ARE YOU TIRED OF THESE UPDATES?!?
If so, the frequency should soon be decreasing considerably. The annual Ichthys Cattle Enterprise bull and bred heifer sale is planned to be held on Friday, March 12th at 11 am. The cattle should be ready to view on Thursday the 11th. However, if you don’t get in until the 12th you should have ample time to look them over. We can typically see well enough by 6:30 now, definitely by 7. Most of our customers show up and look only on the day of the sale. If you need motel accommodations then Red Cloud, NE (Green Acres) is closest followed by Blue Hill, Superior, then Hastings.
We just got back from the annual National Division II Homeschool basketball championships held this year in Hutchinson, KS. In the program I counted 75 different teams at 3 different levels (varsity, JV and JH) in 3 different brackets. When we moved back to Guide Rock from Lincoln, we didn’t know anybody homeschooled!
All four Hastings Red Tide teams placed. Girls junior high (Rachel) earned 3rd in the B bracket, boys junior high (David) 3rd in the B bracket, girls varsity (Ashley and Hannah) 2nd in the A bracket and boys varsity 3rd in the A bracket. It is my understanding that this is the first time any Red Tide team has won medals in the A bracket. Congratulations young men and women on an outstanding season. Along the way this year, our girls and boys varsity teams were able to beat teams from Kansas City, Manhattan, Des Moines, Denver, Lincoln, and Omaha. Hastings is a town of 25,000. It is a credit to great coaches, players willing to work and listen, and a God who bestows talent and work ethic and grace. It has been such an enjoyable season.
Our second child, Ashley, has seen her Red Tide career come to an end. Some sadness but great joy for the memories and the friendships. I am so proud of her. She plans to attend UNL this fall to study Animal Science but, more importantly, to learn about “life on her own” and get involved with seriously committed Christians in various ways. We are hoping her brother Robert can steer her well regarding church, Bible study and extracurricular activities. They might even be able to play on the same co-ed intramural basketball team!
NOW BACK TO CATTLE…HEIFERS
The heifers are all bred to calve in May/June. We used ultrasound to preg. check so we should know the sire based on timing. Ashley has included sire expectations in the sale information. We guarantee calving ease and that means we will pay for a vet call if you need one for the heifers. They are heifers, please still watch them closely! Weather should not be a problem in May/June but simply being a heifer could be a problem. Some don’t seem to know what to do. If you notice one has started, I’d aim to make sure the calf is out within an hour. They should be, but heifers calving don’t always know what “should” be. Our typical protocol is that if we come upon a heifer that has started, we will assist her if she lets us because we don’t know how long she’s been going. If we assist a heifer at calving, or any cow for that matter, they are automatically out of the program. We do NOT keep problems around because our problems become your problems if we do. All of our seedstock come from cows that have never been assisted at calving and have had a calf every year. We cull if a cow is open as well. When you get rid of open cows, cows you had to assist calving, bad udders, bad hair coats, bad eyes, bad “whatever” …you tend to get rid of your problems and don’t deal with those problems as much in the future. AND…those “problems” all taste good. Advice: Eat, or sell your problems as beef not weigh-ups in a sale barn…it’s hard to imagine you can make less money doing this than at a barn…or packer.
We probably sell about as many animals through DVAuction as we do through live bidding at the sale. Both are good options. Ashley will be handling the bids for anyone not at the sale and who doesn’t want to bid online. Please let her know if you are interested in that option. If you see her bidding, DON’T FEEL SORRY FOR HER AND STOP BIDDING! She is handling bids for multiple parties. Don’t feel sorry for my other kids if they are bidding either. If they want an animal, they can pay what the market sets. This is a “tough love” family if you haven’t figured that out.
There will be females in this sale that ICE wants to buy back and retain as part of the herd. No monkey business here, Ashley will be handling these bids too. If they bring more than what ICE is willing to pay, they will sell to that customer. We actually lost out on several heifers we tried to buy last year. I think we win either way…and this way our customers have access to 100% of each year’s genetic pool. We feel the best policy to is offer every seedstock animal for sale to every buyer. We have done this every year we’ve had a sale. We are unique in many ways but in this particular area we might be exclusive. I don’t know of any other producer who offers EVERY female, or bull for that matter, for sale. They keep the ones they want to keep and sell the rest. Nothing wrong with that I guess. The problem is when they put an animal in a sale so they can get two of their own to run it to an astronomical amount. Looks good on paper but doesn’t mean anything…other than they get their name in the paper. We will never do this. We also will never “push” anyone to bid more. ICE doesn’t hide our program from the public, in any way. We think we do things the right way and are pleased to share that with interested producers.
Kristin plans to have soup in crockpots out in the apartment for supper Thursday evening. If you’re out looking over the cattle or simply want a free meal, you are welcome to stop in and help yourself. On sale day, we will have a hamburger meal, with Ichthys Beef, ready after the sale. There will be some drinks (soft only, sorry Dennis) and dessert available too.
We have a vet scheduled for Monday morning the 15th to do any testing, etc. necessary to write health papers. If you don’t need health papers, you are welcome to take cattle home on sale day. If you would like to discuss other options, please call. We will provide lot space and grass hay for any cattle that are awaiting papers. We do ask that once the papers are ready you are soon ready to pick up the cattle. I just spoke with the vet and he thought he could be done with papers within a week, in some cases less.
The list of people intending to come, as well as their locations, keeps growing. It appears that you will likely be able to share a load with someone to most places. Unfortunately, we can’t know that until post sale. Please let us know if you have room and are willing to haul and/or if you are looking for someone to share a load. If you are at the sale and want to make a contact with someone who is in your region, please ask Hannah. She will be registering bidder numbers and clerking the sale and should be able to line you up if there is someone. We might put up a dry erase board or something with destinations and trailers available/needed.
Weather forecast should be relatively nice but if there is moisture you will definitely want your Muck boots to view the cattle.
Grace to you all.