Smith Registered Angus Provides Genetic Benefits to Customers

Published on Tue, 10/27/2020 - 9:39am

Smith Registered Angus 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.

Smith Registered Angus

This seedstock business in the northwest corner of Arkansas, near Berryville is operated by Brock Smith, his aunt and grandmother. “Our family has been raising cattle a long time, but started in the registered purebred business in 2003.  We bought a set of registered Angus heifers and started buying good bulls to try to improve our EPD's.  About 8 years ago we started using AI, mainly from Select Sires— different bulls for different cows to match them best,” he says.

“We’ve also used sires from ABS and have purchased embryos from various breeders.  We still buy some top-notch herd bulls to benefit our program because we want cattle that are efficient, with longevity and good udders—cattle that will be profitable for our customers,” Smith says.

Many commercial herds in the area buy bulls from their operation so he tries to select bulls that sire small calves that grow fast—the kind people used to call curve-benders that combine easy birth with fast growth and good weaning weights. “Many people here take their calves straight to the sale barn so they want a big calf—but without calving problems.  We want to help the commercial producers,” he explains.

“We sit down with some of them and go over the things they want, looking at their cow herd and goals.  If they want to make their cattle more moderate or have easier birth, we help them select the genetics that will be the best fit for them,” he says.

This year will be the 5th annual production sale, November 14.  “Before we started having sales, we sold everything private treaty. We held our sales at the Green Forest sale barn (North Arkansas Livestock Auction) but this year will be our first sale here at the ranch.”  It will be easier, and people can come to the ranch and see the cattle.

“We won’t have to haul the cattle so it will reduce stress on them; they won’t have to get out of their environment/comfort zone.  The cattle will be available in larger pens--and easier to view than smaller pens at a sale barn,” says Smith.

There will be 55 bulls in the sale and some pairs--21 fall-calving registered cows and a few commercial cows with calves at side, plus about 20 head of registered bred cows and 5 commercial bred cows.

“We are a bit new at production sales and feel this will expand our customer base,” says Smith.  He also hopes to keep expanding their operation. Currently they run about 180 cows and keep the best heifers as replacements to help grow the herd.  “We want to eventually have another 60 to 100 cows or more,” he says.