We now recommend 60 to 90 days for calves to learn to selfregulate intake and not overeat and die,” says Scruggs. While there are many factors that minimize death losses, management, genetics and environment play most important roles. Providing an optimal environment and herd health program with as much grass as possible is the best recipe for decreased losses. – Joy Reznicek


145Z3 Semen Available for Spring Breeding Season TCF RAPID REWARD 145Z3 SEMEN IS AVAILABLE FOR SHIPMENT DOMESTICALITY AND INTERNATIONALLY. We are excited about the long-term impact 145Z3 will have on the Brangus breed. Seldom do we find a sire with near perfect phenotype and confirmation that sires true to composition. His calves are thick topped, stout made, with very few throw aways. Even with his punch of power, his progeny maintain moderate frames and his daughters still look like ladies. His concentrated value comes from his dam, 145W3, who for the past three years brought the top calf to the weaning pens. Her 2015 daughter just calved as a two-year old to her A.I. breeding. 145W3 does not disappoint.

LOUISIANA CATTLEMAN MARTY WOOLDRIDGE IS NAMED “AMERICA’S 2017 BEST YOUNG FARMERS AND RANCHERS” BY THE PROGRESSIVE FARMER. Long time Cow Creek Ranch genetics customer,

CUSTOMER COMMENTS... “ The Town Creek Beef ribeye steaks are the best steaks we’ve eaten in years.

– AL SCOTT, FLORIDA, SAID OF HIS TOWN CREEK BEEF MAIL ORDER STEAKS

TCF RAPID REWARD 145Z3 R10243006 • DDF • DOB: 9/21/2012 Sire: BRB RAPID REWARD 99W11 Dam: BRB QUEEN IDELETTE 145W3 Semen at $40/unit (registered use); $20/unit (commercial use). LONG TIME CUSTOMERS, BENNY AND KRISSY PINCKARD, PINCKARD PASTURES, TROY, ALABAMA, WERE RECENTLY SELECTED AT BEEF PRODUCERS OF THE YEAR by the Pike County Alabama Farmers Federation during Farm-City Week. “Our cow herd is all Cow Creek Ranch genetics. We’ve used our Cow Creek Ranch genetics with Braham bulls and have percentage cattle. You don’t usually see an eared cattle operation selected at “Beef Producer of the Year, “ says Benny. Kudos to Benny and Krissy for their recognition and their on-going success with Cow Creek Ranch genetics.

CUSTOMER COMMENTS... “ Great set of bulls by the way. Easy handling, great dispositions. Everyone is impressed by them. Thank you again for working with us.

Marty Wooldridge of Oil City, Louisiana, is in the seventh class of America’s Best Young Farmers and Ranchers. “They embrace the future of agriculture and are developing the technical and managerial skills to build innovative and successful businesses. They are among the best of their generation,” states The Progressive Farmer. Marty and his wife and partner, Crystal, own and operate Wooldridge Land and Cattle Co. They have innovated their operation from its original roots of a rainbow color cowherd to a diversified business that encompasses everything from direct beef sales to custom hay baling and lots more in between. Marty purchased his first Ultrablack bulls from Cow Creek Ranch in 1998. With guidance from Joe Reznicek, Marty began to shape his cowherd and intensify his management into an operation that could support him and his future family. Cow Creek Ranch and, now, Town Creek Farm genetics are staples in the Wooldridge operation. Marty and Crystal along with their son Trip, see innovation as their keys to the future. In addition to running 500 mama cows, they’ve built a loyal and growing following for their direct-to-consumer freezer beef. They have near term aspirations of creating a branded beef business bearing the Wooldridge Cattle Co. name. Crystal can often be found atop a tractor during hay season as they provide custom-baling services and market around 1000 bales of hay a year. They also offer bull boarding and weaning services to their neighbors. Marty has taken his natural leadership talents and merged them into the agricultural community. He credits Joe Reznicek for encouraging that involvement. Marty is currently in the middle of a two-year term on the Louisiana Farm Bureau State Board of Directors. He also serves as Beef Cattle Chairman and guided more than 60 Louisiana cattlemen on a Mississippi ranch tour that included a stop at Town Creek Farm. Our hats off to Marty and his family who have attended nearly every Cow Creek Ranch and Town Creek Farm Sale since 1998. To read more about Marty, see the February 2017 issue of The Progressive Farmer.

– EUGENE RUNLES, SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY AG. DEPT., LOUISIANA

ALBERT LABITUT, JR. OF LOUISIANA SHARED PICTURES OF THIS NEWBORN CCR INTEGRITY 355S4 A.I. SIRED CALF. Albert loves the calving ease of the 355S4 calves. At last check he was half-way through calving out these heifers.

The Grit, Winter 2017  

Town Creek Farm welcomes readers to "The Grit" newsletter. Read of Town Creek Farm genetic breeding program along with management tips and c...

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