Nelson Livestock Company breeds robust genetics in purebred herd | Agriculture


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WIBAUX, Mont. – On the hills and grasses of the native prairies near Wibaux where Western traditions are still strong, Nelson Livestock Company cow / calf pairs and bulls look great with their shiny black or red coats as they graze and thrive on nutritious forages to the drop. But the herd is more than just a “pretty” one. Here on the North Dakota-Montana border, Warren Nelson and his brother and sister-in-law, Tom and Renee, the ranch’s fourth generations, raise purebred black and red Simmentals. , Red and Black SimAngus and Black Angus. Warren said they take great pride in the robust and thoughtful genetics raised in this herd. In addition to the purebred herd, the family also operates a smaller commercial herd. “Our family has been raising here since 1909 and raising the Simmental since the early 1970s,” said Warren. -stalk hay to feed their northern herd herd during the winter, as well as wheat, barley and oats. It’s a busy time at Nelson Cattle Company right now. The family was preparing over 110 cows, 5 years or older, for their mature cow sale on November 9 at the ranch. They also planned to have 20 young heifers for sale. “We like to keep a young herd of cows here at Nelson Livestock Company to keep up with the evolution of the beef industry,” said Warren, adding that the cows for sale were some of their most valuable and productive cows and have made up the core of their herd over the years. Nelson Livestock Company is a family ranch with a long-standing reputation for excellent cows and bulls. Tom and Renee attended Montana State University and Warren attended university at Bismarck State in North Dakota for the management of the ranch. In addition to Warren, Tom and Renee, two of Tom and Renee’s sons, Brent and Nathan, help wherever possible, and Brent has now returned to the ranch full time. Brent previously taught at Dawson Community College in Glendive, Mont., And Nathan currently teaches and coaches at Divide County High School in Crosby, ND Brent is also a dealer of Loomix, a liquid nutritional supplement that helps cattle use forage. . Tom is also a Senior Liv Stock Representative and helps market cattle to Nelson’s bull clients. “These services are provided to our customers to enable them to make the most of their grass and resources in our environment of eastern Montana and western North Dakota,” said Warren. Grandchildren include Taylen, Vallie, Gavin, Reggie, Logan, Carter and Hadley. Much of the cattle work is still done on horses, with the ranch keeping around eight Quarter Horses. But Warren was the first to buy a four-wheeler and now everyone has one. “Yet, whether for fun or for work, horseback riding is a necessity at Nelson Livestock, due to the rugged terrain of the Badlands which is not always suitable for motor vehicles. The ranch was established in 1909 by the great-grandparents of the Nelson’s who raised Herefords and other animals. Their grandparents continued the family legacy. de Warren and Tom, Stanley and Jean, took over the family ranch and added land. Stanley was very progressive in the area and actually started the Wibaux Soil Conservation District in 1934 when he was only 27 years old , according to Warren. The Nelson’s were one of the first breeders in the area to start artificial insemination to increase genetics in the herd, he said. In the 1970s, Tom wanted to grow bigger and acquire more cattle. He crossed Hereford bulls with Angus cows to produce black-faced cows and introduced heterosis into the commercial herd, Warren explained. After college, Warren returned to work on the family ranch in 1976. The Nelson’s also wanted to breed bulls Simmental because they were bigger and added pounds to the weaning weight of their calves, plus they had excellent carcass characteristics. Warren said. Simmentals have a gentle temperament and have good maternal traits, which makes them excellent for the breeding program, he said, adding that they use Simmental bulls on Angus cows because the Simmental adds more. muscle and yield to Angus cow and Angus adds more mottling. They added purebred Black Angus to their herd in the mid-90s, and later a herd of purebred SimAngus, which are very popular. Nelson Livestock SimAngus are a combination of Simmental and Angus from a well-planned program for their clients’ breeding programs. “SimAngus is a great cross for high vigor and a wonderful disposition,” said Warren. In addition, the SimAngus cow is one of the best for maternal traits. “The layout is important to us. We want gentle dispositions in our cattle. “The Nelson breeding bull selection consists of large, distributed bulls (minus birth weight at high growth) that are of average size but have that ‘explosive growth after birth,’ Warren said. deep, thick, with the ability to work in any environment, especially the rugged northern plains, ”he added. the American Simmental Association. In the early 1970s, Nelson Livestock organized its first seed sale. Now they have annual bull sales at the ranch in April, and on their pastures they have wells and pipes to provide water to the cattle. The wells are operated by pumps powered by solar panels or wind turbines, and there are also reservoirs in their pastures. Beaver Creek also runs through their pastures. Recently the Nelson’s dragged their cows for sale out of the Badlands to prepare them for sale. “The rest of the cow herd is back in the Badlands and will stay there until January or the weather forces them,” Warren said. “The calves have been weaned and are at home and under development.” Nelson Livestock Company celebrated its 100th anniversary on the same lot in 2009 and was part of a Montana Stockgrowers Association book on Montana Legacy Ranches titled “The Weak Have Turned Their Backs, The Cowards Never Started: A Century of Ranching in Montana “, in 2009, compiled by Linda Grosskopf and Nancy Morrison. On the home front, Warren said the sport was very important to the family. Taylen plays for the Longhorn football team at Wibaux High School and Gavin played football in high school Reggie plays volleyball and basketball in high school.

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Jeanetta J. Stewart

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