The Value Applied
Faced with a 10-year drought and a weak local market, Shane and Beth Temple needed a program that integrated with the hard work and dedication of their current operation. That's when Shane read about Genex and Superior Livestock working together in the 2013 Beef Genetic Management Guide. he knew right away that was the marketing route they needed to take.
Shane and Beth started T-Heart Ranch in 1995 with 30 head of commercial cows. They were looking for a way to evolve their herd towards seedstock production without risking a large investment and began employing artificial insemination (A.I.) the very next year. "We looked at it this way," said Shane, "We could either risk buying one $50,000-$60,000 bull and not have him pass a PAP test, or we could spend half that much on labor and breeding expenses and breed to an unlimited amount of proven sires."
In recent years they have expanded to include the L-Cross Ranch, and today they run approximately 1400 pairs. T-Heart Ranch is located in south central Colorado, in the San Luis Valley, and they develop their bulls at 7,800 feet elevation. for them, not only is sound structure, good feet and a functional udder important, cattle cannot be susceptive to high mountain disease.
Since December 2000, Shane and Beth have held their own production sales. They started with Balancer influenced bulls and heifers and later moved towards Simmental. Like much of the country, their area was hit hard by drought. They knew selling bred heifers in a stagnant southern Colorado market wasn't going to work. While scanning through the Genex lineup, Shane read about the young relationship between Genex and Superior Livestock. "My only concern was if our current customers would accept our decision," noted Shane. "With it being the first sale we wanted to make sure we covered all of our bases."
Later in June, while they were filming calves for the upcoming Superior Livestock sale, Shane and their area Superior Livestock representative, Justin Warren, went over the details.
Justin explained how Genex wanted to give their customers a marketing route and Superior Livestock was looking for progressive genetics to offer in their sales. When asked how the Temple's fit into this collaboration, Justin explained, "Shane and Beth are aggressive when it comes to genetic improvement. They are building females for the commercial operation, and that's who we are marketing to."
Last fall, Justin had calls about Temple's consignments from producers over seven states. The consignment consisted of nine pot-loads bred to 1AN01260 MA FINAL CHOICE 8036.
"Choosing a sire to use was an easy decision for us. Genex does a good job of focusing on traits that are important to us," stated Shane. "We bred to a sire we felt would work for us as a low PAP sire and would still satisfy our customers' needs."
They sorted and sold pot-loads based on fetal sex and expected calving dates to fit customer needs.
"Usually you see the lots carrying bull calves sell for a premium, but historically we've had more of a demand for heifer pregnancies," commented Shane. "We wanted to offer our customers a chance to buy half sister calves, so they can have uniform replacements."
In recent years, Temples have sold calves through Superior Livestock. Their calves have been contracted to backgrounders and stocker operations in six states.
"The calves grow well and stay healthy. buyers experience little to no health problems and come back year after year," commented Justin. "It's no surprise there is a demand for their heifers."
With the success the Temple's have had selling both steer calves and bred heifers on Superior Livestock, they plan on breeding over 1800 head next spring. "we want to be able to offer more half siblings to buyers," reported Shane. "Consistency, quality and uniformity are what this industry is about."
Beth has been the ranch's A.I. technician for the past 13 years. With the plans to expand, the Temples will utilize the Genex chute-side service next spring.