High Desert Born, High Desert Proven

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Bovagene Update • September 2014

This past May when I finished up AI'ing my cows, I headed west to California. Like I always do, I make a mental note of how many trains carrying double high containers from foreign countries I pass and the names printed on the sides. It's always disturbing to me to see more coming in than going out. But for the first time I noticed a few containers with COSTCO on the sides.

For the past three months I've had the opportunity to go to two different COSTCO stores in our area. Since I've always been interested in different marketing strategies, the first thing I noticed was the parking lots are always full and the shopping carts were huge. After we entered there were hundreds of customers checking out, all in long lines and of course the store was huge as well!

My wife, who loves to shop, gave me a quick tour and it seemed everything was in bulk. Large pallets and everything seemed to be of the best quality and a lot less price than other outlets. Unlike Walmart, not a lot of variety.

Then I saw (by accident) a 30 minute TV presentation that was all about COSTCO. For example everything they sell is tested for quality before they will allow it in their stores. Also, everything is marked up 15%. They even test the toilet paper they sell. I didn't know that our local super market marks up cereals like corn flakes 100percent or more. You should see those shopping carts over-flowing coming out of the store. Costco I predict will explode all over this planet.

Then, I couldn't help but notice the beef display case. WOW ! - Prime rib, $21.99/pound. I couldn't help but quietly think - "I wonder if any of those steaks were from High Prime sired calves?" In helping put together our November 13th sale catalogue, I didn't realize how many people in responsible segments of our business that do not know the EPD's on marbling that represent Prime. I have personally done a lot of carcass research for a lot of years. A marbling EPD of +50 or less will never produce Prime, but will most always produce choice in Angus cattle. Look at my added sheet. A proven sire that is plus on fat will never be a prime yield grade one or two. Most promoters that say their cattle have great carcass absolutely don't know a lot about carcass.

Most of the seed stock producers in the northern half of the U.S.A. do not have Prime cattle. They make unfounded statements in sale catalogues and adds.

I just received the latest Beef Bulletin from American Angus. The article that stood out to me was in large type. "BEEF MARKET WANTS MORE PRIME". Everyone in this business should be required to read this piece.

Commercial breeders who are not asking their bull suppliers for high marbling bulls are leaving a lot of money on the table. Can you imagine packer buyers in 2014 in Montana buying unborn calves from those seed stock producers who have good performance genetics. And guess what - they are paying a sizeable premium.

In this article you will find all the details. Prime carcasses bringing $20.00/hundred weight over choice. That's $160.00 per animal. Can you afford to give that away? It's a proven fact from thousands of harvested animals.

  1. Corn-fed steers produce healthier beef than grass-fed beef.
  2. High marbling cattle grow just as fast as low marbling cattle. In some instances faster.
  3. High marbling cattle have better maternal traits than other cattle, including milk.
  4. Most seed stock producers will be using higher marbling genetics in the future because there is more money in it.
  5. It takes two to three generations of high marbling genetics to produce prime cattle with regularity.
  6. High quality restaurants don't want huge rib eyes. 12" is the norm and they like it thick cut and charge as much as $75.00/meal.

For the first time - November 13th, Shoshoni, Wyoming you will have the opportunity to purchase the best genetics I've produced in 50 years. You don't have to wait three generations or 10 years for these valuable genetics for the future to be for sale. In addition, I'll say this:

  1. The DD addition to pedigrees is nothing more than a nuisance trait. Long toes, bad udders, high headed, poor carcass inefficient cattle are a hundred times more important than a DD carrier. I line-breed my cattle and that usually exposes those serious genetic defects that are terminal.
  2. Growth is important and like the man says - "weight pays" - but I say weight and quality pay more - a lot more.

Carefully study the information in our sale dispersal catalog. EPD's are the most accurate numbers we have. DNA shows trends. I will be in Wyoming during the month of October and November. If you don't receive a sale catalogue, call me at 307-340-0488 or 307-340-0219 and JoAnne will send one right out to you. Catalogs will also be in the October Angus Journal and on our web site "bovagene.com" after September 15th.

Our cattle always do better in other environments. Some more interesting facts. In the 2014 WBCIA bull test, A son of Bovagene Prosperity and another bred just like him were the two top gaining bulls.

As always,

Ben Lawson