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Treasure Bull Test: Annual test and sale provides high-quality performance 

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

Consignors from around the West are set to present their prestigious bulls at the 2024 Treasure Bull Test (TBT), where 110 performance-tested Black Angus bulls from breed-leading sires will be auctioned at the Cowboy’s and Cowgirl’s Performance Bull Sale on April 16 at the Western Livestock Auction in Great Falls, Mont. 

TBT is many cattlemen’s source of high-quality, performance-tested, “cowboy kind” Black Angus bulls. 

“TBT offers athletic, masculine, long-sided and heavily muscled bulls who stand on good bone and sound feet,” reads the TBT website.

Top-performing bulls are measured for every important performance and carcass trait, all while being developed for the most critical purebred breeder and commercial cattleman.

The 2024 Cowboy’s and Cowgirl’s Performance Bull Sale will be livestreamed on Northern Livestock Video Auction and bulls can be previewed at

Over the years

Irvin and Bobbi Meiwald established TBT in 1968 and ran it for 10 years before selling it to Russell and Barbara Pepper. 

As hard-working members of their community, the Peppers, a young couple who were respected in the agriculture industry, joined the TBT family and ran the test for the next 39 years. 

In their first year of ownership, the Peppers became widely known for selling the bull QAS Traveler for $60,000, which was hauled to the test center that fall in a pink horse trailer. 

Other industry leading sires to come out of the TBT test include VDAR Shoshone 548, Band 105 of Hyline 2380, AAR Maverick 2240, WAF Power 312, Highwood Hero LCH and Premier Chairman 6011A.

Finding an outlet for Ryan Perry’s registered cattle was how he initially became associated with TBT. Before purchasing TBT, he was a bull buying customer and consigned his own bulls to the sale.

Ryan and his wife Karnell purchased TBT from the Peppers in 2017 with the vision to continue the legacy of the 50-year-old business.

“I want a test where the main focus is growth and performance,” Ryan says. “I want to focus the test on bulls and genetics which will satisfy ranchers’ needs.”

The couple has numerous connections, is widely involved in the agriculture industry and has great knowledge of what kind of cattle are in demand across the country.

“One of the reasons I bought TBT is to put bulls in front of a crowd and provide the right type of stock and cattle, it’s very gratifying selling bulls and females with multiple active buyers bidding on stock,” Ryan adds. “I enjoy the camaraderie the sale brings too.”

The TBT sale retains an advantage, as the Perrys can hand pick top stock, ensuring every bull in the sale meets their customers’ needs.

The TBT website states, “Some tests will only sell the top 70 to 80 percent of bulls, but if everyone brings us good cattle, then we will sell 150 bulls. We want a specific type though. Bulls need to be masculine, structurally sound, have good dispositions and meet strict performance standards.”

The test

When the Perrys became involved with the test, it had already established a strong reputation across the industry. 

Once the bulls hit the feedlot, they start on a ration carefully planned by North Montana Feeder’s nutritionists for the bulls to gain three pounds per day.

It is a 112-day test period, where bulls are weighed upon arrival and again at 56 and 112 days on feed. At the end of the test, each bull is ultrasounded to collect carcass data. 

“We gather data including average daily gain and weight per day of age and emphasize the ultrasound carcass data,” Ryan says.

The data collected helps to highlight producers with the highest-performing bulls and give smaller registered producers a great venue to market their top end. 

Ryan credits the Peppers and Meiwalds, as well as Montana’s reputable Angus genetics for drawing a broad-based, high-quality set of producers to the test each year, and he plans to carry on the reputation of TBT, providing quality genetics to return customers and the new ones they hope to reach.

For ranchers in northern Montana, the sale falls at the perfect time of year, as it is one of the last bull sales in the country to find some high-quality bulls.

Ryan continues, “Ranchers can go to the sale, buy the bull right out of the test, take them home and go straight out with the cows. They don’t need a special spot to babysit those yearling bulls until it’s time to turn them out.”

TBT consignor

The Thibault family, owners of Gem State Angus in Twin Falls, Idaho have been raising high-quality Angus seedstock for over 30 years, says Don Thibault, who started breeding registered cattle after retiring in 1997.

The Gem State Angus Ranch has been consigning bulls at TBT since the early 2000s and have been there almost every year since, says Kevin Thibault, Don’s grandson and third-generation producer, who has taken the lead on the family’s seedstock program.

“My granddad became friends with the Perrys, and we know TBT is committed to data collection, balanced traits and consistency, which has won them repeat customers,” states Kevin.

“My dad, Kent Thibault, started purchasing registered cows and focusing on genetics back in 1989,” Kevin adds. “Cows and the seedstock business are what I know and what I enjoy. Things happened to fall into place, and my wife and I were able to come back home and take on the breeding program full time.”

Gem State Angus is showcasing three high-performing, quality bulls at the 2024 Cowboy’s and Cowgirl’s Performance Bull Sale, all sired by GSAR Top Game 23k.

Lot 86 is a heifer bull prospect who stacks up some of the best maternal bulls Sitz and Gartner-Denowh have produced. 

This bull has longevity and maternal function on the top and bottom of his pedigree, and his paternal granddam was in production until she was 18 years old. His maternal granddam, out of Density, is in production at 12 years of age.

Other prospects include lot 87 and his brother lot 88, coming from a larger frame 10-year-old cow who has done a fantastic job and should produce outstanding daughters, according to Kevin.

The Gem State Angus Ranch is proud to feature their bulls at the Great Basin Bull Sale, Midland Bull Test and at TBT and provide repeat and new customers with private treaty sales.

“Check us out on Facebook or contact us directly to inquire about our private treaty sales,” Kevin says.

Melissa Anderson is the editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to

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