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HOW MUCH CAN YOU PAY?

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The old rule of thumb that suggest paying at least four times the price of a feeder steer for a bull seems to have held true over the years.  So a 625 pound feeder steer bringing $1.60/lb  for a total of $1,000 would suggest one could pay $,4000 for a bull.  But what about replacement females?  Is there a good rule of thumb for the price one could pay for a bred heifer?  If there is you don't hear it talked about a lot in the circles I'm familiar with.  Body weight, caving date and phenotype are always factors considered and discussed but is there's a formula or reliable guideline?  There's always discussion regarding mature cow weight and frame score.  I struggle with the guy who wants 1250 pound mature cows and won't bid on a heifer unless she weighs 1,000 at 20 months of age.  That's 80 of her mature weight at 20 months!  I'm thinking she'll be more than 1250 at maturity.  All that being said, is the bred heifer worth twice the price of a steer calf?…

WELCOME TO WINTER

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Our snow's hip high on a short sheep! I'm thinking the drought is over, at least in my part of the country.  The first 8 inches came as rain and wet heavy snow and settled to about 4 inches.  Then I wake up this morning to another 8 inches of the cold dry kind.  Not a good day for a patio party before watching the Bobcat game on TV. The good news...gonna perfect on the burn permit and get rid of some unwanted brush piles.  I'm guessing the fire danger is near zero if not below and hoping the temperature stays above that mark.  Welcome to winter!

MERIT HEIFER IS ALIVE AND WELL!

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The NILE Merit Heifer class of 2017 left it's mark at Metra Park in Billings, MT once again!  I think back over the years to 2002 when I first became involved with the program.  Back when there were only five recipients and all the heifers came from Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch.  The next year we awarded twenty young people with heifers donated by some of the premier seed stock producers in and around Montana  Since then, the class size has reached twenty five most years with one year that I remember of thirty two recipients.  Today there are well over 300 "Merit Heifer Kids" out there in all facets of agriculture and other industries.  There are Lawyers, Bankers, Seed Stock Producers,  Herd Managers, Sales Professionals,  Ranchers,  Accountants, Photographers, Teachers, Mothers, Fathers and Students, just to name a few.  Everywhere I go, I run in to them and am always proud of each of their individual accomplishment's after graduating from the program.  The crea…

CAN'T PAINT TO SUIT MYSELF

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I had a talk with God the other day.  I said God, "The painting part isn't so bad but what about all the getting ready?  There has to be more than a million items to round up just to get the project underway.  Brushes, pans, rollers, ladders, stools, drop cloths, painter's tape, and rags just to mention a few.  Then paste, plaster, putty, and all the tools it takes to fill about a hundred holes!  I'll have to remove the switch plates, outlet covers, and light fixtures  plus the dreaded trim takes forever and of course the clean up is the worst!  God...I hate painting!  So, please don't make me do it, OK?  Can I go riding and chasing cows instead?"  He said, "Yes, as soon as the paintings done and you clean up your mess."

IT'S THAT TIME OF YEAR

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Fall is my favorite time of year.  I'd like it best if we could start the year with May and June then end it with September and October and maybe leave the rest of the months out.  Summers get hot and winters get cold...grass gets dry and snow gets deep, what's to like about that?  By fall the crops are in, the kids are back in school, the calves are ready to wean, the cows are soon to be winterized, it's football season, and Christmas is just around the corner!  Actually I'm a fan of four distinct seasons and look forward to the change that comes with them every year but still Fall is my favorite.  After all, I was born in the fall and am fortunate to get to celebrate the event each year.  I was going so fast when I hit twenty one, I slid clear thru sixty.  Now my side seems to be slowing to a shuffle and I'm prayin' God sees it fit to give me plenty of seasons to enjoy, just saying!

2017 MONTANA ANGUS TOUR IN THE BOOKS

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The Angus Tour people didn't know my name but they thought I was a cutie and folks came from twenty six states and three Canadian Provinces, I think to see me, and I know to see some of the best genetics in the whole wide world.  Talk about hospitality, the South Montana Angus breeders know how to throw a party.    Believe me, there were a lot of people for me to LOOK UP TO this week in Montana's Gallatin Valley!  In fact, one young fellow from the Lewistown area was tall enough to hunt birds with a garden rake.  It did take me a while to look up to him and I bet his Daddy had to shoot Corn Flakes up to him for breakfast when he was a boy!   In addition to good cattle and good people we got to see a lot of beautiful Montana scenery while riding the bus from stop to stop.  Which reminds me, on day the bus got back to our hotel so late at night it was almost tomorrow before we got to bed.  Momma said she now understands why Daddy gets a little crabby when he's night calving.  …

WE'VE TURNED THE CORNER!

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Several inches of wet heavy snow this morning at my place.  Can't decide if I should go without listening to the early morning news or take a ladder to the roof so I can clean off the satellite dish. If I listen to the news I'll be depressed and if I fall off the ladder I'll be depressed.  So, guess it's a toss up!  Anyway, a good reminder that it's time to blow out the sprinklers and mouse proof the village in advance of the real winter.