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The herd that calmed my nerves

I woke up nervous.

Let’s be real, I went to sleep nervous and a few hours of rest didn’t eliminate that feeling in my gut.

I was headed to a ranch, there was a lot of snow and I had never photographed cattle in that white stuff before.

But if there’s ever a family to ease your troubles, it’s the Walters.

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Ty, Terry, Becky, Katelyn and Trevor Walter raise Angus as the third and fourth generation on the ranch.

I first “met” Terry Walter, Hudson, Colo., a few years back when we chatted about the success he and his family had found using GeneMax on their commercial heifers.

I say “met” because we only spoke over the phone, but to talk with Mr. Terry for even minutes is to learn the man pretty well.

I needed to see the cattle – perhaps just not photograph them.

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“The idea is to raise cattle that work,” Terry says. “No-nonsense cows that thrive on native pasture and require little input.”

The Walters will tell you they raise “working cattle that pay the bills.” On top of using handpicked, quality and performance-focused genetics through AI, they provide their commercial and registered herds with all they need to be successful. Then they expect the cattle to do their part.

“When you come up to a cow and see snow on her, well that is a wonderful cow,” Terry says of the grit his Angus show. Like their owner, they deliver on a promise. Never fake, you see what you get.

After years of running DNA tests and ultrasounds, to boot, culling has become quite the task.

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College took Trevor (L) and Ty (R) away to study but both Walter sons returned to work full time on the ranch.

“What’s kicking these cows out of here is the DNA test,” his son Ty says. “Initially there was an easy bottom third to cull. Now there’s a bottom eighth because we’ve been doing it year after year.”

For those that make the cut, they get good handlers. Not to mention some pretty spectacular views.

“The thing we sell is our care,” Ty says.

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Of the land, the crops, the cattle, “we’re caretakers,” Ty says.

A recent pen of 80 commercial steers reflect that attitude as 61% qualified for the Certified Angus Beef ® (CAB®) brand, including 6% Prime and the rest USDA Choice.

“Every time we feed cattle, we think of the end goal of aiming for the brand,” Ty says. “What’s better than being able to provide consistency for the consumer?”

Not to mention a guarantee for their registered bull customers who frequent their February sale each year.

“If I can give my customers the genetic potential for that bull to go out and increase the carcass quality in their herds, that’s what I’m after,” Terry says.

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No nerves were involved when taking this photo, or any others, for that matter.

More snow shoots. I’m after those now.

Thanks for allowing me to tell your story,

Laura

blackinklaura Visit Website
Born and raised in the Sunshine State, I grew up surrounded by more livestock than people on my family’s working cattle ranch. A willingness to address a crowd and an eagerness to ask questions led to my passion for spreading the word of agriculture. A lover of words, cattle and those who produce them, I couldn't ask for a better job. A Gator grad, blessed by years of learning and Tebow football, I’m a firm believer that people should be honest, lyrics should be moving and tea should be sweet. I love music, my family, my God, and of course writing for CAB.
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