At Branch View, we never lose sight of not only are we in the cattle business, but in the BEEF business. The consumer ultimately controls the price of a steer. Every aspect of the Branch View operation is focused on producing an outstanding beef product in the most efficient manner. It all starts with the Angus cow. This animal is expected to grow to an acceptable weaning and yearling weight, breed on time, calve unassisted around her second birthday, rebreed within 90 days, raise a calf that is more than 50% of her body weight, and repeat that process over and over.
We are constantly selecting from within our herd and looking at other herds for outstanding individuals from great cow families. We use many of the popular A.I. bulls in the breed, but we use those bulls that fit our breeding goal: to produce a fertile, functional, high growth animal that will have the appropriate carcass traits to perform on today’s grid markets.
The American Angus Association has given us a great suite of EPDs. It is possible to select for over 20 different EPDs and indices, but phenotype is not measured by EPDs. We constantly apply selection pressure for structure and maternal traits.
Most people in our part of the country are concerned only with pounds. As the beef industry moves forward, carcass traits are an increasing portion of the cattle equation. High-quality beef sells for more dollars. Our harvested steers have consistently exceeded the fat cattle cash price by $.10 or more. While not the primary selection criteria, our cow herd is well above breed average for carcass traits.
Our focus is not to produce only bulls or cows…but to produce functional beef cattle that will work wherever they are utilized. A female that raises a good calf every 365 days; athletic bulls that produce consistent offspring; or a steer that gains in the feedlot and grades on the rail.
We keep learning and trying. Not every attempt works to perfection…but we have learned, when it works, repeat the process over and over.