Herbster Angus Farms, Inc. Provides Genetic Benefits to Customers.

Published on Tue, 10/27/2020 - 9:19am

Herbster Angus Farms, Inc. Provides Genetic Benefits to Customers.

 By Heather Smith Thomas.

 A breeder’s job is to supply superior genetics to commercial cattlemen, and this is usually facilitated through bull sales, production sales, semen sales, etc.  This seedstock breeder takes this job very seriously.

Herbster Angus Farms, Inc.

Located near Falls City in southeast Nebraska and owned by Charles W. Herbster, this farm has a long history—homesteaded in 1847 by Charles’ great-great-grandfather.  Charles started with Angus cattle at age 11 when his grandmother bought him some registered cows. That herd evolved into a superior seedstock operation after Charles and his wife Judy established Herbster Angus Farms 25 years ago—and then hired Ed and Amanda Raithel as general managers.  Ed and Amanda have worked with the Herbsters more than 20 years and share their passion for breeding elite cattle.

The Herbster Angus Farms program is built on honesty and value, from marketing cattle and semen, to the data turned in to the American Angus Association.  Customers’ conception rate and herd betterment are first in mind.

Amanda says the ultimate goal is to improve their customers’ bottom line.  “We strive to provide genetics that we know will work for them—animals that will physically perform.  Most of our selection criteria for the bulls we sell to commercial breeders is focused on animals that will have tremendous fertility, good feet and legs, and good skeletal structure, along with excellent fleshing ability. These animals will work long-term whether as a bull or a cow sired by that bull,” she explains.

“We look at EPDs, but they are not the most important thing.  An animal might look good on paper but if it doesn’t work in the real world, we don’t want to pass those genetics on to our customers,” she says.

The farm has an annual bull sale but the biggest way this breeding program helps other breeders and commercial cattlemen is through semen sales.  “This has been our biggest contribution.  Starting in the 1960’s implementation of AI made the best genetics in the breed available to anyone.  A commercial cow herd can be improved with a few straws of semen without having to lay out a huge investment to buy that outstanding bull,” says Amanda.

“We sell a lot of semen from superior Angus bulls and offer commercial pricing on some of our bulls to help our commercial customers.  Instead of paying $40 a unit, they pay $20 to use those bulls—to help improve their herd, within their budget. For a small investment they can improve feet and legs, longevity, fertility, udder quality, milking ability, mothering ability—all the things that are paramount in our own herd.”

Charles Herbster owns North American Breeders Inc., a stud service in Berryville, Virginia.  “All our bulls are collected at that facility and we can control the consistency and quality of semen to each customer. Our semen is packaged at 40 million cells per straw, almost double the standard amount for the semen industry. We also market all our bulls through individual semen sales.  We sell directly to customers--rancher to rancher,” she explains.

“Some breeders sell a little semen as well as bulls, but we are the largest breeder offering semen direct to customers.  Many breeders have bulls at ABS, ORigin and other bull studs, but all our bulls—with the exception of Southern Charm—are marketed by us.  Charles bought into Southern Charm after that bull was already under the ORigin canopy.  He is the only bull of ours offered through another company,” she says.