30 years seems like a lifetime ago. The first thing that comes to mind is the story from way back, hearing Juan and Keith talking about one day having a production sale. You can imagine how it went…. Keith saying how within the next few years we could have everything lined up and ready to take the big step. Juan saying “I called Lex and we are set for the first Tuesday in March, no doubt 4 months away. Well, they did it, and we haven’t looked back since. Reyes and Russell families continue to work together to offer you high quality Angus bulls that can work in any environment. We remain family operations that go out and work hard every day to help you improve your herd. If it wasn’t for the commercial cattleman, we wouldn’t be here doing what we do.
We believe this year’s offering will be a good investment for any operation. Before going to grass we sort bulls into three groups based off their phenotype as a yearling. The bulls have remained in these groups and we like the way it turned out. Throughout the book you will see some real standouts, not all stacked up front. We feel there is a group that will offer a lot of power and growth to any cowherd. The next set is going to leave behind some real fancy females, “Cow Makers” as dad calls them. Finishing up the sale will be a younger more moderate set of bulls that have really matured into a nice set. Overall, the bulls have good bone structure, are good footed and have been developed with longevity in mind. We continue to strive for quality, performance, conformation, fertility, and easy fleshing abilities that will work at any altitude.
Our bulls are raised and developed in a realistic range environment. They summer at Tie Siding, WY and are PAP tested there at the end of September by Dr. Tim Holt at 8,000’. Russell bulls are PAP tested in Walden, CO at 8,450’. When the Reyes bulls return to Wheatland, they are on a 40 Mcal ration that is 78% roughage, they are not pushed like a feedlot bull. They run in their working clothes and receive no special treatment.
Both families continue to strive for herd quality vs. aiming focus on the numbers that show up on a registration paper. Many producers are focusing more and more on what the papers say. Well for us, we need to go out in the pasture and like the cattle that we raise. More importantly, we need these cattle to go to work for us and not vice versa. We believe that over the years the Angus industry has turned into a political numbers game. As a result, we are seeing radically high EPDs and cattle that cannot produce as the paper predicted. The numbers just don’t add up. Too many herds have been ruined from chasing numbers. Rather, we are working to have a herd full of deep ribbed, easy fleshing, good footed, structurally sound animals that can stay in the herd and thrive in tough environments. For us, cattle need to have that eye appeal paired with a combination of soundness, good bone, lots of capacity, with longevity. These characteristics make for a herd that can produce calves that work well in a feedyard as well as females that can perform in the pasture, without falling out of the herd within the first few years.
JUST BECAUSE HE WAS BORN WITH TESTICLES DOESN’T MEAN HE HAS TO KEEP THEM. We calve out between 900-950 cows on average from year to year, thus retaining approximately ½ of our bull calf crop for the sale.
Year after year, I receive phone calls from people asking about our carcass data and our $ EPDs. They would consider us because they like the looks of the cattle, but they can’t because we don’t have the numbers. Well let me address that. It’s because we think the numbers have far too much discrepancy associated with them. Genomic testing and enhanced EPDs have become the new rage. While I believe some aspects of these test can be beneficial to producers, there are many more numbers being generated from them that seem to lack correlation from real world testing. In regard to carcass, our bulls are not ultrasounded for the simple reason that we are not pushing them. Our SUMMER BORN calves are weaned around the first of the year and put onto a 1.5# ration until the grass at Tie Siding, WY can sustain them. During the window in which we could be testing these bulls in a feedlot, we have them out on pasture growing into a bull, suitable for your herd. NOT A FEEDLOT BULL. These cattle need to be working for us, not vice versa. Some bulls in this catalog have carcass EPDs because the dam and sire were tested at some point in their lives. The bulls not showing these EPDs have nothing to hide, their parents nor themselves have simply never been tested.
Now a days everyone is selling PAP tested bulls. With that we are hearing more and more about the PAP EPD created by AAA. It seems that there are a lot of variables not being taken into consideration.
*Length of time at the high elevation prior to testing.
*The fact that the majority of operations submitting the data have been selecting their genetics based off of what pedigrees can survive in the high elevations. This greatly limits the number of bulls whose offspring will have actual pap scores submitted for them. Which I believe ties into my next point.
*The two brackets of elevation. Not only how they are broken up, but also the fact that they are accepting scores from as low as 4,000’.
However, it keeps being repeated by the experts, if you are selecting an animal to go to the high country, you still need a PAP score. MR Angus has been PAP testing cattle for over 40 years. Where else in the United States can you find this depth of quality and degree of accuracy for PAP?
Again this year we will be donating 10% of the Lot 10 bull to the Wyoming FFA Foundation, as well as, 10% of Lot 20 bull to the Wyoming Stock Growers Association. We strongly support both of these organizations that work hard to promote and protect agriculture in our great state.
As always we invite you to stop by and go through the bulls anytime. We hope you will look at the sale offering, compare, and see all that our program is accomplishing. Thanks to all of our friends and customers who have supported us over the years. We look forward to seeing you Monday, February 24, 2020. If you have any questions, feel free to call.
Juan Reyes and Keith Russell Families
30th Annual Reyes/Russell Bull Sale
Monday, February 22, 2021 - 1 PM
at the ranch in Wheatland, Wyoming