Herbster Angus Farms
Published on Thu, 01/16/2020 - 8:54am
Herbster Angus Farms.
Article and photo courtesy of Amanda Raithel, Herbster Angus Farms.
In the generation of high-density genetic tests, numerical approximations, and propaganda on social media, choosing the right cattle for your environment and goals is a slippery slope. There are so many opinions on what is “good” and “bad,” that many producers drown in a sea of information. At Herbster Angus Farms in Falls City, Nebraska, phenotype and actual production traits are still paramount when selecting new genetics to add into the herd.
Ed Raithel, manager of Herbster Angus Farms since 1998, is passionate about looking at the cattle prior to any purchase. “I have spent many hours traveling and viewing bulls in the studs and ranches. Multiple visits tell me many things about the cattle. I like to see the animals before the hoof trimmer gets there—my observation tells me which ones need to see him every time he comes by!”
Herbster Angus Farms is built on the philosophy that viewing prospective purchases or AI bulls helps to make the right decision for the future. A solid knowledge of correct phenotype not only helps your herd’s profitability, it furthers the success of your customer’s herd.
“We take visual appraisal seriously, and I have a hard time taking someone else’s word on how good an animal is. Together, with Mr. Charles W. Herbster, owner of Herbster Angus Farms, we make looking at the cattle a priority,” Ed said.
Ed has traveled to Schaff Angus Valley in January to scout the sale for the last 15 years. He prides himself in keeping those catalogs with his notes for future reference. In 2019, Ed scrutinized the $1.51 million, world-record and high-selling bull, America, right down to his dew claw. Ed sent his report back to Mr. Herbster. “During the fall of 2018, we were hearing how amazing America was. I sent Ed to North Dakota on his annual trip to Schaff Angus Valley and he came back with a great report on the bull. I don’t make investments without a great evaluation. Just like making decisions on any one of my five other businesses, you have to get your feet wet and take a look at investments yourself before making huge decisions. America is a great bull and will leave his mark on the Angus breed,” Charles said.
Herbster Angus Farms strives to be accurate in their assessment of cattle and encourage their customers to do the same. “When evaluating cattle for use in your environment, you are always the expert—not your neighbor or social media news feed,” continued Charles. “Viewing the sire, dam, and progeny of a bull in person stops the influx of undesirable traits. We choose cattle in accordance to our goals, not by what popular Angus culture, the internet, or EPDs say.”