Page 1

Town Creek Farm Since 1993


Vo l u m e 6 , 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

The Invisible Cow M S BY

FOR MANY YEARS WHILE LOOKING THROUGH OUR BRANGUS COWHERD, I COULDN’T HELP BUT WONDER WHAT THEIR BRAHMAN ANCESTORS LOOKED LIKE, PARTICULARLY ON THE DAM SIDE. To a fault, I have felt that I would know what they looked like if I could breed-up to the perfect first generation 3/8 - 5/8 Brangus female from purebred Brahman and Angus. Someone told me that perfection is the enemy of good. I know this to be true, but all my life I’ve had a hard time with “good enough.” I was about to accept “good enough” several years ago when Joy and I had dinner with a highly respected beef cattle consultant from Australia. That night I ran by him my idea of producing first generation Brangus. He said, “You will never make it work. There are not any

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, Bull Development 662.812.8370 South American Representative Ing. Agr. Federico Maisonnave (011) 595 981 362 898 Skype: federico.maisonnave TOTAL COMMITMENT




Brahman cattle in the U.S. that are fertile enough or sound enough to make it work. U.S. Brahman genetics are too big, have unsound feet and legs, and are mostly bred for the show ring.” I respected this gentleman’s opinion. Over time I learned that he might be correct. So I put the first generation outcross idea on the back burner, but it never really got out of my head. As I have gained a better understanding of our commercial bull buyer’s needs and objectives, I’ve learned they have real concerns about the direction of the Brangus breed. Town Creek Farm bull market is primarily in the Southeastern states with Florida being the largest. Lots of ranch visits have let me see firsthand what they were talking about. Over time Angus influence in black cattle has moved far to the right in many Southern herds. This has come about over time from subtle changes in purebred herds and from purposeful use of bulls primarily derived from Angus genetics by commercial cattlemen. Benefits from heterosis, adaptability, mothering ability, and heat and insect tolerance have diminished along the way. There are 30 million acres of Kentucky 31 (K-31) fescue in the Southeast that when grazed drive up the body temperature of cattle by one to two degrees F. This occurs from endophytes that protect the grass from insects and allow it to flourish. Cattle with sufficient Brahman blood tolerate this grass very well. About half of the grass on our ranch is K-31 fescue. This grass is critical forage for fall and winter grazing throughout the Southeast. For several decades a subtle trend has evolved in the Brangus breed that has made the Invisible Cow become even more invisible. This trend has occurred naturally by selecting Brangus phenotypes that show less ear, and have cleaner underlines and less “leather.” Cattle that express more pronounced Angus characteristics. Genomic testing has revealed that leading Brangus herd sires we thought to be true 3/85/8, (37.5% Brahman - 62.5% Angus) composition are closer to 30% Brahman and 70% Angus. I recently saw results of genomic tests on a group of leading Brangus sires that supply export semen. Only two Brangus sires on the list had greater than 30% Brahman blood. Breeding up to Brangus from Ultrablacks and use of Ultrablack bulls on commercial herds in the Deep South, on top of the natural divergence away from Brahman blood in registered Brangus bulls through selection pressure, has pushed Brahman blood to much lower levels in many commercial herds. Dr. Raluca Mateescu, with the University of Florida has recently published important research data on variations in body temperatures of crossbred Brangus-type cattle as a function of Brahman content. Her data appears to be in line

with similar data generated in the early 1950’s by Louisiana State University Jeanerette Research Station in the development of Brangus cattle. Both sets of data demonstrate that at least 3/8, (37.5%) Brahman blood is required to obtain meaningful heat tolerance. Heat stress affects daily functions of cattle, many aspects of reproduction including embryo development and survival, pregnancy rate and sperm quality, along with feed efficiency and conversion. Real world results, sound research and our own observations has convinced Joy and me that we must breed Brangus bulls that offer our customers genetic compositions which provide optimal breeding results in their herds. Regulating percentage of Bos indicus is one of the few strategies for ensuring sustainable beef production in increasingly hotter climates. In 2015, Joy introduced me to Henry Kempfer at the Houston Livestock Show. I asked Joy, “What does he do?” She said their family had a large cattle ranch in central Florida and had been ranching for more than 100 years and raised registered Brahman cattle. Then I asked, “What do their Brahman cattle they look like?” She said she didn’t know. We decided we needed to take a look. Three years later, 86 half-blood (½ Brahman, ½ Angus) yearling calves on the ground at Town Creek Farm and Cow Creek Ranch, we now have seen the Invisible Cow. She is beautiful! Utilizing in vitro fertilization on a year-to-year basis, we have found a route to improve the odds of producing the perfect first generation True Brangus (3/8 - 5/8) outcross. And, to our prediction there is a high level of interest in our half-blood bulls to correct Brahman deficiencies and impart higher levels of heterosis in commercial herds. We have bred half-blood bulls to some of our True Brangus (3/8 - 5/8) females to produce a new product line for our customers. They will be 7/16 Brahman and 9/16 Angus; 1/16th more Brahman blood than traditional Brangus cattle. These animals will provide tools to commercial producers to make more precise breeding decisions to sustain proper Brahman/Angus balance in their herds. Joy and I are excited about the positive response and interest we have received in our breeding program. Our plans are to offer meaningful quantities of Half-Blood Bulls in our October 20, 2018 Sale; 7/16 - 9/16 Bulls in our 2019 Sale; and new genetics First Generation Brangus (3/8 - 5/8) bulls in our 2021 sale. We will continue to publish the Brahman and Angus content of all our bulls in our sale catalog so that breeders can make the right breeding decisions for their herds and to buy our bulls with confidence. Come see our Invisible Cows at the ranch in October.

Coming Home BY ANNE SUTHERLAND MY FAMILY PURCHASED THE FIRST SECTION OF LAND OF WHAT IS NOW TOWN Creek Farm, I jumped at the opportunity. Starting this past June, my CREEK FARM WHEN I WAS A YEAR OLD. THIS LAND HOLDS MANY FOND MEMORIES days are spent taking care of the working horses and starting the FOR MY BROTHERS, COUSINS, AND ME; OUR SWING STILL HANGS FROM ONE OF young horses as well as helping with the day-to-day farm activities THE PROPERTY’S LARGER OAK TREES. Over the years, my grandfather, like cutting hay, working cattle, and record keeping, all the while Milton Sundbeck, has significantly increased the size of the ranch trying to soak up every bit and piece of knowledge about this and its cattle operation. What was once a passion is now a business, industry that I can. I learn something every single day from the great and I’m proud to be part of it. group of people I am lucky enough to work with. At six, I received my first horse and rode along on the farm with I mentioned in the last Grit that we have started our own ranch my father and his roping horse. Saturdays were spent with my horse breeding program and are developing young horses to be sold grandfather and cousin Sally feeding range cubes to stocker calves. as finished working horses. We have promising young horses in the We were allowed to feed them as many as we wanted and befriended program and have plans for future growth. Last week we visited particular calves over the years. Thomas Saunders and his family of A passion for these large beasts Saunders Ranches in Weatherford, led me to Mississippi State University Texas. While there we viewed topand a major in Animal and Dairy notch cutting and ranch bred Sciences. After two years, I stallions at ESMS on the Brazos, transferred to the University of Weatherford Equine, and Oswood Kentucky (UK) to show my horse on Stallion Station and booked our the University’s Dressage and mares for the 2018 season. Eventing Team. We traveled around We selected three stallions. the South competing. I still compete Hickory Holly Time: LTE $191,025, my horse when time allows. 2015 NRCHA Open Hackamore While in college, one of my partWorld Champion, 2014 NRCHA time jobs during the summer and Open Derby Champion, 2015 before class in the mornings was NRCHA Open Stakes Reserve exercising racehorses on the local Champion, and 2013 NRCHA training track. Many of my mounts Intermediate Open Derby Champion; were two-year-olds, and I was lucky Mr Playinstylish: LTE $145,551, a enough to be on them the first time two time world champion and 2016 ANNE SUTHERLAND SHARING A MOMENT WITH HER they stepped on a track and later NRCHA top 15 leading sire with GRANDFATHER, MILTON SUNDBECK, AT THE 2017 SALE. cheer them on at the races. NRCHA Open Bridle World Exhilaration doesn’t come close to Champion, AQHA World Champion describing the feeling of being on a horse the first time he breaks out Junior Working Cow Horse, Fort Worth Stock Show NRCHA Bridle of a starting gate or figures out just how fast he can run. Champion and Champion Senior Working Horse, and Two Time I graduated from UK in 2016 with a B.S. in Animal Sciences and Worlds Greatest Horseman Finalist titles; Im Countin Checks: LTE went to work as an assistant manager on a thoroughbred broodmare $514,757, a $3+ million dollar sire with a powerful dam side. He is farm in Lexington where I had worked previously. My responsibilities out of a daughter of Royal Blue Boon, dam of Peptoboonsmal. Im included providing nutrition and health care for mares and foals, Countin Checks was an NCHA top 10 sire in 2015, 2016 and 2017 assisting veterinarian on daily visits, prepping yearlings for sales, and is ranked #2 leading sire of 4-year-old and older horses sold in rehabbing race layups, and supervising staff. 2016 cutting sales. He has an impressive show record too long to list. Working in an industry where so much emphasis is put on the Our future is bright with the cowherd growing, successful bull pedigree of a horse gave me a passion for breeding animals and and bred heifer sales behind and ahead of us, and our horse program understanding genetics. I am lucky to be able to continue nurturing getting a solid foundation on which to grow. It’s good to be my passion here at Town Creek Farm. home, and it’s even better to be back on the ranch. I’m here When my grandfather asked if I wanted to join him at Town to stay.

Total Commitment

Town Creek Farm



Saturday, October 20, 2018 • 12 noon

Since 1993

160 TOWN CREEK FARM BULLS Powerful, functional Town Creek Farm bulls.

Including a sizable group of Half-Blood bulls (1/2 Brahman x 1/2 Angus)

275 COMMERCIAL BRANGUS BRED HEIFERS Sired by Town Creek bulls and bred back to Town Creek bulls. Go to our website to join our mailing list and request a 2018 sale catalog.

TCF Rapid Reward 145Z3 R10243006 DDF DOB: 9/21/2012 Sire: BRB RapidReward 99W11 • Registered $40/unit; Commercial $20/unit

✔ Quality Assurance always comes first. Total Commitment

Since 1993

FOR SALE INFORMATION or SEMEN SALES CONTACT: Joy Reznicek 205.399.0221 • Clint Ladner 662.812.8370 •


enough property to take on the bull development project. It made sense for him to build his program with widely A quarter of a century ago in 1993, founder and proven genetics owner Milton Sundbeck purchased his first 800 acres and continue to of fertile Black Belt land east of West Point, 25TH ANNIVERSARY produce and Mississippi. “A lot has changed in 25 years. Our most market registered visible change is our long-term genetic commitment to Brangus and Ultrablack bulls. the Brangus breed,” says Sundbeck. Sundbeck and his crew develop Cattle ranching runs deep in Milton Sundbeck’s family. In 1914, bulls on a ranch raised haylageSundbeck’s grandfather emigrated from Sweden and settled east of based ration. Austin, Texas, where he started a dairy farm. Growing up Sundbeck Town Creek Farm hosted its worked on the family dairy farm as well as on the cattle ranches of first public offering of bulls at his grandfather Lynn White on the Brazos River near Clifton, Texas, the ranch in 2013. Sundbeck has and on his uncle’s ranches in central Texas. Sundbeck developed a love and respect for land, cattle, natural environment and for people capitalized on relationships he MILTON SUNDBECK built while working with Cow who earned their livings from farming and ranching. He dreamed Creek Ranch and has carried on the program of working with smaller that someday he would be able to buy a place large enough to raise sized seedstock operations utilizing Town Creek Farm genetics and his own cattle. After graduation from University of Texas, Sundbeck entered the providing them a market for their bull calves. ey have become Town Creek Farm Bull Production Partners. Additionally, commercial chemical business and in 1969 was employed by Hercules, Inc. He producers using Town Creek Farm genetics sell bred heifers in his later joined American Cyanamid in Mobile, Alabama. In 1980, Sundbeck started his own chemical company, Southern Ionics, Inc. to annual sale. Town Creek Farm’s long list of repeat customers is a testament to manufacture and market chemical products for use in paper making the company’s high standards and attention to detail. “Our and in Portland cement manufacturing. customers return to us for our consistent quality and focus on In 2005, Sundbeck purchased his first registered herd of foragematernal and economic based Brangus and traits,” Sundbeck says. Ultrablack cows from Cow After 25 years of Creek Ranch in Alabama. operating, Sundbeck’s e forage-based genetics owned land-base has appealed to Sundbeck grown to more than 3,000 because of abundant acres along with 600 acres native and improved of lease land that is grasses on his Mississippi contiguous with his main property. His cowherd ranch. Town Creek Farm is acquisition came with the taking an aggressive and opportunity to market his leading role in developing registered bull calves new and true, 3/8 through Cow Creek Ranch Brahman and 5/8 Angus, bull sales as a joint Brangus genetics. In venture bull producer. addition, Town Creek en in 2010, the Farm is developing iconic Cow Creek Ranch additional heterosis herd was dispersed after product lines to serve the owner Joe Reznicek’s passing. Sundbeck was at BOSQUE COUNTY TEXAS 1949–LEFT TO RIGHT; MILTON’S GREAT GRANDPARENTS JAMES THOMAS commercial cattle industry. a crossroads and WHITE (BORN 1875) AND MARTHA LACINDA CARLISLE WHITE (BORN 1876); MILTON SUNDBECK “We are convinced questioned what to do HELD BY HIS GRANDFATHER LYNN WHITE; MILTON’S BROTHER, ARVID, HELD BY GRANDMOTHER that the next 25 years going forward with LAVADA MILLIGAN WHITE; AND MILTON’S MOTHER PREBBLE WHITE SUNDBECK. hold more potential for respect to marketing his Town Creek Farm than the registered bulls. e last 25 years. ere has never been as much opportunity for the untimely turn of events postured Sundbeck to either grow his Cow future of the Brangus breed as there is today. We are forging Creek genetic based cowherd or become a commercial producer. ahead at lightning speed both in terms of genetics and Late in 2011, land across the road from Sundbeck’s home place technology,” says Sundbeck. became available. Acquiring additional land made it possible to have TOTAL COMMITMENT

Demand for Town Creek Farm Genetics ONE OF THE LARGEST CROWDS EVER PARTICIPATED INPERSON AND ON-LINE IN THE TOWN CREEK FARM SALE, SATURDAY, OCTOBER 21, 2017. EIGHTY-ONE BUYERS FROM 13 STATES WERE SUCCESSFUL BIDDERS OF TOWN CREEK FARM BRANGUS AND ULTRABLACK GENETICS.Guests from Paraguay and Uruguay, South America, were on hand to evaluate the Town Creek Farm genetic program . Town Creek Farm owner, Milton Sundbeck, spoke of the future genetic direction of Town Creek Farm in his opening comments. Sundbeck summarized the Town Creek Farm new genetics project running at full throttle, which began with Brahman and Angus base genetics. He also

expressed his belief in the value of true 5/8 Angus and 3/8 Brahman cattle and emphasized Town Creek Farm’s continued focus on developing genetics while staying true to fertility, longevity, soundness and heat tolerance. 125 Town Creek Farm Bulls . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Avg. $4536 2 Town Creek Farm Half-Blood Bulls . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Avg. $10,375 140 Spring Calving Customer-Owned Commercial Bred Heifers . .Avg. $2236 122 Fall Calving Customer-Owned Commercial Bred Heifers . . . . .Avg. $2102 • High Selling Bull: TCF Rapid Reward 1540C3, $16,000 to Wells Cattle Co. • Second High Selling Bull: TCF Sleep Easy 145C6, $13,000 to Dollar Farms • Third High Selling Bull: TCF Sleep Easy 024C4, $11,500 to Dollar Farms Town Creek Farm, TCF Bull Production Partners and TCF Commercial Heifer Consignors extend a warm thank you for your confidence in our genetics.

Town Creek Farm Foundation Sire, CCR Integrity 355S4, Dies at Age 12

TOWN CREEK FARM WAS HONORED TO GREET VISITORS FROM SOUTH AMERICA IN EARLY JANUARY. Pictured left is Dr. Alfredo Rúveda, general manager of CIAVT Genetics, a 60-year old bovine genetics cooperative. CIAVT Genetics is located in Argentina in the heart of the humid pampa, a region of remarkable agricultural wealth. Center is Dr. Jesús Larrè, general manager of Gencal, S.A., a bovine genetics semen company located in Paraguay and sister company to CIAVT. Prior to joining Gencal, Dr. Larrè was previously general manager of a 100,000 head cattle operation and meat packing plant in Paraguay. Right is Dr. Carlos Vitelleschi, CIAVT Genetics of Argentina. The traveling group included Ron Sersland of Wisconsin who provided translation. The day was spent viewing Town Creek Farm’s fall pairs, long yearling bulls, coming yearling bulls including 53 half-blood bulls (1/2 Brahman, 1/2 Angus) and herd sires. The visitors shared their thoughts at the conclusion of the tour. “ We are very surprised by what we’ve seen today. Your cowherd is very moderate and very uniform. The calves and bulls are very uniform and good. We come to the U.S. to prove to ourselves that we have better genetics in our countries; then we see a program like this,” said Dr. Larrè. As for the half-blood bulls Dr. Larrè saw, he said, “I can’t believe how uniform these bulls are. I tried this same thing in Paraguay. I know how difficult it is to have this kind of success. We were not nearly as successful with our project. I’m very impressed.”

CYNTHIA BISHOP SHARED THIS PICTURE OF HER HUSBAND, CHARLES, CONNECTING WITH THEIR TOWN CREEK FARM BRED HEIFERS. They purchased 15 bred heifers in the 2017 Town Creek Farm Commercial Bred Heifer Sale. Charles Bishop is former Alabama Commissioner of Agriculture and served in the Alabama State Senate. While the Bishops are newbies to the cattle business they are lifelong agriculturists and hunters. We’re delighted they chose to stock their ranch with Town Creek Farm genetics.

CCR INTEGRITY 355S4, A LEADING TOWN CREEK FARM FOUNDATION HERD SIRE, DIED ON JANUARY 8, 2018. HE WAS 12 YEARS OLD. 355S4 was buried on Town Creek Farm where he was an active herd sire until 2013 and lived his last years of retirement. Nearly 1000 CCR Integrity 355S4 sired progeny are registered in the International Brangus Breeders Association official registry. Through his semen bank, 355S4 semen is still widely used today in both commercial cattle herds and in registered Brangus herds primarily on heifers as a calving ease bull. “355S4 has left a legacy for both Town Creek Farm and Cow Creek Ranch. When you have a Brangus bull that produces as consistently and uniformly as 355S4, you have to consider him an influential sire. With two gene pools (Brahman and Angus) in genetic make-up of Brangus, consistent producing sires remain one of the biggest challenges in our breed. 355S4 was a master sire in terms of consistency, says Joy Reznicek. I’m sad to see this one go.”

GEORGE AND CANDI CHAMBERS OF SOUTHERN CROSS RANCH IN GEORGIA SHARED THIS PICTURE OF THEIR DECEMBER 9TH SNOWFALL. “Here are Town Creek Farm genetics thriving in 9-inches of snow,” George said. The Chambers purchased 24 Town Creek Farm commercial bred heifers in the 2017 Town Creek Farm Heifer Sale. “These heifers had two 5x6 bales of good hay in front of them. They chose to dig under 9-inches of snow to find the ryegrass and clover.”

OUR RANCH CREWS ENJOYED A DAY WITH CELEBRITY HORSEMAN AND TEXAS RANCHER, THOMAS SAUNDERS, V. (L to R) Clint Ladner, Anne Sutherland, Thomas Saunders, Magers Anderson and Jeff Reznicek. LOOK FOR TOWN CREEK FARM CREW MEMBERS AND DISPLAY BOOTH AT THESE EVENTS: • February 9-10, 2018 – Mississippi Cattlemen’s Convention, Jackson, MS • February 27 to March 3, 2018 – World Brangus Congress, Houston, TX • March 9-10, 2018 – Alabama Cattlemen’s Convention, Huntsville, AL • June 19-21, 2018 – Florida Cattlemen’s Convention, Orlando, FL

Profile for Town Creek Farm

The Grit Winter 2018  

Enjoy Town Creek Farm's newsletter as we share ranch stories, industry happenings and, of course, updates on Town Creek Farm genetics.

The Grit Winter 2018  

Enjoy Town Creek Farm's newsletter as we share ranch stories, industry happenings and, of course, updates on Town Creek Farm genetics.