High Desert Born, High Desert Proven


Bovagene Update • January 2015

Dear Friends:

November 13th, 6:00 a.m. I looked at the temperature outside and it said 20 below zero. For years I had planned to have an important sale of my cattle. It looked like a disaster in the making. Four days before it was 60 degrees. Sale time three fourths of the sale bleachers were filled with good cattlemen who came to buy cattle.

Every animal sold and I was shocked and pleased at the prices they brought.

Thank you so much. The money you spent will help - with what?

January 2nd, I will be 83 years old. Gee whiz, the time flies when you're excited about the profession you've chosen to make a living in! Sometimes I feel I've just gotten started, and then I look in the mirror.

Looking back, I've won quite a few awards for work in agriculture. No effort has ever even come close to the challenge of producing better Angus cattle.

For a short span of 10 years, I have spent every available penny producing and saving superior Angus genetics.

What has it produced? The first of Feburary, 2015 there will be born high in the Colorado mountains the 4th generation of what I call one of the most valuable and predictable calves ever born in the Angus breed. His name is already chosen and his numbers will indicate small birth, high growth, and prime marbling. Although there are millions of interacting genes that play an important roll in determining the makeup of this calf, the consistency of three generations of ancestry before him will play a large part in what he turns out to be. For instance, all three generations have been excellent in every trait that helps good cattlemen be more successful. To me it has taken years of persistent and stubborn faith that it could be done. Hopefully he will only be the first.

Meanwhile, my health is good, cattle prices have never been this good, and the price of gas has continued to decline. Could anyone have predicted that?

Breeders that saw those great High Prime daughters sell in my sale saw first hand some of the best foundation females ever sold. What a great breeding bull he has been. He will always be in the pedigrees of my cattle. Maybe his greatest among many outstanding traits is efficiency. He has broken many records and still looks and performs well at ten years of age.

Make no mistake about it: anything is possible in genetics, if you live long enough. Every animal has something to contribute. The secret is to bring out these important traits with regularity. That usually takes three to four generations. More and more I see premiums being paid for cattle that come from a well-planned program. Large feeders and packers keep good records and will not pay any more for your cattle than they have to.

In order to get that extra money, you need to promote your quality. I have tested and followed through the packer eight sires progeny. I believe I know the equation. I've been there. High growth is one trait, high growth and small birth weight is more difficult, high growth, small birth weight and prime marbling is a needle in a haystack. But - I believe I now have it all with regularity.

I have selected about 100 breeders that I feel will be interested in what I am doing and I will be sending out these personal letters to them. The remainder will be able to read it on my web site. My wife JoAnne has purchased an 80 year-old house she was raised in right next to the cemetery - hmmm? We will be living there in the winter and in Colorado in my mountain cabin in the summer, watching my small number of cattle graze some great high country grass. Cany anyone think of anything better than that? If you like what I've doing, stay in touch.

Today is Sunday. We go to church to learn how to act the next six days. Then tomorrow, Monday, I go to the gym and give these old muscles a good workout. I get up about 4:00 a.m. and give my brain a good exercise because I know if I don't it will go away.

California is all green. Everyone but me is wearing a coat. I'm still thawing out. Keep the faith, think positive, make plans to be a success and work the plan.

Merry Christmas to you all.

As always,

Ben Lawson