Red Angus Auction

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The raising of cattle and production of beef is a more complex subject than you would ever imagine. A lot goes into the birthing, mating, producing, selling, and buying of Red Angus Cattle.

The raising of cattle and production of beef is a more complex subject than you would ever imagine. A lot goes into the birthing, mating, producing, selling, and buying of Red Angus Cattle. People come from all around the world to the Red Angus Auction at the National Western Stock Show to buy the embryo, semen, and cattle being offered. I interviewed Paul Haugen, who operates Boot Jack Consulting which provides the genetic management for the Tilleman Bootjack operation in Lewiston, MT to find out more about this subject. He raises Angus cattle because they “excel in marbling (which is the flavor that makes the steak better than most other breeds.)” Haugen owns both Red and Black Angus but more red “for reasons of heat tolerance. ”
At the auction, these cattle are evaluated using fifteen different measures called EPDs, which stands for Expected Progeny Difference. Some of these are; calving ease, weaning weight, fat thickness, and marbling. Haugen says that people buy bulls that have good traits, and breed them with cows that have good traits, to make a better, more advanced animal. Ranchers keep doing this till they have a bull or a cow that has high ratings in most of the categories. They are doing this to ultimately have an animal that tastes better and is worth more. “We are trying to find a way to make the best beef” Haugen says.
Ranchers take their cows and embryo to auctions like the one at the Denver Western Stock Show and sell them. At this particular auction, a catalog was handed out to everyone.   In it, were the animals photos, their stats(EPDs), and a description. The prices of the animal can vary because of the amount and balance of the traits. According to Haugen, “Most of what you see at the stock show, is classified as breeding stock, for registered breeders to sell to other registered breeders or commercial cattlemen to better their herds”
Cattle ranching, as was obvious at the auction, requires through knowledge of science and business.