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Topics - Olson Family Shorthorns

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1
The Big Show / New twist on Shorthorn Show Heifers.
« on: January 07, 2017, 03:42:53 PM »
This is a Red Demand x Ace of Diamonds heifer we raised and is being shown to great success by a very talented young man. She was 2nd in a very competitive class at NAILE, and was Reserve Champion today at Scarlet and Gray.

I know she's not exactly completely out of left field,  but there's no Solution, JPJ,  Double Vision in there at all.

Let me know what you all think.

2
The Big Show / (More) Shorthorn Cattle for you all to look at.
« on: November 04, 2015, 07:47:26 AM »
We pictured cattle this previous weekend, and I kinda wanted to show off the first two calves by our young donor, OLSN Revival.  The cow herself was only shown once, and was Reserve Grand Champion at the IL State Fair 2013.

Her first calf is by TM Gus and has been a great show heifer for us so far, and will be in Louisville. 

The second calf is her first ET calf, a May bull calf sired by TRNR Deception. I love this bull, and we will be showing him next year.

I believe this donor cow has the needed qualities to change many people's minds about Shorthorn show cattle.

3
May, Tankeray x H Lady Maxium 111 (5139R daughter).  She will be on display at KC. May be worth mentioning that this heifer's grandmother sold for 175k to Sierra Ranches in 2013 and a maternal sister to 111 by 88x sold for 180k just a few weeks ago.  This calf kind of fuses the best of two worlds- the consistency and real world approach of the Holden cattle from which her mother hails; and the sheer phenotypical quality and show appeal from her outrageously successful sire.

4
The Big Show / Hereford heifers.
« on: September 04, 2014, 09:23:37 PM »
Just in case anyone still thinks that Herfs can't be just a shiny as any other breed.


5
Since today kind of marks the end of the summer show season, I figured we could kind of share what we believe are under used or forgotten products that people overlook these days. Might also be a good time to share some newly gathered wisdom.

I'll go first.

Underrated product- Sullivan's Styling Mousse spray foam.  This stuff, IMO, is the #1 most underused and overlooked product out there.  I know we all used it when we were young before we knew why we did things.  But now, wow....this stuff is BOSS. Probably mostly useful in the summer when haircoats are a little thin, but it can thicken up and fill out a coat like nothing I've ever seen.

New wisdom? Let a dairy girl be in charge of filling the cattle at shows.  They really know their stuff.


6
I figured I'd show everyone what I'm up to these days since I seem to chime in on as much Hereford stuff as I do Shorthorn.

First two pictures are of a couple heifers we're showing this year. The top one won her class both days and was champ div V in the bred and owned show at jr nationals. The second one won her class both days and was reserve division VI in the bred and owned show. She has actually won her class all 4 times she's been at the ring at jr nationals.

Next two pictures are a couple of babies sired by 88x. Top one is out of a full sister to STAR Olivia. Second one is out of the same cow as the second show heifer (About Time x Pure Gold).

Any comments/questions are welcome!

7
So last fall it was time to buy a show heifer for my sister's last year in the Jr program.  I searched high and low, to no avail.  Then it was the weekend of huge Shorthorn sales in Iowa.  We have traditionally raised our own or purchased from what I would call reputable breeders and tried not to spend too much money.  I did buy a somewhat pricey heifer a couple of years ago, and it turned out fine.  But I didn't have 20k+ to spend this year due to not being rich and also trying to save up for my future and what not. 

But I digress.

We watched the sale at Cyclone Trace Cattle Co with much admiration for my friends and former colleagues.  The set of cattle was fantastic, with prices to match.  I couldn't hope to own one of those beautiful creatures that fit all of my criteria.  So then it was off to Sullivan Farms Maternal Legends sale.  We got there a little later than we had hoped, and didn't just have a whole long time to study the offering (could have taken two days and not got them all gone through). But we did find a few heifers that ticked all of our boxes and we thought we MAY have a chance at purchasing.

Our number one pick also happened to be the first heifer through the sale ring.  Cracked that one off for something like 50k. Well crap, didn't even get my hand raised on that one.  Then there was a period where none of the heifers we picked sold. And then our number two was up.  In my mind, not to far off number one, but quite a bit more green and younger than many of cattle in the sale.  And what do you know, when the hammer dropped, I owned a new Shorthorn heifer.  SULL Traveling Ruby. She was young, and green, and none too friendly...but she was the one I wanted. 

We got her home and on feed and got her a bit more tame.  Things were going well.  We took her to the Illinois Beef Expo where she was reserve in her division.  Not bad, but we could have seen her doing better.  No matter, take her back home.  Well...then I moved...again. And I couldn't take her with me.  So off to my Dad's house she goes.  I had no idea what would happen next.  My dad and brother have toiled on her for a few months and then I come home to rough her out for Jr Nationals.  I was pleasantly surprised with what I was presented with.  A heifer with some hair, some freshness, and a huge belly.  Now this I can work with!  So I rough her out and have to get back to my Herefords for our own Jr National. 

Dad and Shelby get down to Louisville and the heifer comes into heat.  Great.. I'm not even there to make sure things go well.  Luckily my girlfriend does get down there for a couple of days.  The Sullivan Farms crew headed up by Josh Elder take Ruby under their wing and finish clipping her and dressed her on show day.  And she walked away with Reserve Division III in the owned show.  I thought that was great for a heifer that could still be thought to be a bit behind in hair and condition compared to her contemporaries. 

I realise this is very wordy, and I apologise. 

I just want people to know that the price you pay for your project can bear very little influence on how that project turns out.  This heifer cost a whopping $5,000 and you wouldn't be able to separate her from heifers that cost 4 or 5 times that much last fall.  Having a set of criteria that you do not waver from is a must.  Soundness, maternal look, and growth are all very important when picking a show heifer.  I will attach a couple of pictures to show how much Ruby has come along for us.

8
The Big Show / Shorthorn Plus/Mainetainer heifer update.
« on: February 18, 2014, 08:01:39 PM »
I got her roughed out for the Illinois Beef Expo this weekend. I think she's pretty good. Come see us in Springfield!

9
The Big Show / Interesting ShorthornPlus/Mainetainer heifer.
« on: November 30, 2013, 02:02:48 PM »
This is a Simplicity x AoD. Her mother was (gasp) one of those show heifers from a big firm that apparently don't make cows.  Gave her a bath and a quick trim since I was home for thanksgiving. Any opinions, as always, are welcome.

10
The Big Show / Did a little roughing out this weekend.
« on: November 10, 2013, 02:13:13 PM »
This is a TM Gus x Double Vision heifer we sold this fall. I didn't realize how close they lived to me (I live across the state from my parents and the shorthorn farm) until they phoned and asked if I would be able to rough her out for Louisville. Long story short, we started looking for hotel room for this weekend as soon as I got the clippers packed up.

11
I've been thinking more and more lately that I'd like to see how people in other countries show cattle. I know the Euro dairy shows are quite impressive, and there are good beef cattle, shorthorns in particular, all over the world. I also know that work permits and other things can get sticky in the EU and Canada. So, I'm wondering if anyone thinks I could get somebody overseas or in Canada to let me help them for free, but help me pay my way?  Not to toot my own horn, but I'm really quite experienced and I think pretty handy at this whole thing, so maybe somebody would be in for it. I have seen a lot of the United States showing, I'd like to take it international!

12
This time of year there are more and more good days out. So it makes sense to get your steer or heifer in and get them all shined up after a long winter.  You go to comb the loose dirt out of them...and out comes a comb full of hair.  There are spots on the calves where they've been rubbing, even though you've wormed them regularly this winter.  It's already nearly april, the fair is just a few months away! What do you do now? Is the hair going to come back? What can you do to get your calves looking their best from this day forward? Never fear, this thread is here to ease your mind.  

Anyone who has any special "tricks" should post them here, and anyone who has questions...post them too! This should help cut down on the number of these questions that will be inevitably floating around in the next couple of weeks.

My strategy- I really should have posted this about 10 days ago, but I think it'll still be useful.  I always start to shuck our show heifers between March 15 and March 25th, depending on their age, where they are in their hair cycle, and what shows we're targeting for.  This year, both of our "good" heifers will be going to Jr. Nationals, IL State Fair, and at least one fall major.  I started actively shucking and washing daily March 20th, which is just over 90 days to Shorthorn Jr Nationals, and about 130 days before the State Fair. The first day of the spring shuck, I just use a curry comb and a regular toothed scotch comb. I start by combing down, then forward, then up. I don't get very aggressive with their bellies, tailheads, or legs, as new hair should come in those places much easier than their sides and top.  I comb them all out, then wash as usual. Blow them, and then put Revive or some other conditioning product in them.  The next day, and for about 10 days or as long as it takes to get 70-80% of the dead hair out, I use one of these [url]https://www.sullivansupply.com/cart/ia/p-1380-hair-shedding-comb.aspx[url] with the scotch comb. The 2nd and 3rd days are usually when I get the most hair, as once the calf starts to really let hair go, it goes fast.  I continue to use Revive or a similar product the whole time I'm shucking the calves.  It really gets the skin and new hair in good shape to grow even more. As long as it's not 65 degrees or warmer, I won't keep the calves in the barn while we're shucking, as the more sun they get, the faster the old hair will come out.  Now, once you get 70-80% of the dead hair out, you can stop using the shedder every day as it CAN pull out new hair. I use it once a week until about the first of May, or as needed while new hair comes in. I clip the heifers at this point, as it will accelerate the rest of the transition into a new hair cycle. We start our Jr. National care regimen within the first week of April, but you can hold off on washing 2x per day until the 2nd or 3rd week if you're aiming for a July or August fair. This is just a rough plan, and it's always subject to change. Good luck, and happy shucking! 

13
The Big Show / Paul Harvey...God Made a Farmer...Super Bowl Ad
« on: February 03, 2013, 09:04:11 PM »
Anyone else see it? Very impressed by it. I heard it before I saw it, and had no idea it was a Dodge advert. Kudos to Dodge, showing agriculture in a very positive light on primetime national TV in a way that is easily digested by the masses.  (clapping)

14
The Big Show / Anyone like craft beer?
« on: January 24, 2013, 10:42:22 PM »
Just wondering if anyone here enjoys a quality brew.  I'm on quite the sout kick as of late, it being winter and what not. Bell's Special Double Cream Stout and Left Hand Milk Stout nitro are probably my favorite as of right now.  My go to is the always delicious Sierra Nevada Kellerweis or their Pale Ale.  Anyone else?  <beer>

15
The Big Show / Shorthorn Heifers
« on: December 26, 2012, 09:56:08 PM »
We have been picturing some of our spring heifers the last couple weeks and just wanted to share them with ya'll.  These four are sired by Red Diamond out of very diverse maternal lines. They definitely showcase his consistency and ability to add body, mass, and power to most any cow, while still delivering a maternal package.

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