Improving Wyoming cattle, Pingetzer’s Host Cattle for WBCIA Test
Shoshoni – After 19 years running the Wyoming Beef Cattle Improvement Association’s (WBCIA) Bull Test, the Pingetzer family continues to grow and develop their operation while running the test.
“When the Test started, Bill Glanz ran it in Worland,” says Bob Pingetzer. “At the time, Doug Hixon was the UW Extension Beef Specialist, and I got involved in talking calves up there in 1990.”
Pingetzer explains that Glanz ran the test for nearly 10 years until deciding to step down.
Moving to Shoshoni
“When Bill decided he was no longer going to run the test, WBCIA put it up for bid, and my wife and I decided to put a bid in,” he adds. “My family said that we should go for it. We were fortunate enough to get the bid that year in June.”
Pingetzer says they had a feedlot and were feeding cattle by October that year. They then shipped the bulls to Worland for two years for the sale.
“We worked out a deal where we took bulls to Worland for two years and had a sale there while we were building our sale barn,” he comments. “The rest is pretty well history.”
In 1995, the Pingetzer’s opened their Bull and Heifer Development Center, adding a sale barn in 1997, and they continue to take bulls each year in October for the WBCIA Bull Test.
Both the WBCIA Bull Test and Pingetzer’s Six Iron Ranch have seen success over the years.
“The Test has helped us in three ways,” Pingetzer notes. “It has helped us improve our own cattle’s performance. It has also helped the ranch sell excess feed, and it has allowed us to sell some of our genetics.”
He comments that over the years, the genetics of the Six Iron Ranch herd have improved dramatically, which shows in Test results each year.
“We’ve had cattle in the top end since the beginning, but we continue to do better each year, both here and at the Midland Bull Test,” he comments.
The Test continues to attract high quality bulls from around the region and hosts a well-attended sale each year.
Six Iron Ranch has run Red Angus cattle for many years and added Black Angus cattle to the operation in the early 2000s.
The Pingetzer family works together daily on the operation.
“My dad, George, does a lot of the cattle feeding,” says Pingetzer. “My wife Paige and I do most of the paperwork and reports.”
When they first started the Test, Pingetzer notes that Doug Hixon helped with the reports and information, and then the Pingetzers took over.
“Our six kids have helped with weighing, semen tests and other things when they are home,” he says. “They have also cleaned up the cattle for the sale the last eight years, and they are all involved.”
The Pingetzer children Steele, Shaide, Brace, Raine, Whispe and Wirthe, also own their own cattle and enter the animals in the WBCIA Bull Test, as well.
“The oldest two kids are no longer involved as much and have moved on to do their own thing,” says Pingetzer, “but that’s not to say they won’t come back and help.”
Pingetzer also notes that he tests his bulls yearly, both at WBCIA and at the Midland Bull Test, to ensure they continually improve.
“Numbers and EPDs are great tools to use, but over the years, I haven’t used the highest EPD bulls,” he explains. “I’ve used and bought bulls that were performance-tested, with good performance and better than average numbers.”
While EPDs and the highest-ranking bulls may sound nice, Pingetzer continues, “Performance breeds performance, and my cattle show it.”
He avoids using the cattle with outlier numbers, noting that those outliers breed inconsistency.
“I want my cattle to be consistent. I’m not going to be happy to have two or three great calves and half a dozen poor ones with the rest in between,” Pingetzer comments. “I want a solid group of calves that fall in a narrow bell curve, rather than a wide one.”
This year proved his point, as Six Iron Ranch took both the top Red Angus and top Black Angus bull honors.
“For the most part, running the test has been very enjoyable to do,” Pingetzer says.
Pingetzer also notes that he sees frustration in working with hobby farmers who don’t understand how the Test works or how larger ranches operate.
“For the biggest part, producers are really great to work with,” he says. “If we have to call someone to tell them that their bull won’t sell, they realize that sometimes, it happens.”
“The best feed and mineral programs in the world can be used, but some bulls just don’t have it,” Pingetzer notes. “The people who raise cattle for a living understand that, and they are great to work with. They make my job enjoyable.”
Pingetzer adds that he continually gets busier as they move forward.
“My plate gets busier and busier all the time,” he comments. “The kids are getting to the point that they may start to come home and help take over, and my parents are nearly ready to retire.”
He adds, “I enjoy what I do, but we are really, really busy here.”
Saige Albert is managing editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.