Rawhide Introduces An Innovative Windbreak Solution

Rawhide Introduces An Innovative Windbreak Solution

Article and photos courtesy of Rawhide Portable Corral

For 22 years Rawhide Portable Corral has become a leader in corral design and manufacturing. But founder John McDonald’s innovativeness hasn’t stopped with corrals – he has made a name for himself, his family and his company throughout the agricultural industry for his continuous goal to enhance the original design of his portable corral, while creating accessories and other products that make a producer’s job that much easier.

From his original portable hydraulic corral on wheels to the expansive Rancho Deluxe Corral, McDonald listens to the needs of the industry to refine what it means to properly and safely handle and corral livestock. He understands that not only do proper handling and loading facilities ensure the efficient movement and handling of livestock, but they also can enhance the safety of both operators and animals alike, reducing likelihood of stress and physical injury. That’s one of the things McDonald is most proud of because he has made a big impact with his portable corral design – changing the industry and helping people along the way.

Now, using the same ingenuity as the Rawhide Portable Corral design, McDonald has developed a patent pending portable, foldable, windbreak on wheels that one person can set up.

“The portable windbreak will include a hydraulically raised loafing shed roof on both sides of the main frame and will utilize the same patented torsion axle suspension that we recently added to our portable corrals,” McDonald says.

The torsion axle suspension system design that McDonald is referring to was recently added to the original corral design to meet the needs of consumers who are pulling the portable corrals at highway speeds on roadways, and then along uneven terrain in fields. To offset the potential damage of jarring and bouncing, which can be hard on the corral’s frame, McDonald developed a torsion axle suspension, as well as brakes, to improve safety and the corral’s durability. This same torsion axle suspension is present in the company’s new portable windbreak product.

So what was the instigator behind developing this new product? Like the portable corrals, throughout the years McDonald has listened to feedback and ideas from industry experts – specifically producers who use his products first-hand. So too, McDonald has heard from industry professionals about the need for a state-of-the-art portable, foldable windbreak system that is easy to set up and use.

“I have been asked for years by customers if we could sheet the panels to provide some protection from the wind for their cattle,” McDonald says. “Having cattle of our own, we know the benefits of providing protection for cattle.” Indeed, the health and safety of the cattle as well as the livestock handlers, is paramount for McDonald as he sits down and designs his product solutions.

In designing the new portable windbreak system, McDonald was striving to develop a solution that would protect animals from extreme weather conditions, including providing a system that would result in less cold stress and less heat stress on livestock.

“Efficiency is also key with this system,” McDonald says. “With our portable windbreak, ranchers and farmers will no longer be required to use tractors and trailers to haul our windbreak, unlike the freestanding windbreaks currently on the market. With our windbreak, they can haul it down the road at highway speeds, as they can with our corrals. The hydraulics will raise and lower the windbreak, as well as the roof on the loafing shed. Our pinning system will then allow the windbreak to easily unfold and fold into the needed configuration.”

Embracing a unified vision for all of Rawhide’s products working as cohesive units, as warranted by a producer’s needs, McDonald has also designed the windbreaks to work in conjunction with Rawhide’s portable corral systems.

“It is designed so you can pin your portable corral to it,” McDonald says. “Using our flexible pinning system, they can be used together. Options on the windbreak also will include small calving pens on each side of the main frame and a head gate.”


McDonald and the entire Rawhide team are excited about the potential innovativeness that the new portable windbreak system brings to the industry. Quite simply, they have never seen one like this before.


“We expect this will be another revolutionary product for the livestock industry, similar to when we first developed the Rawhide Portable Corral,” McDonald says.

And while McDonald has listened to producers’ ideas and visions for a unique portable windbreak system, he and his employees have been working on the patent pending process for the new windbreak product and have kept the product idea “close to home” and under wraps until now. In addition, McDonald has worked diligently through the challenges that emerged throughout the research and development process to create the ideal windbreak solution that producers have been searching for.

“Our goal was to get it exactly like we wanted it before introducing it to the industry,” McDonald says. “We have shared it with a few of our dealers early on and they are very excited about it and the potential impact it will have on the industry.”

From small farms to expansive ranches, Rawhide’s new portable windbreak system is appropriate for all size producers. It truly is for anyone wanting to protect their cattle from extreme weather conditions, including wind, sun, rain and snow, which can happen anywhere, at any time of the year.

Looking back on his previous innovations, his newest windbreak product design, as well as imagining what’s to come, McDonald is excited for the future. “I am always coming up with new ideas and enjoy finding ways to help fellow livestock producers.”

Mitigating Risk with Cattle Buildings: 4 Key Considerations for Success

Mitigating Risk with Cattle Buildings: 4 Key Considerations for Success

Article provided by Accu-Steel, Inc.

With input and acreage costs at an all-time high, beef production comes with tighter margins and more business risk than ever. This has prompted many producers to add cattle buildings for a more controlled environment — but not all cattle buildings are created equal. Here are four key considerations.

1. Consider the seasonal benefits
From breeding to pre-calving to calving and weaning — a cattle building brings unique benefits all year round. Heat checking is easier, making insemination more effective. Pre-calving and calving can happen in a controlled environment that makes human intervention easier, and weaning can be done in the shade.

2. Compare fabric to metal
There are some key benefits to choosing a fabric-covered building versus a traditional metal monoslope building, according to Kelly Daniels, owner of Hedgewood Equipment – an Accu-Steel certified dealer specializing in cattle.
“First, you’ll have better ventilation with a fabric-covered building, which is critical to not only the health of the herd, but also to the longevity of the building,” says Daniels. “You may notice in older metal cattle buildings that moisture caused by poor airflow has led to rust and corrosion in key structural points.”
Daniels also says you should consider the natural light, higher clear-span space for equipment entry, lower cost and much shorter lead times of fabric-covered buildings.

3. Evaluate the manufacturer’s product
There can be significant differences in the quality and longevity of one fabric-covered steel building to another. According to Daniels, here are some of the key things to consider:
● Galvanization: Ensure the steel structure is hot dip galvanized for the best corrosion resistance. While many manufacturers hot dip galvanize, some do it pre-fabrication, meaning their critical weld points are left unprotected. Make sure to choose a manufacturer that does post-fabrication hot dip galvanization.
● Airflow: Next, choose a manufacturer with dual eaves and ridge ventilation that not only improve airflow, but keep your cattle comfortable, clean and dry year-round.
● Fabric: While many manufacturers use one or two continuous sheets of fabric to cover the entire structure, Accu-Steel uses 16-foot sections of EnduroLocTM fabric on Keder tracks, making it easier and more cost-effective to repair or replace in the future.

4. Look for turn-key consultation
While many fabric-covered building manufacturers simply ask, ”what size do you need?” and then give you a price, others offer a more consultative approach. Here are a few questions to consider when selecting a dealer.
● Are they asking the right questions? A good dealer will have a demonstrated knowledge of cow/calf operations, asking the right questions and showing you drawings of potential configurations to meet your unique needs.
● Can they handle more than the building? A good dealer will not just sell you a building, but can help manage the entire project — from hiring the earthmoving, cement and foundation work, to selling the cattle gating and all the equipment within the building.
● Do they understand EQIP NRCS funding? The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) can often help fund up to half the cost of a fabric-covered building project, so long as the design meets NRCS requirements. Choose a dealer and manufacturer who are familiar with those requirements and can help guide you through the NRCS funding process.

Ready for a fabric-covered building?
Accu-Steel offers post-fabrication hot dip galvanized steel, three-way airflow, an innovative Keder cover system with EnduroLocTM fabric and a certified dealer network of experts in the cattle industry. Visit www.AccuSteel.com for more information.

Legendary Akaushi Genetics

Legendary Akaushi Genetics

The superior choice for commercial cattlemen

Article and photos courtesy of Legendary Akaushi Genetics

Founded in Legacy. Driven by Data” – this mantra encapsulates the mission and vision of the new Legendary Akaushi Genetics. Established in 2015, Legendary Akaushi has been at the forefront of preserving and enhancing the foundation genetics of Akaushi cattle. Recently, the ranch transitioned ownership from Bill Fisher and Jordan Beeman to Steve Cotrelle, marking a new era of innovation and growth while still staying true to the vision of the original founders.

With new ownership, the commitment to preserving these foundation genetics remains steadfast. However, there is also a renewed focus on propelling the breed forward. Leveraging our unique position of owning numerous rare foundational animals, we are poised to create new maternal lines based on rigorous data analysis and performance metrics. This data-driven approach ensures that we not only preserve the legacy of Akaushi genetics but also enhance the breed’s future potential through informed breeding decisions and innovative practices.

History of Akaushi
The Akaushi breed, also known as Japanese Brown or Red Wagyu, has its origins in Japan’s Kumamoto and Kochi prefectures. This breed is part of the larger Wagyu family, which includes Japanese Black, Japanese Polled, and Japanese Shorthorn. Wagyu translates to “Japanese cow,” and Akaushi specifically means “red cow.” The breed’s development began in the late 19th century, following the Meiji Restoration in 1868, which opened Japan to Western influences and led to the introduction of European cattle breeds such as Simmental and Devon to enhance size and maternal traits. In addition to these Western influences, Akaushi cattle also integrated genetics from the Korean Hanwoo, noted for its exceptional marbling and robust flavor. Studies indicate a significant genetic overlap between Akaushi and Hanwoo, with some Akaushi showing up to 80% genetic similarity to Hanwoo cattle, this sets them apart from the Black Wagyu and makes them a great cross for heterosis on these types of cattle. This genetic linkage highlights the distinctive qualities of Akaushi beef, blending the intense marbling with a rich, beefy flavor.

Akaushi cattle were first imported to the United States in the 1970s. This initial import included two Tottori Black Wagyu bulls, Mazda and Fuji, and two Akaushi bulls, Judo and Rueshaw. These early imports laid the groundwork for the Akaushi breed in the U.S. However, it was in the 1990s that a significant expansion occurred with the importation of additional Akaushi cattle. This included both Akaushi and Black Wagyu, but the focus was primarily on enhancing the Akaushi genetic pool. These imported cattle were pivotal in establishing a robust Akaushi population in the U.S., ensuring that the breed’s superior marbling, tenderness, and flavor were preserved and propagated. The Akaushi cattle that were originally imported are mostly tied to HeartBrand Beef, previously known as Englewood. In the early 1990s, the Englewood company recognized the potential of Akaushi genetics and invested in importing and breeding these cattle. Englewood’s efforts were instrumental in introducing and popularizing Akaushi beef in the American market. The company eventually rebranded as HeartBrand Beef, continuing its mission to produce high-quality Akaushi beef. Legendary worked with Heartbrand and Wagyu Saki to build their initial herd of rare Akaushi donors.

Why Use Legendary Bulls
Akaushi cattle offer numerous benefits, making them an excellent choice for commercial herds. Known for their exceptional marbling, Akaushi beef consistently achieves higher quality grades, moving select cuts to choice and choice cuts to prime. This superior carcass quality translates to a rich, buttery flavor and a tender texture, highly valued in the beef market. In addition to their premium meat quality, Akaushi cattle exhibit high fertility rates, calving ease, and robust growth, which contribute to efficient and profitable breeding operations. Another significant benefit of Akaushi cattle is their ability to adapt and perform in various climates. Bred on the volcanic slopes of southern Japan, Akaushi cattle have evolved to thrive on grass and in pasture environments. These environmental condiditions allowed the Akaushi to differentiate themselves from the Black Wagyu as they flourish in more rugged conditions, resulting in a thicker build and weaning weights comparable to continental breeds. Since the Akaushi is more related to the Hanwoo than the Black Wagyu, it is also a great choice for producers who have used a Black Wagyu bulls in the past; as these calves will have a high level of heterosis. It is not uncommon for purebred Akaushi to wean calves weighing between 400-550 lbs, with calves being born at around 65 lbs on average. This unique environment also endowed Akaushi cattle with heat resistance. In Texas, it is common to see Akaushi cattle grazing alongside Brahman-influenced cattle in the summer heat when other breeds seek shade or water. Akaushi cattle also perform well in cold environments, thriving in states like Idaho and even further north in Canada.
Our focus on data-driven breeding practices aims to identify cattle that excel in commercial beef production systems. We are currently investigating feed and water efficiency and plan to develop systems and facilities to measure these traits next year. We believe that Akaushi cattle are ideal for use in tropical climates where Brahman-based cattle are common due to their resilience. Akaushi cattle bring not only resilience but also superior carcass quality to the equation. Starting this year, Legendary will incorporate ultrasound technology to select bulls for our program and for sale to our customers. Advances in ultrasound technology over the past decade have made it a valuable tool in ensuring the bulls we sell will marble efficiently. This data will contribute to producing Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) through the Australian Wagyu Association, where our cattle will be compared to Black Wagyu. Although Australia has a robust system for EBVs in Black Wagyu, it may take 3-5 years for the data to accurately reflect the performance of Akaushi. We expect to have the results of the ultrasound scans available by the next breeding season, contributing to ongoing studies comparing Akaushi to Black Wagyu.

By choosing Akaushi bulls, you can significantly improve the quality of the carcasses produced by your herd. This improvement is particularly advantageous if you run a farm-to-table beef program or sell cattle on the grid. In the past year, premiums for F1 calves have decreased, but we anticipate these premiums returning once cattle prices stabilize from their current all-time highs. Investing in Akaushi genetics positions your operation to capitalize on these future market opportunities, ensuring consistent production of high-quality beef that meets consumer demand for superior marbling and flavor. At Legendary Akaushi Genetics, our dedication to preserving the rich legacy of Akaushi cattle while driving the breed’s future through innovation and data-driven practices sets us apart. Our commitment to quality, sustainability, and excellence positions us at the forefront of the beef industry, offering unparalleled value to our customers and the market. By choosing Akaushi bulls from Legendary Akaushi Genetics, commercial cattlemen can enhance their herds with superior genetics, ensuring higher quality beef, improved efficiency, and greater adaptability to diverse environments.
For additional information on our breeding stock, commercial cows, bulls, semen and embryos, visit our website for more information at akaushigenetics.com

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