Farm Talk

June 17, 2014

Cattlemen tour Osage Hills ranches

by Samantha Stanbery

Parsons, Kansas — Miles of cattlemen in trucks snaked through the Osage Hills last weekend for the 80th annual Osage County Cattlemen’s Tour.

Groups of cattle were kept together by cowboys on horseback while the line of vehicles circled, ensuring everyone got a good look at each operation’s livestock as the ranch hosts spoke to the visitors via an FM radio channel.

At the Doyle Bishop Ranch, Charley Chambers talked about a set of 115 Angus-sired heifers purchased in January and bred to Angus bulls in a limited breeding season. After summering on grass, these heifers are to be marketed in the fall as bred heifers.

At the Rock Creek Ranch, Jeff Henry showed commercial Red Angus cows developed to be easy fleshing, maternal cows and easy to finish on grass. The cows had Hereford-sired calves which will be marketed off the ranch. Henry also emphasized keeping data on the animals and informed tour participants that cattle in the program have been graded 68 percent Choice or higher in carcass quality.

At the Johnstone Ranch, Eddie Verden talked about 120 Angus-sired heifers bred in a 90-day breeding window to Angus bulls. The heifers are marketed at 900 pounds. The ranch was purchased in 2004 as a stocker operation. They transitioned to a cow-calf operation but, due to drought, went back to yearlings.

At the Trentman Ranch, Kent Trentman showed Charolais-cross yearling steers purchased in October. The steers are put into a dry winter program and marketed through private treating after reaching 600 pounds.

At the Chambers C Cross Ranch, David Chambers showed spring-calving, home-raised commercial Angus cows. The cows are bred to Power Genetics bulls. Calves are weaned in late September and sold privately after 45 days. However, heifers are usually kept as replacements for the operation.

After the tour, cattlemen headed to the Osage County Fairgrounds for a barbecue lunch and the 61st annual Ben Johnson Memorial Steer Roping and an open-air Western dance. The tour is part of the annual Osage County Cattlemen’s Convention.