Welcome to the Diamond H Ranch. For some this is the only exposure you will get to our ranch, for others, we are fortunate that you may visit us sometime. THAT is, without question, the best way to learn about this breed generally, and our program specifically. Prior to getting to meet you in person, we are grateful you will take the time to look through the pages here to learn about our cattle and our philosophy. I am fully aware there is lots of (perhaps too much) information on this website, way more than website “experts” say you should have. I tried to put all the info about the breed, our program and our cow philosophy. So, read what you want…skip all the rest! This video will tell you a little about us, and will be one of the few times you will see my wife on camera…she is a shy girl. I met her in first grade, and for lots of good reasons, we have been married 38 years!
Our mission is to raise the best cattle we can. Our intent is that our “seedstock” will provide genetics that, when added to another herd, will move that herd forward to help them reach their personal goals. We believe our genetics can help any cow/calf operation become more profitable. I attempt to provide proof of that statement, as well as give you a feel of who we are, our philosophy of the cow/calf business, and how we believe our cattle can help ranches become more profitable in the pages of this website. We honestly believe Braunvieh cattle are a good fit in most any cow/calf operation, regardless of your foundational breed or geographic location. We think we begin to make that argument in the pages of this website, BUT, the only way to prove that point without doubt, is coming to the ranch and seeing the cattle at work in this environment. Our cattle are required to earn a living. As I have heard it said, “cattle should work for you, not the other way around”! A cow that needs to be constantly looked after, during calving, breeding, or any other phase of their life, is not a cow that will make you money (or one I want to own!). We set out trying to raise that kind of cow, and we intend to stay the course.
It is my strong belief that if you buy genetics (cow, bull, semen or embryo) from a ranch like ours you should know something more about them than the quality of their cattle or the price of their product. I think a seedstock producer needs to realize that; when you buy genetics you’re making a long term commitment. When a bull breeds a cow, it is (and this is a VERY simple analysis) :
1. about 18 months till the calf is sold at market
2. about 2 years until a female is old enough to breed, and nearly 3 years until you find if she is a good mother (or not),
3. about 5 years until you have the second generation to have any idea of whether or not the results are sustainable and will be passed on
In other words, it’s a LOOOooong time before you know if he or she was a good investment (or not)! Now nothing is for sure in this business, but what I am saying is that, I want to know how the person I am buying my genetics from approaches this business. How long have they been in business is not near as important to me, as to how they make their decisions. If this is important to you, read this, if not, I’d skip this part, it’s long, contains a lot of my personal opinion/feelings and probably more information that you want! 🙂
Me? First, I pray. That will make some of you look for the “X” to close the page, I get that. There are others that will say “oh brother, another one of those guys that puts a fish on their car and uses religion to sell cattle”. That’s not the truth either. Truth is, I believe a Christian is supposed to put Him in the center of ALL their life; not just their Sunday life, but every day, all the time. I am not ashamed of the fact I look to God for direction: for this ranch, and the rest of my life, personal and business. We pray before we consider how to breed, we pray over our semen tank, and we pray before we get started. We pray for our cattle when they are sick (then we treat them). If you think that’s dumb, that’s ok, we don’t.
Now this next statement may bother you as well…… I had no intent of ever getting in the ranching business. I bought my first parcel of land with the intent to fish….alot! God had other plans (I’ve fished about 3 times in two years). He introduced me to one of the best cowmen I know, in the context of a Christian prison ministry. Shortly after that introduction, I began thinking about having a few cattle myself. Not long after, I bought my first small group of bred cows, and SOON after, it was clear that God wanted me in this business! I wanted to be in this business! It was all I could think about. My passion for my other business’ began to be weaken as my drive to build this ranch took me over.
I am always startled when I hear people (I am talking about those that have LOTS invested) say something like “this is just a hobby, I don’t expect to make money” or “I do it for the lifestyle”. Well I agree, it is VERY enjoyable, and if you don’t approach it as a lifestyle, you will go crazy (because you will be doing it from morning to night). My approach? I read alot, I try to learn all the time, and I work as much as my old body will let me. But, I think the most valuable thing we can do is record keeping. We use past results to make selections for our future. We cull/select based on birthweight, weaning weight and yearling weights. We require a cow/bull PROVE themselves. Numbers like birthweights, weaning weights, and yearling weights, and making decisons based on them, are vital for success. Every bull we sell is tested for ADG, RFI, and ultrasounded for carcass traits. We make decisions on cows based on that testing information, much less herd sires! For me, it should be obvious that you cull if an animal is not anatomically (feet, bags, structure) correct. So clearly, phenotype (looks) is important, but we won’t pick a pretty bull over one that has the performance numbers. So….what do we do?…. well its a slightly long answer:
When we decided to get in the cow business, a friend and mentor helped shape my thinking on what was and was not important. At the top of the list is to establish and follow (religiously) a “breeding program” or just program. A breeding program is not just the protocol you follow to breed your cows, but the decisions you make, the work you do day in and day out. Every activity or decision should be done with your end goals in mine…… What are your performance requirements (quantifiable) for both cows and bulls? What are the needs of your customer and what can you do you meet those needs Though experience/reality has caused us to make some changes, our breeding program has stayed intact with few small changes. I would invite you to look at the link “Our Breeding Program” above. It has changed very little in over a decade, and I think that fact is responsible for the fact that I believe our genetics work, and are worth the investment.
There is a LOT of information on this website. Some is my opinion, founded in my experience working with these cattle. Some are just facts about Braunvieh cattle. Some is just about the cattle industry and our philosophy about how to be a successful cow calf operator. Perhaps some of the most interesting (certainly most entertaining) are the videos the BAA produced for the “American Rancher” program. This one includes an interview of 90 year old Harlan Doeschot, the man who originally imported the breed from Switzerland to the U.S. in the early 80’s.
Also highlighted is a successful commercial producer, Art Brownlee, who shares data he has kept for over a decade on the calves he has retained ownership to the rail. His results are impressive, to say the least. AND if you want to read more about how Art and Merry have operated profitably in all markets, check out this article in the “Angus Beef Bulletin“. (can it get any more third party than that?). It is an older article, they are at 50% Braunvieh genetics now. Art says his data shows (among other things) their Braunvieh cross genetics grade 80% high choice to prime, with no 4 or 5 yield grades. An astonishing FACT…Art has discovered in his data that, if you add a Braunvieh bull to English cattle, you will automatically increase one yield grade….that’s something that helps profitability!
Many come to our website looking for a bull. Some of you are familiar with Braunvieh cattle, others are not. This website will give you information (if you want it) to aid in making an educated decision. I say this on my bulls for sale page and I say again….A bull purchase is the most important decision you make in this business. Even one year of using the wrong bull can have a very significant impact on your herd and its profitability.
Remember, the very best picture of an animal WILL NEVER represent that animal well. We hope that you will come visit us and see our herd if you are considering adding our genetics to your program. After the girls he bought arrived on the truck, a customer from Montana called and said, “the pictures just did not do these heifers justice”.
Anyway, thanks for spending time with us. Give us a call at 806-six 81-9333 or contact us if you have any questions. We love talking about cattle!
We AI lots of cows to bulls outside our program. Bulls famous for their performance. It is gratifying to know the Ranger 11R bull outperforms them on a regular basis. I have often said, it is a shame that we never acknowledge how truly great our Fathers are until they die. Seems to me, bulls are pretty much the same way. THAT is why serious breeders should use AI in their programs!
We have learned about new technologies that allow us to do a better job of selection. One of those is Leptin. Leptin is a hormone in the fat metabolism pathway that has been shown to affect the amount of fat deposition in beef. A DNA variant alters a critical amino acid which affects the folding of this hormone. The leaner cattle have a “C” and the more marbled cattle a “T” in the critical position. Bottom line, after 250,000 cattle are studied by several different entities, the results confirm that cattle carrying the “T” marker, marble easier, thus needing less days on feed. That makes money and it is an easy thing to test. It is one more thing that we are doing as seed stock breeders to help the commercial producer make more money on the cattle they produce and sell….that is important we think!
Please forgive me if you find something old….it is A LOT of work keeping this website relevant! In fact, if you find something I need to change, please shoot us an email via the contact page.
Some notable facts about our ranch:
Diamond H Named BAA “2011 Braunvieh Breeder of the Year”
Ranger 11R is number one Sire of Prodigy Recorded and number two of Prodigy Born (2011)
Our entire herd has been tested for PI-BVD and been found clean. We continue to quarantine new animals and test all calves to keep it that way!
We have tested all our black genetics for all potential Angus genetic defects and our genetics are DEFECT FREE!
SO, we invite you to: