I woke up nervous.
Let’s be real, I went to sleep nervous and a few hours of rest didn’t eliminate that feeling in my gut.
I was headed to a ranch, there was a lot of snow and I had never photographed cattle in that white stuff before.
But if there’s ever a family to ease your troubles, it’s the Walters.
I first “met” Terry Walter, Hudson, Colo., a few years back when we chatted about the success he and his family had found using GeneMax on their commercial heifers.
I say “met” because we only spoke over the phone, but to talk with Mr. Terry for even minutes is to learn the man pretty well.
I needed to see the cattle – perhaps just not photograph them.
The Walters will tell you they raise “working cattle that pay the bills.” On top of using handpicked, quality and performance-focused genetics through AI, they provide their commercial and registered herds with all they need to be successful. Then they expect the cattle to do their part.
“When you come up to a cow and see snow on her, well that is a wonderful cow,” Terry says of the grit his Angus show. Like their owner, they deliver on a promise. Never fake, you see what you get.
After years of running DNA tests and ultrasounds, to boot, culling has become quite the task.
“What’s kicking these cows out of here is the DNA test,” his son Ty says. “Initially there was an easy bottom third to cull. Now there’s a bottom eighth because we’ve been doing it year after year.”
For those that make the cut, they get good handlers. Not to mention some pretty spectacular views.
“The thing we sell is our care,” Ty says.
A recent pen of 80 commercial steers reflect that attitude as 61% qualified for the Certified Angus Beef ® (CAB®) brand, including 6% Prime and the rest USDA Choice.
“Every time we feed cattle, we think of the end goal of aiming for the brand,” Ty says. “What’s better than being able to provide consistency for the consumer?”
Not to mention a guarantee for their registered bull customers who frequent their February sale each year.
“If I can give my customers the genetic potential for that bull to go out and increase the carcass quality in their herds, that’s what I’m after,” Terry says.
More snow shoots. I’m after those now.
Thanks for allowing me to tell your story,