Test welcomes new breeds
This year, the 2023 Midland Bull Test welcomed two new breeds of cattle – Chiangus and LimFlex – as well as the producers who consigned them.
Consigners representing Chiangus include Rock Chiangus of Long Valley, S.D. and Clarahan Farms of Harper, Iowa, while those representing LimFlex include Amy and Ryon Freeman and their sons Tyler and Tate of Klamath Falls, Ore.
Brandon Rock of Rock Chiangus ranches alongside his wife Sanna and their children, 18-year-old Dawson, 13-year-old Madalyn and 10-year-old Landry, as well as Brandon’s parents.
Brandon explains his uncle used Chiangus cattle, which is what brought him to the breed.
“Over the years, we’ve been able to buy some registered cows and put a herd together,” he says. “As time went on, we’ve been able to incorporate Chiangus and provide seedstock.”
Rock Chiangus is consigning lot 730, Rock MR Denali 743K; lot 733, Rock MR Denali 299K and lot 734, Rock MR Denali 88K.
The bulls collectively have an average daily gain (ADG) of 3.00 and an average weight per day of age (WDA) of 3.08.
“Our bull, MEFC Denali 864F, is a good calving-ease bull with a lot of performance,” notes Brandon. “We’ve gotten some really nice females back into the herd out of him and have been happy with how well they’ve done. They have good dispositions and are easy to handle.”
This year was Brandon’s first year consigning bulls with Midland.
He hopes others will consider getting involved with the program and says, “I hope to go back next year, and I wanted to get some feed efficiency data back to know if I was going in the right direction. I look forward to improving our Chiangus cattle from the information I get back from Midland.”
As a family farm and ranching operation, the Rock family also sells bulls private treaty and focuses on raising both commercial and purebred cows. Additionally, they look forward to learning and utilizing the Midland Bull Test Program in the future.
Dennis Clarahan of Harper, Iowa has been operating a beef cattle operation for the past 50-plus years, alongside his wife Sheryl and two sons Ryan and Neil.
This year, Clarahan Farms consigned lot 725, DCL MR Hustle X542 F 1902J; lot 726, DCL MR Regard 193 875J; lot 727, DCL MR Regard 193 944 K and lot 728, DCL MR Regard 193 353 K.
The bulls collectively have an average ADG of 3.35 and a WDA of 3.20.
“I’ve always been a supporter of the American Chianina Association, so I decided I’d put four bulls in the Midland Bull Test, and I got along pretty good out there,” says Dennis.
As of March 8, pending semen results and registration documents, Clarahan Farms’ lot 728 took home honors as the High Indexing Chiangus Bull with a Midland Bull Test (MBT) Index of 113, and lot 727 received the High Efficiency Chiangus Bull Award with an Efficiency (Eff) of 107.
Since 2016-17, Clarahan Farms has held an annual bull sale in the spring. They sell 30 to 40 bulls through the sale every year, and they offer bulls private treaty as well.
Dennis shares he has had great success with the Chiangus breed over the years. He notices his newborn calves very seldom need help sucking and his cows and heifers have great longevity.
The Freeman family
The Freeman family, residing in Klamath Falls, Ore., includes Ryon and Amy and their two sons, 20-year-old Tyler and 16-year-old Tate. Several years ago, they got started with a few Limousin projects through the Country Inn Cattle (CIC) Company.
“We were lucky enough to get to know Lee and Glenda Stillwell with CIC Company, and they helped the boys get started with their first LimFlex heifers,” notes Amy. “We’ve been able to buy more heifers through them to develop the boy’s breeding program, and this is where we are today.”
This year, the family consigned the sole LimFlex bull at the Midland Bull Test, lot 775, TNFR Kit Kat.
Amy explains the bull came from Tate’s first Limousin heifer, Daisy. The heifer was named grand champion at the 2018 Limousin North American Foundation Western Regional Junior Limousin Show and was then crowned the Grand Champion LimFlex Cow/Calf Pair at the 2019 Western Regional Junior Limousin Show.
Amy mentions this was their first year at the Midland Bull Test, and for them, it is an honor to have a bull meeting all of the criteria and featured in the sale.
“The boys’ grandpa raised Angus years ago, so for us, it’s neat to see them carrying on the tradition of raising LimFlex cattle,” she concludes. “Being featured at Midland is great advertisement for our operation, and we look forward to developing our herd in years to come.”
As of March 8, pending semen results and registration documents, the High Indexing Bull and High Efficiency Bull awards were earned by Tate’s bull, lot 775, with an MBT of 101 and an Eff of 103.
Midland Bull Test
“We are happy to have these Chiangus and LimFlex bulls on test,” shares Amy Williams of Midland. “Their performance will help highlight and display the qualities they possess and bring more exposure to these breeds.”
This year, Midland Bull Test has nearly 850 top-end bulls featured in the Final Sort Sale held in Columbus, Mont. on April 6-7, beginning at 11 a.m. both days.
Salers, Simmental, Gelbvieh, Charolais, South Devon, Hereford, Red Angus, Chiangus and LimFlex bulls will be sold on April 6, and Angus bulls will sell on April 7.
A sale catalog is available at midlandbulltest.com.
Other important information will be available online or by calling 406-322-5597, 406-322-9911 or 406-322-9044 on sale day.
Brittany Gunn is the editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to firstname.lastname@example.org.