South Branch Farms
Principal Contact: Robert Livingston
Farm Location: Seven Valleys, Pennsylvania
Number of Angus Cows: 250
Participation in PMB Program: Since 1994
Bulls Sent to PMB Annually: 45 - 50
Female Sales: Private Treaty and as Commercials
Utilizes Artificial Insemination: Yes, Heavily, Including Owned Herd Sires
Utilizes Embryo Transplant: Yes, Moderately
Other Related Activities:
EVERY DOLLAR in the cattle business COMES ultimately FROM THE CONSUMER. It doesn't matter how efficient we are in producing if no one wants to buy the product. WE'RE LISTENING to the beef retailers and consumers TO understand WHAT THEY WANT TO BUY. Then, we strive to furnish the product they tell us they want.
The breeding goal at South Branch Farms is to PRODUCE CATTLE that are TROUBLE FREE, FUNCTIONAL and EFFICIENT as brood cows; gain weight rapidly and efficiently in the feedlot and YIELD predominately choice, yield grade 2 CARCASSES that result in SATISFIED EATING EXPERIENCES EVERY TIME.
Achieving these goals REQUIRES both A PLAN and discipline. The COWHERD is CULLED RUTHLESSLY for fertility, udder, feet and leg problems, disposition and performance. The BOTTOM 2/3 of the bull calves ARE STEERED and they, along with heifer calves not selected for breeding, are FED TO BE SOLD TO A RETAIL MEAT PLANT where carcass data is collected. This has given us the unique opportunity to TRACK our GENETICS from the PASTURE TO THE DINNER PLATE. Along the way, performance and production COST DATA IS GATHERED AND ANALYZED. This data includes cow maintenance costs, feedlot costs, and statistics comparing each component of the plan to the results actually achieved.
Implementation of the plan began about 5 years ago:
In 1997, South Branch Farms weaned 217 calves from 220 cows bred either by A.I. or natural service. That represents a 98.6% CALF CROP. Only 10 cows required assistance to calve. Included in the group were 62 first calf heifers. Despite drought conditions, both weaning and yearling WEIGHTS continued their UPWARD TREND. Carcass data was collected on 149 HEAD during 1996 - 1997. Of the cattle KILLED, more than 91% GRADED CHOICE. Significantly, for the future, a BULL was IDENTIFIED that SIRED 8 OUT OF 9 carcasses that graded CHOICE and all were YIELD GRADE 2'S.
Profit Maker Bulls Comments:
It is a pleasure for us at PMB to work with this unique herd. This registered herd generates the largest share of its herd income from selling cattle to a retail meat packing plant. The cattle they sell have all been bred, calved and fed on their farm. They have identified and taken a DIRECTION in their program that INCLUDES ALL ASPECTS of the BEEF BUSINESS. The results of this program will make a positive impact on the entire Beef Cattle Business. We predict in the near future the industry will "discover" this herd as a source of proven Multi-Trait cattle.
Contacting South Branch Farms:
Genetic Alliance Members