Farmer Focus: Selling bulls does not get easier

“The more things change, the more they stay the same” is a common phrase used here, and my next two articles are going to be a play on this saying. 

It has been very busy on the ranch this week (as it is every year currently). The busiest time of a production sale is about a month prior to the big day itself, with online videos, digital catalogues and so on to prepare.

We are bumbling our way through stitching this together in an online package that gets our story and product “out there”.

See also: Efficient ranching: Smaller cows build big returns in USA

About the author

Daniel Mushrush
Livestock Farmer Focus writer
Daniel Mushrush is a third-generation Red Angus breeder in the Flint Hills in Kansas, US. The Mushrush family runs 800 pedigree registered Red Angus Cattle and 600 commercials across 4,856ha, selling 200 bulls a year and beef through Mushrush Family Meats.
Read more articles by Daniel Mushrush

I will be the first to admit we flounder through some of this. I do think we at least know how to breed and develop cattle that work for us, so I am very proud of the product.

And this sale is a bit special as it is our 25th anniversary sale. 

I have heard the average life of a purebred operation in the US is about five years, so we have been grinding for a while.

Despite what people think, selling lots of bulls isn’t easier than selling a few from a small herd. Good cattle do not sell themselves, and it doesn’t get any easier the longer you do it.

It’s a grind this year, it was 25 years ago, and it will be in the future. Going through the old sale catalogues and pictures has reminded me that the more things change, the more they stay the same.   

Of course, in the middle of sale preparation we have another side project…checking on our spring calvers. Luckily, the weather has mostly held, and we haven’t had any problems.

However, getting calves tagged, weighed, and dam data recorded is time hungry.

It really surprises people to find out that calving 200 artificially inseminated (AI) females in about 10 days has become our secondary project. I thank easy-calving genetics.

Before we know it, this pulse will be over, we will be in the calm before the storm of the sale, the AI calves will be through and we will be waiting for natural service.

This was a busy fortnight last year and it will be a busy two weeks next year, too. The more things change…you know.