Our herd is the result of over 15 years of strict selection for cattle proven to be productive, profitable, and low maintenance in rangeland conditions like we have in the Missouri RIver breaks of northern Montana. We select both individuals and genetic lines first for functional traits: disposition; quality of udder, feet, and legs; fleshing ability; and moderate mature size. Second, we select for calving ease; most of the sires we use are in the top percentages within their breed for calving ease. Next, we select for excellent maternal traits and longevity, producing the type of cows that consistently raise one good calf after another with minimal inputs. Our cows usually graze year-round with only mineral and protein supplement during winter. After we've selected for these traits, then we put as much growth and carcass quality into the cattle as we can without wrecking functional traits.
The ranch has AI'ed on and off for 35 years. For the last 15 years, we've AI'ed 3,750+ cows to proven bulls selected from the best producing herd sires in top breeders' herds from across the country. The sifting is just as rigorous on the ranch. We start off saving the top 120 bull prospects out of our best cows. From birth in April till sale day in February, these bull prospects are evaluated for 20 separate criteria. A lot of nice bull calves end up steers because we retain only the top 10% for bulls. Don't look here for groomed, fitted, or over-fed bulls. These are working cattle for working ranchers. The bulls have been raised in the Missouri River breaks, without lush pastures or creep feed. Our focus is producing moderate framed cattle selected to increase profit through efficiency, longevity, and dependable production under low-input grazing programs.