Best Bulls: WBCIA test identifies Buline with top ADG
Shoshoni – Sixteen-year-old Robert Buline of Crowheart emerged on top of this year’s Wyoming Beef Cattle Improvement Association bull test.
“This is my first bull that I have taken to the test,” comments Robert. “I got really lucky, and my bull gained well.”
While it’s a lot more than luck that led Robert to winning the test, he is continually learning and working to expand his cattle herd.
From the beginning
“I grew up on a ranch and have been helping my dad, probably since I could walk,” says Robert.
He started showing steers when he was eight years old.
“Growing up on a ranch, it was a good way to get involved in feeding cattle and learning the business,” Robert says of showing and raising steers.
It wasn’t until his dad Jim purchased a heifer from the Wagler’s of Cody at the Wyoming Angus Association Female Sale that he started working with breeding stock.
“We couldn’t get her out of the trailer until Robert put a halter on her and led her out,” says Jim of the cow. “He decided he might like to show her.”
“She was already broke to lead, so my dad sold it to me as a 4-H project,” comments Robert.
Robert purchased the heifer from his father and made the decision to artificially inseminate her to grow his herd.
“This was my first cow,” he says.
In deciding to breed the heifer, Jim notes that his son spent a number of hours looking at EPDs for a number of sires.
“Robert picked out the sire that he wanted to use,” comments Jim.
The Fremont County Cattlemen host a cow/calf contest each year that allows youth to start with a bred heifer.
“I entered her in the Cattlemen’s Cow/Calf contest,” says Robert of his first cow.
The project is a two-year effort. In the first year, contestants show a bred heifer. After she calves, phase two of the project involves showing the cow with the calf at her side.
The first calf from the cow was another heifer. Robert chose to breed the cow again to futher expand his growing herd.
After pouring over EPDs, Robert selected Sitz Upside 547W as the sire for his second calf – the bull calf that won WBCIA’s test.
His bull calf, RB Upside 16B, performed well from the beginning. It completed WBCIA’s test, winning awards for both the high gaining junior Angus bull and the high gaining bull overall.
“The calf was a really good calf and never had a bad day,” says Jim.
Robert will sell the bull calf at the WBCIA bull test sale on April 6.
Moving into the future
While his herd is small right now, consisting of one cow, one heifer and the bull that he will sell at the WBCIA sale, Robert says he plans to continue to grow and develop.
“I plan on keeping every heifer that I have to try and build up my herd,” Robert comments. “I might also buy some more cows if the opportunity comes about.”
Robert notes that working with his father and growing his herd has been a learning experience.
“It has been a good way to get a glimpse of how the cattle industry works,” he says. “I have learned about trying to get your animal to gain the best and look the best.”
He also notes that he would like to continue to put bulls on WBCIA’s test.
“It’s a good program, and if I get more good bull calves, I will continue to put them on test,” Robert comments.
As he continues to select bulls and sires, Robert says he utilizes EPDs, largely the yearling weight EPD.
“Ultimately, the more weight they have, the more you are going to make from them,” says Robert. “I also look at the overall look of the cattle, including their length and depth.”
Cattle and more
Robert notes that he enjoys working with cattle and hopes to continue in the business.
“I enjoy working on my own schedule and being outdoors,” says Robert. “I also like working with animals. Animals are easier to deal with than people sometimes.”
While he enjoys working with the cattle, Robert is also saving to attend college after graduating high school.
Robert is a student at Wind River High School and serves as treasurer of the Wind River FFA Chapter. When he’s not working with his cattle, he also competes in the Farm Management and Parliamentary Procedure Career Development Events.
Saige Albert is managing editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.