Farmer Focus: They say good cattle sell themselves

Our annual production sale isn’t for another month, but it is consuming almost every day.

We have made the final draft of which bulls are in and which are out. Most data has been collected, we just need to carcass scan the young bulls.

We added a disposition score, which I think will be very well received by our customers. 

See also: 9 tips on buying a bull and getting him off to a good start

The cattle work portion of a bull sale is what I really enjoy. Unfortunately, that is only a very, very small portion of what it takes.

A fairly common saying in the US is “good cattle sell themselves.” It may sound like common sense, but in reality, it is quite different.

We put together countless print advertisements, online ads, newsletters and more. We sent the newsletter out several weeks ago. 

It is a “first touch” that gets sent to not only our mailing list, but other lists we purchase from publications.

We have since been working on our sale catalogue, which involves clipping the bulls for pictures (four days), actual pictures (two days), and countless hours of layouts and edits. 

Mom and Dad are doing several producer meetings in Kansas and Missouri, so they will also be gone for a couple of days. 

In several weeks, the online auction company will come and we will take a 30-second video of each bull so people can see what they are buying without coming to the ranch. 

Then, with no guarantees, we hope enough people show up so we can get them all sold and for a decent price. 

There are simply too many bulls for sale in Kansas this year, with the cattle markets being down, so we will have to hustle to stay ahead of the game.

Oh, and we are calving 85 heifers and about 325 cows during this whole thing.

People ask me about sale day, and they think I am joking when I say it’s my least favourite day of the year. The stress and burnout come every year around this time. 

It’s a vital part of how our business works, so we will push through and soon be back to working calves and artificially inseminating again. Then we can get back to the fun, cowboy part of ranching.

Daniel Mushrush is a Farmer Focus writer from Kansas. Read his biography.