The 27th Annual Ranch Tour was held in the Whitman, Nebraska area where participants toured Emerson Equipment, Emmerson Ranch, Gudmundsen Sandhills Laboratory and Connealy Angus on January 20th.
Registration started at 8:00 am with coffee and doughnuts at the Emerson Equipment shop. Around 35 people joined the Tour. Committee chair, Lyle Phillips, introduced the crowd to Thad and June Emerson. Thad talked a little about the cattle operation side of things. The Emerson’s run a herd of little over 300 head and their basic day-to-day operations. Tom then discussed how he started the Equipment shop. The group then braved the brisk morning, venturing outside to view a demonstration of the bright blue bale processor, built in the shop, as well as the Hi-Hog cake feeder. The circular caker caught the attention of many.
After Emerson’s the caravan headed northwest to the Gudmundsen Sandhills Laboratory. Manager Andy Applegarth greeted the group outside the doors of the Wagonhammer Education Center. Everyone settled down in the conference room and Andy told us about the Husker Red cow herd that research takes place on. There are two herds, the March and May herd. The only difference in these bunches are the calving dates. The March group’s primary focus is on fetal programing. It was discovered through carcass data research that the difference in feeding and supplementing cattle effects the calves prior to birth. The May herd is split after branding time, where half go to meadow ground and half go to range. They stay that way until weaning. Then the get split up again. One hay group is being supplemented. Another group are just hay and then there is a group of meadow fed. This is to help determine what calves feed better based on how their mothers were fed and supplemented. The Ranch Tour group ate at GSL and then went to look at the dorm facilities that interns stay in and the calving barn.
The group then headed south west to the Connealy Angus Ranch. As people turned off the road and came up the driveway there was about 600 bulls looking at the line of vehicles pulling into the yard. The tour was greeted by Jerry and Sharon as well as their kids and grandchildren as everyone gathered into the sale barn. Jerry gave some background about how his family got started in Whitman. There herd size is approximately 2500 head of registered Angus cows, calving 1700 spring and about 800 in the fall. The entire cowherd is AI’d and few clean-up bulls are turned out. Everyone then went outside to walk through the bulls to finish the day.
Overall, the Ranch Tour was considered a success. If you have any questions, comments or concerns about the Tour please let us know. This tour was free for all who attended thanks to the wonderful sponsors: Sandhills Family Dental, Sandhills State Bank, Sandhill Oil Company, Valentine Livestock Auction and Farm Credit.
The 2017 EP&C Contest Banquet was held on August 2 at the Peppermill in Valentine, Nebraska.
February 1, 2017
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