I bought my first heifer when I was 10 years old, 65 years ago. In the mid-1960s, my Dad went to the first central bull test station sale in the state of Iowa and bought an Angus bull to cross on our Polled Hereford cows.
In 1971, after graduating from Iowa State, I came home and took over the family farm. We ran a total AI program for 25 years. No clean up bulls. Since 1996, we AI every cow once and turn the bulls in.
We have produced 16 champion and reserve champion 4H Beef of Merit steers at the Iowa State Fair. We also won Iowa Simmental Steer Futurity, pen of three, and individual a couple of times.
We ran 100 head of ewes and 100 cows until coyotes put us out of the sheep business. We then ran 130-140 cows. Over the last 15-plus years, all our rented pastures have gone to the next generation of owners and each has a new house, hunting cabin, or put in a CRP program. We currently have been running 25-30 cows on our own pastures.
With the exception of keeping two replacement heifers out of clean up bulls one year, EVERY SIRE IN EACH COW’S PEDIGREE SINCE 1971 IS AN AI SIRE. Over the years, it has been our pleasure to supply bulls to some of the finest cow/calf operators in southeast Iowa and west central Illinois.
Joe and Kathy Baird