On behalf of Bar CK, I would like to thank you for attending our 11th annual “Profit Sharing Bull Sale” which was held at the Bar CK Ranch in Culver, Oregon on Monday, March 14, 2022.
- Mike Alley, Bar CK Cattle Company
Welcome to Bar CK Cattle Company
Since 2005 we have been dedicated to breeding cattle for only one purpose, our CUSTOMERS PROFITABILITY. When deciding cow mating’s over the last decade and a half we have never once considered how much we could sell the resulting progeny for, but rather how the results would impact our customer’s bottom line. We did this by focusing on API (All-Purpose Index).
API is a whole life cycle profit index that takes into account all expenses and receipts in beef cows from birth to rail and where replacements females are retained. Our mission has been to supply cow-calf operators with a product that would let them harvest maternal heterosis and maximize their net return. This started us down the path to becoming the highest API herd in the IGS (International Genetics Solutions), the largest multi-breed database in the world with more than twenty million head.
It’s not our intent to sound braggadocios about our API standing but rather to show how our belief in the system has provided a measured and consistent improvement in our herd. We stayed the course with our model through times when it was neither popular nor profitable for us. Using the API index system together with the common goal of increasing heterosis to select mating pairs on our ranch has led us in a consistent climb in the average API ranking of our entire herd. Today we can not only say that the Bar CK Ranch is home to the highest-ranking API herd in the IGS database, we can also proudly say that we’ve consistently held that top spot for some time now.
The immediate result of breeding cattle for elite API indexes was a dramatic improvement in cow longevity-related EPDs, such as direct and maternal calving ease, birth weight, and stayability. We also have seen a moderation in size. Cow longevity trumps all other traits for rancher’s profitability. Another pleasant surprise we have learned in the last 15 years is that breeding for API has also made our cattle more attractive. Think about what makes cattle attractive. Physical traits like udder quality, slick shiny hair coats in the summertime, sound feet and legs, clean extended necks, and shoulder angle all contribute to overall eye appeal. These same physical traits seem to positively impact the aforementioned longevity related EPDs as well.
Originally, we hoped that we could maintain an average TI index as we began our assault on API. TI or Terminal Index predicts profit differences in sires where all offspring are put on feed and sold on a grade and yield basis. What we found was that as we continued to put more pressure on API, we also gained upward pressure on TI because the ultra-high API sires are also ultra-high marbling sires. The 2022 offering averages over a 1 IGS marbling EPD. That is elite Angus marbling in bulls that are 50% or more Simmental. We have traditionally been known as the highest API herd in the IGS data base, but we are also the highest TI herd in the IGS data base as well.
The year 2021 was full of numerous challenges for us as well as many producers in the West. Drought and limited feed resources have been a recurring theme. Experiencing these environmental conditions has done nothing but strengthen our belief in API and hybrid cattle. Moderate crossbred cows that have been bred for stayability are the keys to surviving harsh conditions like these. Our cows are 200 to 300 lbs. smaller than before we started breeding for API. Weaning weights have remained relatively constant and less cows have been culled for being open at preg check time, resulting in more lbs. of calf weaned per cow exposed to the bull or units of feed.
With the limited feed resources available to us, we decided to forage develop these bulls just like our commercial customers do their calves. No corn or silage has been fed. We are extremely proud of the way the bulls have matured. Feet, leg structure and semen quality have all improved. These fellas are going to breed a pile of cows and last a longtime. Even though we never pushed our bulls hard, I don’t believe we will ever develop the old way again.
So, no matter what your end game is in the cattle business, the most profitable bulls you can buy are right here at Bar CK. Come take a look at our cattle and see for yourself what unique and special offering this is. If you try a glass of our Kool-Aid, we guarantee that you will be back for a second one.
Mike Alley, Bar CK Cattle Company