This is The Ledger Summer Issue. Open and start reading right away!

THE LEDGER Association News | Features | Events & Shows SUMMER 2019

Membership Directory

Official Publication of the American Aberdeen Association

Sandford Ranches Start with the best Angus genetics…

Coleman Bravo 6313 Angus Reg# 18734838 Coleman Charlo 0256 x Coleman Donna 714 Co-owned with Coleman Angus

ZWT Paxton 4686 Angus Reg# 17912234 OCC Paxton 730P x Coleman Donna 714 Co-owned with Coleman Angus

Designed by

Coleman Charlo 7177 Angus Reg# 19102292 Coleman Charlo 0256 x Coleman Donna 197 Co-owned wiht Coleman Angus

NCC Prestige 317 736K Angus Reg# 18121964 OCC Prestige 672P x OCC Blackbird 736K A maternal sibling to OCC Paxton 730P …to make the best Aberdeen Plus cattle!

Semen available from

Sexed heifer semen available!

DUFF Mercy Me 459 Aberdeen Reg# 28474 Ardrossan Orient x DUFF 927K Instinct 1541

DUFF Trust Me 2525 Aberdeen Reg# 22055 Fairwyn’s Low Beau 204M x DUFF Amigo 927K Juanda 071

Sandford Ranches Jack Sandford, Greenwood, Texas Call to order Semen — (940) 389-9225



The Tradition Continues ...

Registered as Duff Aberdeen 4105

SEMEN AVAILABLE: $35/straw Quantity discounts for 20+ more straws

SIRE: GTL Waylon W09 DAM: PRG248 Angus BD: 3/10/14


Heaven Sent Ranch

Jacob and Kendall Choctaw, Okla. Jacob: (479) 601-1551

Mike, Valerie and Hailey Fayetteville, Ark.

Mike: (479) 841-9319 “Championship Genetics with Commercial Application and Eye Appeal”

SUMMER 2019 | 3


THE LEDGER The official publication of the American Aberdeen Association is published quarterly and mailed to AAA members and interested parties. MAGAZINE STAFF Publisher Blueprint Media P.O. Box 427, Timnath, CO 80547 email: Managing Editor JESSIE TOPP-BECKER • (701) 307-0772 Editor LISA BARD • (970) 498-9306 National Account Sales Manager DEAN PIKE • (303) 810-7605 Designer/Materials Coordinator MEGAN SAJBEL •

ON THE COVER American Aberdeen cows are well known as excellent mothers. A cow grazes while her calf nurses at NDSU Dickinson Research and Extension Center. Photo courtesy AgTown Technologies.

FEATURES Efficient Cow

Superior Seedstock Learn the full value of American Aberdeen cattle in land-based production systems. Experience the Difference American Aberdeens aid producers in achieving goals. Strong Structure, Diverse Membership Launch AAA to New Heights New governance structure prioritizes member involvement and communication. Regional Associations Get involved with breeders in your area. Involving Youth in the Future 54 62 60 64


More cows on the same forage means more profit.

(303) 981-4668 Administration LESLIE MCKIBBEN (970) 556-9296 Copy Editor LARISA WILLRETT

American Aberdeen Advantage


Breed’s suite of traits appeal to all production schemes.

The Interplay of Frame Size and Production Efficiency

20 24

How to determine the “right” size cattle for your operation.

All About the Beef

American Aberdeens’ efficiency, high-quality beef appeal to producers and consumers alike.

NEXT ISSUE ADVERTISING DEADLINE ISSUE: DEADLINE: Fall 2019 Aug. 1, 2019 The Ledger is recognized by the American Aberdeen Association as the official breed publication for Ab erdeen cattle; however, management, editing and financial responsibilities are vested in BluePrint Media LLC. We reserve the right to edit or refuse any copy or advertising material submitted for publication. BluePrint Media LLC hereby expressly limits its liability resulting from any and all mis prints, errors and/or inaccuracies in advertisements or editorial content. The opinions and views expressed in all editorial material are those of the writer or the person interviewed and not necessarily those of American Aberdeen Association. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: American Aberdeen Association, 19590 East Main Street, Suite 104, Parker, CO 80138.

Membership Directory


2019 reference listing of members of the American Aberdeen Association.


Junior association piques youth interest in livestock industry.

20 60

DEPARTMENTS 8 President’s Column 8 Junior Corral

10 Logistics 10 Aberdeen Events 80 Ad Index


SUMMER 2019 | 5




Bulls, Females & Semen For Sale

MM34305 | Semen Available

Tummons Cattle has exhibited



TUMMONS CATTLE Brad & Julie Tummons | Gallatin, Missouri 660.334.0011 | 660.334.0510 @TummonsCattleCompany





1 8 9 3 Chain Ranch Canton, Ok

Thank You to all of our past Aberdeen buyers! Bulls for sale private treaty

Mark your calendar for our upcoming sales –

ROUNDUP R ed D irt

Spring Bull & Female Sale Saturday, March 21, 2020

Fall Production Sale Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019

1:00 p.m. at the Ranch · Canton, OK · Lunch at Noon

Chain Ranch Newley Hutchison 405-669-1435 (office), 580-886-5085 (cell) ▪ Email:

SUMMER 2019 | 7

AMERICAN ABERDEEN ASSOCIATION 19590 East Main Street, Suite 104 Parker, CO 80138 • (303) 840-4343 BOARD OF DIRECTORS President CRAIG WALKER • W Diamond Livestock Co. 1601 Springfield Rd. • Roswell, NM 88201 (575) 626-7444 Vice President DARWIN ENGELKES • Pine Hurst Farm 16927 H Ave. • Wellsburg, IA 50680 (319) 415-0540 Secretary NEIL EFFERTZ • Effertz EZ Ranch 17350 Hwy 1804 N. • Bismarck, ND 58503 (701) 471-0153 • Director GARY GILBERT • Gilbert Aberdeen Angus 3986 Lindahl Rd. • Hermantown, MN 55810 (218) 348-7877 Director ROB FANNING • Fanning Cattle Co. 877 Oakland Lane • Harrodsburg, KY 40330 (309) 373-2996 Director WADE COFFEY • 7C Aberdeen Cattle Co. 4001 W Glencoe Rd. • Stillwater, OK 74075 (405) 880-6908 Director

PRESIDENT ’S COLUMN  CRAIG WALKER G reetings. If you found your name in this direc tory edition of The Ledger , thank you for being a valued member of the American Ab erdeen Association. If you are not a member, we thank you for your interest and WELCOME you! Between the pages of this inaugural edition of the American Aberdeen Association Membership Directory we have included what we believe you will find both help ful and compelling as you contemplate the future of beef production and realize how American Aberdeen cattle can help combat some of the imposed pressures that exist today. The need for a low input, efficient, consistent, sustainable and, perhaps most important, a lower environmental impact beef breed is here. And Ameri can Aberdeen cattle are the answer. As members, we encourage you to take this information to your local communities and share the value of this great breed with other beef producers. If you are interested in what this breed can do for your operation or are in the market for American Aberdeen cattle, please contact any of the breeders listed in this directory. We have a strong member base and any one of them would gladly help you. A huge thank you to The Ledger Committee, BluePrint Media, AgTown Tech nologies and our largest set of advertisers for seeing the need for this publi cation, adding value to our membership and getting it put together in such a timely manner. TL The need for a low input, efficient, consistent, sustainable and, perhaps most important, a lower environmental impact beef breed is here. And American Aberdeen cattle are the answer.


H ello, everyone. I hope everybody is having a good spring and is ready for summer. The American Junior Aberdeen Association (AJAA) Board of Directors has been working diligently to hammer out details and set up for the AJAA Junior National Show and Competition. Junior Nationals is coming up quickly, and I hope to see you all in Law rence, Kan., at the end of June. The AJAA plays a very important role in the cattle world, especially the American Aberdeen world. The AJAA helps to

ALLEN SIEVERKROPP • S Four Farms PO Box 235 • Ephrata, WA 98823 (509) 750-4203

AAA Representative  DEAN PIKE

Need assistance in purchasing Aberdeen cattle, marketing your program or herd management? Contact Dean Pike: (303) 810-7605

educate young cattlemen and women, and helps promote responsibility. AJAA Junior Nationals is not just a cattle show, there are many different events that the juniors are able to participate in. This annual event gives junior members the ability to compete against other people their age, allows them to make new friends and have fun while they do it. For these young people, being a part of the American Junior Aberdeen Association means much more than just show ing cattle. The relationships made along the way last forever. It gives me joy to be a role model and help these juniors achieve their goals. The AJAA is the future of the breed. Without these young people developing these relationships and exhibiting these cattle, the breed would be in a much different place. Our AJAA Junior National Show and Competition has experi enced consistent growth in participation over the last few years. It is nice to see more young people becoming involved, whether they have owned these cattle for a while and not shown or they are brand new to the breed. AJAA membership continues to grow steadily. We hope to see the entries at the AJAA

For information about registering animals or membership, contact the AAA Office: 19590 East Main Street, Suite 104 Parker, CO 80138 • (303) 840-4343 The American Aberdeen Association is a not-for-profit corporation of North Dakota dedicated to the preservation and promotion of Aberdeen cattle . The International Year Code for 2019 is: G

Continued on page 10 


Building the DCS Pref ix Deep Creek Seedstock Predictable Genetics Follow Predictable Cows

DCS Dazzle 1A Aberdeen Moderator 62.5% • Daughter of Sizzle 2014 National Reserve Champion

DCS Forever More 4F Aberdeen Moderator 62.5% • Son of Sizzle 2019 National Champion


EZ Sizzle 137X Aberdeen Moderator 75% Sire: Vitulus Branded Red Dam & Granddam of these Predictable Genetics


DCS Special 2E Aberdeen Moderator 56% • Granddaughter of Sizzle Sire: DCS Cash 1C • Two-year-old First Calf Heifer

DCS Farrah 2F Aberdeen Moderator 62.5% • Daughter of Sizzle Flushmate to DCS Forever More 4F

THESE PREDICTABLE GENETICS FOR SALE Bulls • Heifers • Cows • Semen • Embr yos Fullbloods & Moderators • COME BY FOR A VISIT!

D E E P C R E E K S E E DS TOC K JILLANE PIKE 140246 Mitchell Heights Road · Mitchell, NE 69357 720-891-5171 ·

Visit us at Deep Creek Seedstock

SUMMER 2019 | 9


Spread the Word

W hat a spring! A crazy flurry of weather events have chal lenged cattle producers all across the country while a crazy flurry of activity has ignited a tremendous enthusiasm in American Aberdeen breeders all across this land. The activity and input we are now receiving from breed ers across all regional groups is unprecedented. The ideas and involvement are so encouraging to some board mem bers who have felt a bit “on an island” in previous years. This is great! Please get in touch with your regional representatives to pass on any suggestions or to volunteer for any of the diverse projects the very active committees are now en thusiastically pursuing. Familiarize yourself with the com mittee structures and their objectives on the American Aberdeen Association website, www.americanaberdeen. com/about/committees . You can also learn more about the association’s structure and ways you can get involved on page 62 of this issue. The activity and input we are now receiving from breeders across all regional groups is unprecedented. The ideas and involvement are so encouraging.

All phases of the breed are stimulated, motivated and active. Please get involved. The board of directors and committees are trying really hard to communicate with our membership to make sure no one gets left behind as we take a giant leap forward. Aberdeen Premium Beef An Aberdeen Premium Beef Source, Age and Breed Verification Plan is one of the exciting plans that has been developed by the Aberdeen Premium Beef Task Force, with the help of Doug Stanton at IMI Global (Where Food Comes From). This program will enable us to market feeder cattle, eventually the fat cattle and finally the beef from cattle sired by registered American Aberdeen bulls in all categories of our registry. Check out and familiarize yourself with those rules so you can pass information on to all of your bull customers. We need to build a net work of producers of American Aberdeen-cross calves to develop a significant number of cattle that will qualify for this plan. This will enable us to bring on a meat marketing partner, or partners, to impact the retail marketplace with a truly superior quality product for consumers who really care about where their food comes from. Several of you are already working on this, and it is im portant to keep this ball rolling in all of our conversations with other breeders and commercial producers. Become knowledgeable and spread the word! TL

Junior Corral Continued from page 8


Junior Nationals grow again this year – our barn was almost full last year. It is always nice to see new faces at our events. The AJAA plays a very important role in the cattle world, especially the American Aberdeen world. The junior program would not be possible without the American Aber deen Association. There are so many supportive people who help fundraise and plan, and who help in countless other ways to help us execute the AJAA Junior National Show and Com petition and our junior events at the National Western Stock Show every year. The AJAA Board and the junior program could not succeed without these supportive people. A huge thank you goes out to every single person who has helped us along the way. TL

June 24-29

October 12

AJAA Junior National Show and Competition, Lawrence, Kan.

Shetler Cattle Company Aberdeen Production Sale, Dickinson, N.D.

September 24-26

January 2020 22

Big E Junior and Open Show for American

National Western Stock Show (NWSS) American Aberdeen Junior Show, Denver, Colo. National American Aber deen Sale, Denver, Colo. NWSS American Aberdeen Open Shows, Denver, Colo.

Aberdeen Angus, Springfield, Mass.

29-Oct. 6


Freyburg Fair, Freyburg, Maine


Photo by Muddy Creek Ranch


H erd R eduction S ale

Private Treaty thru' June 2019

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Photos of cattle sold or for sale


'CROSS CREEK FARMS Ron & Cindy Jackson Bluett 909 Travelstead Rd. • Adolphus, KY 42120 Cell: 270-606-0965 Email: Contact us for more information and our price list!

SUMMER 2019 | 11



Our breeding philosophy is driven by these two words.

Ardrossan Jacarla

Ardrossan Orient


Gary & Terry Gilbert 3986 Lindahl Road • Hermantown, MN 218-348-7877 •

Ardrossan Isadora


Ausmerica Xtreme


SUMMER 2019 | 13

The average Angus cow weighs 1,400 lb If you want to make replacement heifers that will mature as 1,100 lb cows—without sacrificing muscle and shape—there’s only one way to get there. The American Aberdeen crossbreeding advantage: » » Fix cow size in one generation » » Reduce calving problems » » Produce more ribeye per hundredweight » » Increase marbling » » Produce more gain per acre » » Increase percentage of cow weight weaned When evaluated on a per-acre unit of production, smaller cattle have a 10 percent advantage over larger cattle. Are you ready for an American Aberdeen bull?

Could this be the most efficient range cow in America? What does efficiency look like in a cow-calf operation? At the ranch level, efficiency is the value of beef produced per acre, less operating costs. Efficiency should be evaluated per acre, not per calf. Your annual income is improved by increasing the net income from the ranch, not the gross value of individual animal performance. Efficiency looks like more money in the bank.






For semen inquiries on these bulls or any other PowerPlus sire, visit You can also contact our office at 405-547-2710 or call Mike Marlow 405-880-0108 | Jack Sandford 940-389-9225

DUFF CATTLE COMPANY • (580) 726-3313 13990 North 2220 Road • Hobart, OK 73651 Kirk Duff (580) 331-9235 Todd Duff (580) 530-0454

SUMMER 2019 | 15

Do the math… More cows on the same forage means more profit. What are your biggest costs? Feed and labor? Taking into account all of the variables Mother Nature throws at you, the key factor you can control is cow size. Getting cow size and stocking rate right has a huge impact on the bottom line. Smaller cows mean more cattle on the same forage base. Spreading your fixed costs over greater numbers and reducing variable costs per head improves net profit.

Change is hard… Cashing bigger checks isn’t. If you’re going to sell 50,000 lb of calves, which load do you want to sell? Load A = 111 450 lb steer calves @ $1.43/lb = $71,429 Load B = 77 650 lb steer calves @ $1.17/lb = $58,559 The 111 Aberdeen calves grossed an extra $12,870 over the 77 heavier calves. Still want to sell big calves? What if instead of chasing weaning weights, we focused on efficiency and net profits?

CowWeight vs. Herd Size


1000 lb


100 hd

1100 lb



1200 lb

91 hd


1300 lb

83 hd

80 Herd Size

1400 lb

Call your local American Aberdeen breeder, or visit , to see how getting cow size and muscling right leads to great profitability on the ranch.

77 hd

A ranch that produces enough forage to feed 71 hd of 1,400 lb cows could run 100 hd of 1,000 lb cows on the same acreage.



71 hd

Cow Weight (lb/hd)

Value of Calves Sold 100 hd 500 lb steer calves @ $1.658/lb = $82,900 Total pounds sold = 50,000

71 hd 583 lb steer calves @ $1.535/lb = $63,538 Total pounds sold = 41,393

Advantage to the Smaller Cows = $19,362

16 | THE LEDGER American Aberdeen Association Seedstock Programs Fullblood | Aberdeen Plus Moderator ® Moderator Plus ®

Considere la los números… Más vacas en la misma pastura significa una

Es dificil cambiar… Cobrar cheques de mayor valor no lo es. Si usted desea vender 22,679 kg de becerros ¿a qué peso los quiere vender? Peso A = 111 becerros novillos que pesan 204 kg a US$ 65 cent/kg = $71,429 Peso B = 77 becerros novillos que pesan 295 kg a US$ 53 cent/kg. = $58,559 Los 111 becerros Aberdeen Americano proporcionaron in ingreso bruto de US$ 12,870 en comparación con los 77 becerros más pesados . ¿Todavia quiere vender becerros más grandes? ¿Qué pasa si en vez de seguir los pesos al destete, nos enfocamos en la eficiencia y en los ganancias netas?

mayor ganancia. ¿Cuáles son sus costos más altos? ¿Alimentación o mano de obra?

Teniendo en cuenta todas las variables que la Madre Naturaleza nos demuestra, el factor clave que usted puede controlar es el tamaño de la vaca. El tamaño apropiado de las vacas, junto con elíindice de carga de la pastura, impactará sobre el balance final. Vacas más pequeñas significan más ganado en la misma pastura. Si se distribuyen sus costos fijos sobre un número mayor de animales y se reducen los costos variables por cabeza, mejorará su ganancia neta.

Peso de las vacas vs. tamaño de la manada


454 kg


100 cabezas

499 kg



544 kg



590 kg



635 kg

Llame a su criador local de Aberdeen Americano, o visite el sitio, vea cómo lograr el tamaño y la musculatura de las vacas que lleva directamente a una mayor rentabilidad de la finca.

77 Una nca que produce su ciente comida como alimentar a 71 vacas que pesan 635 kg cada una, también podría alimentar 100 cabezas de vacas que pesan 453.5 kg en los mismos hectárea de pastizal.


Tamaño de la manada


71 cabezas

Peso de vacas (kg/cabeza)

Valor de los becerros vendidos

100 cabezas de becerros novillos de 500 lb (226.7 kg) a US$ 1,658/lb = US$ 82,900 Total de libras vendidas = 50,000 (22,680 kg) 71 cabezas de becerros novillos de 583 lb (264 kg) a US$ 1,535/lb = US$ 63,538 Total de libras vendidas = 41,393 (18,775 kg)

La ventaja de las vacas más pequeñas = US$ 19,362

SUMMER 2019 | 17 IVESTOCK ALDRIDGE B B Sponsored by: / Patrocinado por: Baldridge Livestock Breeding Quality 318.650.6001 www.Baldri

American Aberdeen Advantage Breed’s Suite of Traits Appeals to all Production Schemes BY THE LEDGER STAFF T he popularity of American Aberdeen genetics in com mercial, purebred and breed up production schemes is ing density since adding American Aberdeen genetics to his cow herd. Duff’s half-blood American Aberdeen cattle have reduced his dry matter consumption by at least 25 percent. American Aberdeen cattle to their operation, the couple and their ranch

manager/daughter, Lynn Watkins, have been able to consistently pro duce more beef on fewer acres. “The way we are heading, we are going to be more efficient and pro duce more pounds per acre,” Lynn says. “We can run 1.5 animals on the traditional stock per acre, and we can do it quicker.” The Watkins family credits part of their success to the introduction of the American Aberdeen Association’s Moderator ® program. The program was instituted to designate percent age American Aberdeen cattle of high genetic quality as Moderators. The purpose of these animals is to moderate a commercial herd in the first generation while improving beef quality. “Whatever works in your part of the country, Moderator cattle can be bred to fit your environment,” Larry says. “The added value you get is built-in calving ease from the maternal and paternal side, along with the ability to reduce your mature cow size to some thing that fits your program.” American Aberdeen’s ability to moderate frame size is the driving force behind the Esser family’s deci sion to continue raising this breed of cattle on their Bloomington, Wis., operation. “We wanted a breed that we could expand with on our small acreage, and American Aberdeens fit the bill,” Shea Esser explains. “Their docility, easy fleshing ability, functionality, stocking rates and beef quality were what really made us consider the breed.” Over the course of the last 15 years, the Essers’ program has made great strides and evolved from the hobby it started as, incorporating a

increasing as commercial producers are seeing the benefits American Ab erdeen can provide, including predict ability and quality; docility and longev ity; calving ease and efficiency. The cattle are good natured, feed efficient and maintain themselves on grass. They are ideal show animals for bringing in the next generation of cattlemen and women. Their input costs are less and they exhibit excel lent texture, taste and tenderness beef characteristics. This is no secret to American Aberdeen breeders who have known this for years. But the trend is finally catching on with breeders across the country. Fewer Inputs, Maximum Efficiency Neil Effertz’ ties to the American Aberdeen breed can be traced back to 1996 when he brought the first Ab erdeen female to the United States. American Aberdeen cattle thrive on smaller amounts of feed because of their efficient conversion of grass to meat, so the use of American Aber deen cattle on his Bismarck, N.D., ranch has reduced much of Effertz’ labor, feed and management costs. “The No. 1 variable cost in Amer ica’s beef cattle industry is mainte nance and feed,” Effertz says. “These are incredibly low input cost cattle that take a lot of the expense out of beef cattle production.” Since switching to the lower maintenance American Aberdeen and implementing a better rotational graz ing management system, Effertz has doubled his stocking rate. Longtime Hobart, Okla., cattleman Kirk Duff has also improved his stock

With cattle in three states – Colo rado, Wyoming and Oklahoma – Ft. Lupton, Colo., producer Brian Walters encounters a considerable variation in environments, so having more optimum cattle that will perform on less feed and minerals in drought prone areas has been beneficial for his operation. “We have seen a considerable difference in stocking rates with the use of the more moderate Aberdeen genetics,” Walters says. Previously, it could take Walters as much as 35 acres per cow-calf unit, but with the use of American Aber deens, he has seen that number drop as low as 23-28 acres per cow-calf unit. “The savings in seven acres may not seem like a lot, but for every four cows, we can now add a fifth cow,” Walters explains. The breed’s efficiency is what got Colorado cattleman Shane Goss, who ranches near Calhan, Colo., interested in adding the cattle to his operation. “After learning about the benefits that Aberdeen cattle could have on my herd, it led me to start thinking about adding the feed efficiency and moderate size of these cattle to our bigger cattle in order to cut feed input costs,” Goss says. “By adding Aber deen genetics to my cattle, I could establish a cow herd that could func tion on fewer acres per year per pair, which would allow me to produce more beef on fewer acres.” Like Goss, Groesbeck, Texas, ranchers Larry and Kim Watkins of Flying J&L Ranch were also attracted to the breed’s efficiency. Since adding


more rigorous breeding program that includes Moderator and fullblood American Aberdeen females. Like the Essers, the breed’s frame size and efficiency appealed to Cody, Neb., rancher Jerry Adamson and his son, Todd. “Our cows were too big and they weren’t paying their way on this grass,” Todd says. “We couldn’t ex pect a 1,400-pound cow to eat grass and wean 50 percent of her body weight. “We knew we had to get back to the smaller-framed cow, bred to a crossbred bull of some sort,” he adds. “We needed to get back to that efficiency to best sell our grass.” Initially, the Adamsons crossed fullblood Aberdeen bulls with their first-calf heifers, a win-win for calving ease and delivering a smaller-framed cow. The best heifers were kept as replacements, and the process con tinued as they worked to cycle the cow herd. Eventually, they switched to half-blood Aberdeen-Angus bulls to keep the resulting calves from getting too small to fit their end goal. “Our intent from the get-go was to create a more efficient herd that would fit into the commercial indus try,” Todd says. “The [Aberdeen-influ enced] cattle are easier fleshing and, in general, they will wean a higher percentage of their body weight than the average cow.” Sound Reproduction, Elite Mothers While more beef per acre is a prior ity for many producers, the longev ity and reproductive success of the American Aberdeen breed is another attractive quality. The Watkinses are no exception. “We are really trying to produce for the commercial cattlemen, so we need animals that can consistently re produce, year after year,” Larry says. “As beef producers, we see the dol lars in each cow. She has to produce a sizeable calf each year to pay for the amount of pasture and feed she consumes.” Due to the smaller size of an American Aberdeen newborn calf, assistance is not generally required at calving. American Aberdeen cows are also known for being excellent mothers, a trait that appeals to many breeders, including Effertz and Goss. Effertz calves all his first-calf heif ers on open range and notes his death loss and calving problems have

significantly decreased since raising American Aberdeen cattle. “A 78-year-old friend tried my Aberdeen bulls on 140 heifers. He called me later and told me this is the first year he will wean 100 percent of his first-calf heifer crop,” Effertz says. The cattle’s docility and vigor has also re

duced the labor required to handle Effertz’ herd. “It’s taken so much work out of the cattle business for us,” he says. Upon adding American Aberdeen genetics to his herd, Goss soon learned there were numerous reasons why breeding American Aberdeen to other cattle breeds could add value to the beef cattle industry. “True low birth weights,” he says. “You can’t argue this point when we can consistently crank out 40-pound fullblood calves. I can put a percent age bull on a set of commercial first-calf heifers and can sleep at night during calving season.” Like Goss, Duff is also enjoy ing increased calving ease since he started breeding all of his Angus and Red Angus females to Aberdeen bulls. Most of his calves fall within a 60- to 70-pound birth weight. Quality Cattle, Quality Beef Producers who add the breed’s ge netics to their herds also experience success in the feedyard. American Aberdeen cattle are praised for their excellent taste, texture and tender ness characteristics and exceptional ribeye area per hundred pounds of body weight, which translate to high yielding, high-quality, high-value beef carcasses. “Your calves can go from weaning to stockers to feedyards to packers. Moderator cattle can be tailor-made for grass-fed beef operations, short fed programs or totally forage-based operations. They will work in any situation,” Larry says. “Moderators will have more meat and muscle; they will be better at converting grass or feed to red meat than other breeds of cattle. You can have more calves to sell on a set number of acres with few inputs.” Walters has also noticed a dif ference in the end product. When his Aberdeen-cross cattle were fed

through the feedlot and sold on the grid, he noticed improvements in feed efficiency and pounds of gain. “The Aberdeen cattle outperformed our larger cattle in consistency of Quality Grade and the amount of primal produced per pounds fed,” Walters says. Duff has found that his Ameri can Aberdeen calves have added marketability over other low birth weight breed options as replacement females or as feeder cattle because they will grow, finish and grade well. “The other thing I’m seeing as we feed out Aberdeens is they are finish ing with fewer days on feed because they reach a mature finishing point more quickly,” Duff says. Profitable Alternative These breeders all agree, regard less of production scheme or opera tion size, American Aberdeen cattle offer a profitable alternative to cattle producers across the country. “With the changing needs of the agriculture industry, we believe that cattle producers must start thinking outside the box in order to produce quality cattle, be competitive and turn a profit,” Larry says. “The way the industry is headed, we have to be more efficient, and that is what our breeding program is proving can be done with the American Aberdeens and Moderators.” “We’ve never been prejudiced to ward any one breed,” Jerry says. “We think a lot of breeds are good, but we are definitely of the opinion and it is well documented that with [cross breeding], whether it be cattle or hogs or flowers or vegetables, nobody can argue with hybrid vigor.” Goss shares the same sentiments. “I firmly believe that Aberdeen cattle can fill a void in the commercial cow herd of America.” TL

SUMMER 2019 | 19

BY LAUREN L. HULSMAN HANNA, PH.D., ASSISTANT PROFESSOR; MICHAELLA A. FEVOLD, STUDENT; AND ROBERT J. MADDOCK, PH.D., ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR, DEPARTMENT OF ANIMAL SCIENCES, NORTH DAKOTA STATE UNIVERSITY T he beef cattle industry remains a unique set of genetically diverse breed types, where each serves a often has inadvertent consequences on other cuts. For example, research has shown that consumers are willing to eat larger ribeye steaks, but often do not The Interplay of Frame Size and Production Efficiency What Is the Right Size?

the same dressing percentage, 12th rib fat depth and U.S. Department of Agriculture Yield Grade compared to carcasses from medium small and medium large framed steers. While small-framed steers produced smaller ribeye steaks (13.35 square inches vs. 14.37 square inches or 15.72 square inches), they did produce the largest ribeye steak in relation to their hot carcass weights (1.03 square inches per hundredweight vs. 0.89 square inches per hundredweight or 0.9 square inches per hundred weight). This bodes well for a beef producer if consumer preference, not pounds, is the driving force of production. What if you could have both though? The end result of any beef cattle operation is meeting consumer de mands, but a cow-calf producer must also weigh consequences of size on cowherd performance. So, what kind of cows can be used to get desirable offspring? A producer must first define what a desirable offspring is. If being sold for weaning weight value, then more pounds at weaning is desired. This can be accomplished either through bigger calves or more calves weaned. With the right crossbreeding scheme, bigger calves is not necessary. Rather,

purpose within the industry. Frame size, expressed as either a calculated or subjective frame score, provides producers an understanding of lean to-fat ratio potential in their animals. Research has shown that average harvest weight for beef cattle in the United States has increased more than 300 pounds in the past 40 years, with 100 pounds of that in crease occurring in the past decade 4 . This provides proof of increased aver age frame size of beef cattle across the industry. Large size does come with advan tages, such as improved production efficiency by lessening environmen tal impact and maintaining pounds of beef produced (i.e., the United States has reduced the number of animals fed by 10 million over the past 40 years). With larger harvest weights comes larger carcass weights. This has benefited consumers with a decrease in ground beef prices, but

realize the impact on thickness it may have to maintain specific por tion sizes (e.g., a 10-ounce ribeye with larger ribeye area would need to be cut thinner). Price, Quality Grade, color and shape are other characteris tics that drive consumer preference 2, 3 , where increasing carcass size can cause problems with maintaining these preferences. Since the mid-2000s, research at North Dakota State University’s (NDSU) Dickinson Research Extension Center (DREC) has focused on Ameri can Aberdeen-influenced offspring compared to conventional offspring types. Carcass data on steers from the two herds (“beef” vs. “range,” where range has Aberdeen influence) at DREC has been characterized based on frame-size groups (small, medium small and medium large) for a set of steers 5 . Small-framed steers (Aberdeen Angus base) produced carcasses with

Determining the “right” size cattle is dependent on production goals and income sources. Even so, bigger does not always mean better.

Continued on page 22 


SUMMER 2019 | 21

Frame Size Continued from page 20

per hundredweight for 425-pound av erage weight and $183 per hundred weight for 500-pound average weight. That’s an income of $76,156 for Herd 1 vs. $59,475 for Herd 2, or a difference of $16,681. For that extra money, you are not using any addi tional feed resources, which typically make up the bulk of costs and have the most environmental impact. By crossbreeding, producers also benefit from heterosis, which means survival traits and maternal attri butes of crossbred dams get a boost (i.e., improved performance) just because of improved gene combina tions. Picking the right breeds is an important factor here. The American Aberdeen breed provides an oppor tunity to moderate frame size while maintaining desirable growth and size. Research at DREC has shown that F 1 Aberdeen-cross cows aver age around 1,000 pounds, whereas conventional crossbred cows aver age around 1,300 pounds 7 . That is a 300-pound decrease in cow size in one generation. Even though that is a large size decrease, cows can still produce calves with desirable growth and carcass characteristics, providing an important role that the American Aberdeen Association can fill. In summary, determining the “right” size cattle is dependent on production goals and income sourc es. Even so, bigger does not always mean better. Therefore, it is critical that producers consider options to

increasing the number of calves produced can be much more efficient while moderating cow size. For example, consider two herds of cows. Herd 1 has an average cow weight of 1,100 pounds whereas Herd 2 has an average cow weight of 1,500 pounds. With a daily feed intake per cow of 16 or 20 pounds per day, respectively 6 , we could run 90 Herd 1 cows and would need just over 525,000 pounds of forage for a year. For that same amount of forage, we could run 72 cows with Herd 2. That’s 18 more cows in Herd 1 than Herd 2, which means 18 more potential progeny. Of course, smaller cows will produce smaller offspring. Similar cows at DREC produced, on average, 427-pound calves (Herd 1-type cows; majority have Aberdeen Angus influence of more than one quarter) and 500-pound calves (Herd 2-type cows; conventional-type cows). That’s a difference of 73 pounds per calf, but the additional numbers of 427-pound calves more than makes up for smaller size. Consider if 90 percent of each herd weans their calves. That is 81 cows in Herd 1 and 65 cows in Herd 2, resulting in 37,149 pounds of calf weaned for Herd 1 and 32,500 pounds of calf weaned for Herd 2 (a difference of 4,649 pounds). As of April 30, 2019, feeder steers in North Dakota were selling at $205

1/4 Horizontal, 4C The Ledger Clear Valley Farm Summer 2019

maintain efficient production systems while also maximizing profit. Recent research at DREC and NDSU’s Fargo, N.D., campus also shows that even within size groups, variability exists (i.e., nutritionally efficient cows can be found in small cows 1 ). This sug gests, with the right selection tools, frame size does not dictate every trait and can be used to change the aver age. TL Hulsman Hanna, L. L. 2017. Genetic selec tion for cow efficiency: what is the next step? Proceedings from 2017 World Cattlemen’s Cow Efficiency Congress, Manning, ND. 2 Killinger, K. M., C. R. Calkins, W. J. Umberger, D. M. Feuz and K. M. Eskridge. 2004. Consumer visual preference and value for beef steaks differing in marbling level and color. Journal of Animal Science 82(11): 3288-3293. doi: 10.2527/2004.82113288x 3 Leick, C. M., J. M. Behrends, T. B. Schmidt and M. W. Schilling. 2012. Impact of price and thick ness on consumer selection of ribeye, sirloin, and top loin steaks. Meat Science 91(1): 8-13. doi: 10.1016/j.meatsci.2011.11.021 4 Maples, J. G., J. L. Lusk and D. S. Peel. 2018. Unintended consequences of the quest for increased efficiency in beef cattle: when big ger isn’t better. Food Policy 74: 65-73. doi: 10.1016/j.foodpol.2017.11.005 5 Maddock, R. J. 2017. Impact of produc tion scheme and frame size on carcass traits. Proceedings from 2017 World Cattlemen’s Cow Efficiency Congress, Manning, N.D. 6 Swanson, K. C. 2017. Nutritional effects of frame size on efficiency and longevity of beef cows. Proceedings from 2017 World Cattlemen’s Cow Efficiency Congress, Manning, N.D. 7 Ringwall, K. A. 2017. What is right for the beef business? A discussion on cattle size. Proceedings from 2017 World Cattlemen’s Cow Efficiency Congress, Manning, N.D. Footnotes: 1


SUMMER 2019 | 23

BY JESSIE TOPP-BECKER, MANAGING EDITOR All About the Beef American Aberdeens’ efficiency, high-quality beef appeal to producers and consumers alike. W ith American Aberdeen, quality and efficiency are king. And while large-scale breeders benefit from the

demand for high-quality, family-raised beef. Known for its high-quality beef, the breed is an ideal fit for producers seeking to break into these markets. American Aberdeen possess excel lent beef characteristics of taste, tex ture and tenderness as well as excep tional ribeye area per hundred pounds of body weight, which translate to very high-yielding, high-quality, high-value beef carcasses. American Aberdeen beef checks all the boxes for consum ers seeking high-quality beef that is raised in an efficient, environmentally friendly manner. Combined with the ability to stock more cows on fewer acres and the high-quality beef the breed produces, many small-acreage producers are turning to American Aberdeen cattle as a solution to meet consumer de mand by branching into the retail beef market. C.A.B.B. Farms One of the allures of American Aberdeen-cross cattle is that they are extremely well suited to grass-fed beef production as they are easy fleshing and will finish on a high roughage ra tion, producing high-value carcasses with minimum input costs. That, along with the breed’s excellent beef charac teristics, are what attracted Dustin and Erin Bender to the breed. First-generation cattle producers, Dustin and Erin Bender are all about the beef – farm-raised, grass-fed and finished, locally processed beef. The Lexington, Ohio, couple may be new to the cattle industry, but they are making great strides in beef produc tion using quality American Aberdeen genetics. “We knew from the beginning we wanted to raise grass-fed beef, and

breed’s ability to lower input costs and stocking rates, and to moderate cow size on their operations, small acreage producers frequently take advantage of the breed’s suite of traits as well. All producers desire to raise ef ficient cattle as a way to reduce costs and increase profitability. Producers who utilize American Aberdeen cattle have the ability to stock more cattle on the same forage base. For example, a ranch that produces enough forage to feed 71 head of 1,400-pound cows could run 100 head of 1,000-pound

Producers who utilize American Aberdeen cattle have the ability to stock more cattle on the same forage base.

that was in the early 2000s when it was still a pretty novel concept among most producers,” Dustin says. While the couple started their op eration with registered Angus females, the American Aberdeen breed began to stand out as they researched op tions to increase beef productivity on limited land resources. They began introducing American Aberdeen genet ics in 2013 and have since grown their herd to more than 30 fullblood Ameri can Aberdeen, purebred Angus and American Aberdeen-Angus crossbred females. “All the things we love about the An gus breed – the quality, the yield, the value – we could get with the Ameri can Aberdeens in a smaller, more compact package,” Dustin says. The Benders background and finish their yearlings with a combination Continued on page 74  Erin Bender and her husband, Dustin, have made great strides in beef production and increased their productivity on limited land resources using quality American Aberdeen genetics.

cows on the same number of acres. More cows on the same number of acres means more profit, and a solid bottomline is critical to an operation’s continued success, regardless of size. In recent years, some producers have started branching into niche markets, seeking to meet consumer

C.A.B.B. Farms produces Yield Grade 1 and 2, Prime grass-fed and finished beef using qual ity American Aberdeen genetics.


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