My Future :o

Help Support Steer Planet:

TottenClubCalves

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 22, 2007
Messages
267
Location
Southeast
  Okay, I'm 17 years old and graduating in May, I have two show heifers one is bred and the other is 10 months old. I have alot of money invested in my whole FFA project somewhere of around 9,000 dollars between feed animals and show equipment. I really want to raise and later down the road show at some national open shows and I have the chance of a lifetime but need some advice. My great uncle in West Virginia has about 100 head of purebreed angus cows of good quality. He has a purebreed bull that runs on them year round and about every 4 months he rounds some calves up and sends them to feedlots. Well long story short he just retired and wants to give the operation to me 249 acres and the 100 head. I want to turn this into a club calf operation. So I was thinking that I would have to of course get rid of the angus bull and get a decent clubby herd bull. Next SHOULD I BREED ALL 100 OR PICK OUT THE BEST 30,40,50? After calving I would of course cull some cows and retain some of the better heifer calves to build my heard right? I basically need advice on how to get this thing going I realize this isn't something that is going to happen in 2 or 3 years but is it possible to have a good operation going in 10 years? Please I really do appreciate any advice and sorry its so long.
 

pigguy

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 4, 2007
Messages
662
Location
kansas
i would definatly do it.  i would decide  when you want the herd to calve, in the spring or fall. then put the bulls out with them at the right time(not all the time). but i would split the herd into 2 parts, a purebreed part, with the pure breed bull. and a club calf herd with a club calf bull. put the best in the club calf herd. and then if you cant find a good angus herd bull you could ai to the top angus bulls,and get a clean up bull.
Then when you go to wean, i would keep the best heifers keep a few for replacements. and then sell the rest as replacment heifers.and sell the lower quality at the sale barn. then do the same for the bull calfs, sell the lower quality keep th every best one and then sell the better quality as bulls.

then in a couple of years you should be up and running. just wondering his he selling it to you or are you inheiriting it? hope i was of some help
 

TottenClubCalves

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 22, 2007
Messages
267
Location
Southeast
I'm inheriting it but I was going to AI everythinfg and was planning on setting up have the herd to calve in the fall and the other half in the spring that way could have a private treaty sale of abot 30-40 head two times a year or should i just plan them all to calve around the same time. I prefer not to go purebred angus but I would almost always want atleats a quarter angus or more for maternal traits. Thanks for the advice Maine12  ;D.

I have herd of Cidrs and such to get cattle into heat and I realize that with a big operation like this bringing all the cows into heat at a certain time is important what is a good combination of drugs like cidrs and such to get cows into heat?
 

TottenClubCalves

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 22, 2007
Messages
267
Location
Southeast
No I live in Florida so I would be moving to West Virginia after I graduate if i decide to pursue it. I really want to because it's my dream to own a cattle operation. I will be going up there next month and will be shooting a whole bunch of pictures. the angus bull isn't much though. His cows aren't good bloodline cows but they are a good decent quality angus cow. Something to build off of. we plan on culling about 15-20 cows if i go up ther next year and investing in about 15-20 nice maine, shorthorn, even some simmental influenced cows.
 

CPL

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 15, 2007
Messages
608
I would say the number one thing would 1. Reputation 2. Good Cattle. If you work on your Reputation, and all the qualities that go into it, you'll have a great chance of everything else falling into place.

I doubt you'll be able to sell 30-40 calves in your first couple years or so, but good luck.
 

afhm

Well-known member
Joined
May 1, 2007
Messages
1,621
Location
parts unknown
First off, maybe you and your uncle should consider you coming up there and running it for a year as a type of an intern,  that is quite an undertaking for anyone let alone a 17-18 year old person.  There is a lot more to running those cattle than just breeding and marketing them.  There is fence to be maintained, feed and hay to put up, equipment to service.  You have to been a jack of all trades when your in the cattle/farming business.  That is a lot of cattle for that amount of acreage unless there is some more lease ground that he runs.  There won't be much time for a social life.  You will have to lean on your uncle for advice and his knowledge on how he made it work, which shouldn't be a problem if he thinks enough of you to give it to you.  Are there employees that you would need to pay or is it a one man show?  Would you also inherit any debt with the deal, or is every thing paid off and lwin free?  I don't mean to get you down, but just wanted to make sure that you thought about every thing that goes into it.

Now here is want i would consider doing with the cattle if they were mine.  With the demand for sim-angus females maybe you should consider getting a good simmy bull (Meyer 734 or Dream On son)and try and produce them witha portion o fthe cows.  You will need more than 1 bull so I would look into the sim-angus deal, maybe keep the angus or get another one to keep some purebred angus, and a clubby influence bull.  If you split them up 1/2 spring and 1/2 fall you can get by with fewer bulls.  As far as the good bloodline in the angus deal goes, you can improve that will the bull side of things.  Good cattle will sell regardless of bloodlines, but the right ones will increase their values.
 

TottenClubCalves

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 22, 2007
Messages
267
Location
Southeast
Yes, he's not just giving it to me and saying good luck, he' going to help me and show me the ropes. And no there is no debt everything is paid for. I  kinda wanted to AI alot of the females but I realize that can be expensive when your just starting out so should i pick out lets say the best 15-20 for the first year and AI them then let the bull run on the rest? I like the idea of the meyer 734 son but I was wondering if maybe I should even downsize the herd? I realize that 249 acres is not enough for 100 head so should I downsize to lets say about 75 head?
 

pigguy

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 4, 2007
Messages
662
Location
kansas
i would pick 20 of the very best cows, and ai them, and down size the herd to about 75. then split that herd of 55 in half 1/2 for spring and 1/2 for fall.
 

cowz

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 10, 2007
Messages
1,492
My advice is a little different.  Hire a good preg checker.  Not the local vet who has his hand in fewer than 100 head per year.  Get someone that can give you an accurate assessment of who is bred and when (Exactly) they will calve.  Then (assuming you have a good ID system) divide these cows into breeding groups. 

The group that will calve closer to when you can market club calves (fall in your part of the country?)  you could AI and purchase a good maine anjou cleanup bull.  The rest of the cows you could manage as a commercial / base herd.  You got good advice above.  You need to run no fewer than 3 bulls to cover 100 head. 


What are your facilities like?  Could you separate part of the herd for heat sych and mass breeding?

Never discount the true value of a well managed commercial herd of cows....they sometimes pay the way for your dream registered herd, especially as you are developing your program or changing gears.  Good luck and keep us posted.
 

OH Breeder

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 14, 2007
Messages
5,954
Location
Ada, Ohio
First let me say what an opportunity of a life time. Spend some time with your uncle and see what worked for him. Did he have just a local stock market or did he sell locally? I would go through the herd and cull hard. 100 head of cattle and one person is ALOT. You will eventually need some help and more an dlikely have to hire some labor in.
I would first evaluate the cows. Set aside 15 cows that you think would make good cross calves. I would AI them if it seems cheaper than purchasing a bull. That might keep your cost down at first. If you have a bull keep him and til you can get a feel for the operation.
I like the idea of a purebred Simm clean up and those make awesome club females or even good momma cows. You could then breed different ways. it will take some time to get a club market built up. Another option is to evaluate who is a good momma but maybe doesn't have the prettiest calves. You could use them as recieps or market them as recieps. The AI will take at least one other person if you plan on breeding them at one time with CIDRS etc. You can work them by yourself, but that requires the proper equipment and set up.
If you will have the help and the advice of your Uncle there is a alot to work out just yet. Take your time.
You also may want to survey the area and see what other operations are around that you might be able to meet a need.
Good luck.
Shawn
 

afhm

Well-known member
Joined
May 1, 2007
Messages
1,621
Location
parts unknown
One thing I didn't mention earlier is that you will be a rancher but first you are a grass farmer.  If you take care of your pastures fertilize, weed control, and practice intensive grazing you can run a lot of cattle on a small piece of ground.  How much of the 249 ac is in pasture?  How much is set aside for a hay field?  Not familiar with that area, does he have any row crops for silage or do you just feed hay in the winter?  Trying to AI all of them  or a portion of them is not a bad idea, but will be expensive.  For example if you just bred them once then put a bull with them you would need 100 units of semen at $20/ straw = $2000, cidrs and drugs will be around $1000-$1250.  Other supplies and equipment depending on what you have already will run from $100-1000 total if you need a tank and a AI kit.    Buying that much will probably warrant you a discount for a volume purchase atleast on the semen.  With that many head it would be foolish not to get a Heat Watch system, that will run $3000 and up.  Plus figure in your time.  Now if you hit a lick and can sell several of these calves the 1st year for say $3500 then all of this is paid for and people will think Trump is you financial advisor. There aren't a lot of club calf producers in that area that I know of,, so you may hit a nitch market over there and be making money hand over fist.  I would suggest that you do find time to take a few classes and make some progress to atlease an Associates  Degree just to have a backup in case something goes wrong or you want a change in life down the road.  I wish I could have had an opportunity like that.
 

TottenClubCalves

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 22, 2007
Messages
267
Location
Southeast
I planned on getting my associates in business at a local college up there. I don't know how much acres he has for hay but he does have a hay field, and yes he feeds hay in the winter. AFHM thats what i noticed that there weren't that many producers in West Virginia. He sells to a local stock yard year round.
 

DL

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 29, 2007
Messages
3,622
OK here is a different take - the devils advocate if you will - yes there is the potential here for an opportunity of a life time but there is also potential for a disaster of a life time.....One of the biggest issues with passing a farm or ranch to the younger generation is the 2 generations - a man who has 100 cows with one bull in with the cows and calves all year round is not on the cutting edge of the beef industry - differences in expectations, plans, management etc between generations is a major reason why some transfers fail. Is he really OK with you changing things up?

No matter what anyone says you need a lawyer

Have you considered doing a 2 year beef management program - although this is a great opportunity (perhaps) and you sound enthusiastic there is so much that you have to learn in such a short time. If you did that you could be involved but get smarter at the same time ;D then if things don't work out you will have something to fall back on..

re cows and grass etc - afhm is right - you need to be a grass farmer first and 100 cows is way too many to start with - also cows bred naturally for decades may not settle AI - no science to back that up that I am aware of but lots of experience. And finally you need to decide what your goal are - do you want to breed for good breeding stock or club calves, sounds like the latter. Half your club calf babies will be female and generally they don't make the greatest replacement females...OK - I'll be quiet now!

oh ps in some states there is redirected tobacco money available to improve livestock - you might look into that...


 

TottenClubCalves

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 22, 2007
Messages
267
Location
Southeast
yes he is fine with me taking it over, we both are going to attend some bull sales this summer to find a clubby type herd bull I really like the idea of a meyer 734 son for those showy and maternal traits. Second he has awesome grass almost everywhere. And last but not least thats why I would prefer to keep some angus atleast a quarter or more in all my animals for maternal traits. I realize that 100 head is much and thats why I plan to cull about 40 of them and am going to invest in about 15 nice angus or simmi influenced cows and AI them. I was kinda planning on every year keeping ten of my best heifers and culling about 5-10 head of cows a year, which means that in about 7 years I would have a heard ranging from heifers to 7-8 year old cows. I realize this is alot of work and my uncle isn't like here's the operation do it yourself. He is still going to help me and show me the ropes for as long as i need him.
 

afhm

Well-known member
Joined
May 1, 2007
Messages
1,621
Location
parts unknown
Sounds like you've got a good plan and advisor, all you need to do now is graduate and get up there.  In April Collins and Kephart have a bull and female sale, and there are many Meyer sons in that sale.  The male mates to the Exposure females.
 

JbarL

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 21, 2007
Messages
1,677
Location
30deg 17' 11.73 N 81deg 35'59.94&q
TottenClubCalves said:
No I live in Florida so I would be moving to West Virginia after I graduate if i decide to pursue it. I really want to because it's my dream to own a cattle operation. I will be going up there next month and will be shooting a whole bunch of pictures. the angus bull isn't much though. His cows aren't good bloodline cows but they are a good decent quality angus cow. Something to build off of. we plan on culling about 15-20 cows if i go up ther next year and investing in about 15-20 nice maine, shorthorn, even some simmental influenced cows.
what county in wva ??.....alot of great livin' there....and super farmin', too...(  and dont forget your sweater  :eek: ).....i agree with afhm  and dl....100 is a bit on the high side....alot of grass there ...but alot of wva its hard ( impossible) to put grass up in hay....depending on which part of the state your in....good luck....looking forward to seeing some pics......( cows and the turn of the season) .... absoute georgous piece of earth........jbarl
 

chambero

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 12, 2007
Messages
3,207
Location
Texas
You need to go into this with realistic expectations.

Proper facilities allow you to safely take care of more cattle.  Don't scrimp there.  You'll pay for them in a hurry if you are having to hire a lot of extra help.  One person can easily take care of 100 hd on that acreage if you can just get a little help on your big working events.

Commercial cattle will pay the bills.  Don't mess that aspect up.  You will be ahead of the game if you can average a few hundred dollars per head of real profit above market on your top end.  Out of 100 head, you might get a handful of show quality cattle.  The only way you will make a go of it is to increase the value a little on your average animals. 

It depends on the market, but generally you are going to bring in around $600 head of REVENUE on a weaning age animal.  Sometimes less, sometimes more.  When you are spending money, you had better not count on much more than that.  On 100 hd that = $60,000 per year of revenue.  Expenses come out of that.  You had better figure out if you will be satisfied on that kind of income.  With show cattle, you might add an extra $10-$20K on top of that if you are lucky, but its highly unlikely you'll double it.

Do the math up front and figure out if its worth it.  It is to a lot of people, but its not to a lot more. 
 

knabe

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 7, 2007
Messages
13,630
Location
Hollister, CA
Do the math up front and figure out if its worth it.

this is the best advice.  your great uncle knows more about this through up and down times and is THEE most important knowledge you can gain.  if you don't understand his books and what activities he undertook to go through ups and downs, you need to focus more on economics.  then chart what the costs of adding the clubbie perspective will be, ie semen tank, ai, better cleanup bull, marketing, time to get a reputation of enough animals to market at your own sale vs the cut other outlets will take.  what is the local market for clubbies, and who your competitors are because you will be cutting into their market, and with less people farming, there will be fewer outlets over time to market club calves too.  you must have market research skills as well.  add in a few more intangibles like experience, luck (good and bad) and see if you can stay in it long enough to do the same thing your great uncle is doing.
 

SWMO

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 27, 2007
Messages
715
Location
Carthage MO
You need a good lawyer and a good accountant.  Remember this is a business.  What are you going to do for cash flow until you are able to begin selling calves?  Your Uncle needs to work out a plan so that you are buying ownership.  Nothing worse than putting in 10 years of your life and then finding out that you own nothing when he passes and that someelse will inherit.  Even with no debt you still have to have cash to buy bulls semen fertilizer hay wormer feed and vaccinations.  You need a good budget, and a plan for the future.  What a great opportunity to be a great success and on the downside what a great opportunity to fail.  Planning is everything.

Good luck and don't forget to continue your education.
 
Top