New Haven Angus Ranch in Leavenworth

(Mikhayla) Good morning folks and welcome to That’s My Farm. I’m Mikhayla DeMott, your guest host and I am here in Leavenworth, Kansas, at the New Haven Angus Ranch. Stay tuned for Brandon New to talk about his Angus herd operation and some of the technologies he has incorporated here on the ranch. Stay with us and we’ll be back after these messages from our sponsors.Closed Captioning Brought to you by Ag Promo Source. Together we grow. Learn more at Good morning and welcome to That’s My Farm. I’m Mikhayla DeMott your guest host and I’m here in Leavenworth, Kansas, with Brandon New on the New Haven Angus Ranch. To start off, the New Haven Angus started in the 50’s. Tell me how that came about. (Brandon) You know Grandpa, it’s where we’re at is my Granddad’s place. My brother lives here right now. He dairied and he bred all of his Holstein heifers to Angus bulls. Well Dad got an affinity for Angus cattle and bought his first 4-H project in 1952 and has since kind of exploded or expanded to where we are now running several hundred cows and having a production sale at the end of March. (Mikhayla) Great. So, tell me what kind of operation you run here. (Brandon) We’re a seed stock operation. We supply bulls to the commercial cattlemen here in mainly northeast Kansas, northwest Missouri, is kind of our main market and we do sell a few females, Angus pairs in our sale registered cows and then we also sell some commercial females in that sale as well. (Mikhayla) Individually, what is your background and how did you come to take over this operation? (Brandon) That probably goes back to cow checking Saturdays with my Dad, riding around in a feed truck, drinking orange juice, and eating donuts. Looking back on it, it was the time with my Dad I enjoyed the most. But his love and pricing for Angus cattle is that’s where that came from. He tells people a lot of times that I’m probably living his dream more than I’m living my own dream here on the farm. We had those conversations in high school, what do you want to do with your life? What do you want to do? It was always natural and what I always wanted to do showing cattle in 4-H and being in American Angus Association showing cattle, I wanted to come back to the farm. It was always natural for me I thought. So, I went to K-State, got my degree and came home in May of ’03 and Dad threw me the keys and said, “Have at it!” (Mikhayla) You talked about how you’re kind of living your Dad’s dream. Tell me what that looks like and how that’s kind of different from what he was doing in the past? (Brandon) With me coming back to the farm, we kind of had to take some steps to create some viability. We’re getting ready to have our 17th Annual Sale, but we didn’t always have a production sale. We started with a little private treaty bull sale up here with portable panels and a few of the neighbors coming over and 25 bulls. At this point we’re selling between 60 and 70 bulls every year, granted not all of them through our production sale. I’m selling about 55 or so bulls through our production sale and then another 15 to 20 bulls after that as private treaty sales. (Mikhayla) Is that the main difference between, why public sales versus the private treaty? (Brandon) I think there is a greater chance for higher income, by having a sale. You’re going to get more money for your better animals. From a private treaty standpoint we’re probably going to have a lower ceiling in terms of price but we’re going to have a higher floor. In an auction it’s no holds barred. What they’re bringing when the gavel drops that’s what you’re going to get paid for. (Mikhayla) Great. Thank you. We’ll be right back after these messages from our sponsors.

(Mikhayla) Welcome back to That’s My Farm. I’m Mikhayla DeMott, your guest host here with Brandon New at New Haven Angus. What is your philosophy behind your Angus operation? (Brandon) It’s pretty simple, I focus on maternal genetics here. My thoughts are a good calf is going to bring in a big calf at weaning time, whether it be Spring or Fall. To add to that in my bull market here in northeast Kansas, northwest Missouri and surrounding areas a large percentage of the guys that buy bulls from me have off-farm jobs. So, the first criteria that they look for is calving ease. They want to go to work knowing that when they come home, that cow is going to be able to have a calf. That’s number one. Now obviously we can expound on that with my maternal genetics that I breed my cows for. I want fertile cows that are going to calve in a 60-day period. They’re going to calve AI and obviously bring in a big calf. But docility is a big thing. We need docile cattle. Udder scores need to be great and we need to have good feet for these cattle. They can’t get out and graze on grass if they don’t have good feet and good structure. (Mikhayla) What does your cattle herd look like when it comes to your bulls, heifers and cows? (Brandon) As far as like numbers? (Mikhayla) Sure. Just any kind of specifics behind them. (Brandon) We’ve got about 250 cows. About 150 of them will calve in the Fall and we’ll calve the rest of them out in the Spring, January and February. Typically calve 60 to 70 heifers, first calf heifers every year, whether it be Spring or Fall. Then like I said, we’ll sell about 60 or 70 bulls annually. My philosophy too is we make a lot of hay. We spend a lot of time all Summer making hay. I try to stockpile a lot of grass and I can open a gate a lot easier than I can spend all Summer making hay, burning diesel, wrenching on stuff, and then frankly, spending all Winter feeding it when they can go out and do it a lot cheaper than I can. (Mikhayla) So, you do have hay ground? (Brandon) Yes, we do. (Mikhayla) How many acres do you run here? (Brandon) Between our own ground and leased ground, we’re sure 1,200 acres, put up several hundred acres of hay and have just enough farm ground to keep the pit silo full for bull development every year. (Mikhayla) When it comes to your sale here in March, what’s the outlook for that? (Brandon) I think that’s hard to tell. Last year was so good for everybody. Everything was really good last year as far as prices. We’ve got a few less bulls. We flipped a bunch of cows into fall calving deals. This is kind of my down year as far as bull numbers. That being said, my quality is really good. They’re a really deep set of bulls. But as far as, I need a couple of weeks of seeing some bull sale reports to really say this is what they’re going to do. I don’t think it will be like it was last year, but I don’t think it will be too far off. I think it will be a little softer. (Mikhayla) Do you have your bull sale here on the ranch? (Brandon) Yes. We do the video auction. We just have them right up there in front of that grey barn right there where we were at earlier trying to film. (Mikhayla) Great. Thank you. We’ll be right back after these messages from our sponsors.

(Mikhayla) Good morning and welcome to That’s My Farm. I’m Mikhayla DeMott back in Leavenworth, Kansas, with Brandon New. First off, what do you look for in a bull that is a potential AI sire? (Brandon) I think there’s several things that I tend to look for when it comes to an AI sire, number one I spend a lot of time on the phone talking with folks, trying to get calf reports and seeing, hey how are you mating this sire group, or how are you mating this sire group, what’s working, what’s not working? But to go back to specifics on an AI sire, obviously I like an out-crossed genetics, something that’s different than what I’ve got. I don’t want to sit there and line breed everything real close. I look for something out-crossed because we’re going to get more performance out of them, number one. Disposition is big. I try to stay away from genetic lines that aren’t as calm as others. But like I said earlier, calving ease, that’s a big deal in this part of the world. We want cattle that are slick haired. Being on fescue, we don’t want a lot of hair on these cattle in the summertime. You know, feed it typically, they’ve got to be made right. I mean their structure’s got to be right, their feet have got to be right, they’ve got to come from cows that are good uddered, big bodied cows with a lot of past performance in them. There’s a litany of things that I look for. They’ve all got to kind of cross them off, a majority of those boxes and now we know whether or not, not every bull is going to cross every box off for us. So when we use a bull, he’s probably goin’, we might need some more performance, or we might need a shot of muscle on them in a sire group on a certain set of cows. So we use this bull on those cows to add that, knowing that we’re going to sacrifice a few other things. (Mikhayla) You do artificial insemination here on the ranch. (Brandon) Yes. (Mikhayla) Tell me a little bit more in depth what goes into that just some things behind it. (Brandon) Yes, we try to be pretty progressive and pretty hard, get after it pretty quick. We will synchronize every cow or heifer for that breeding period. We try to get AI at least twice. If they don’t settle the first time we try to check rebreeds. Then we kick them out with herd bulls, either something that I’ve raised that is really, really exceptional over something that I’ve bought. Then they get 30 days with a herd bull. I like to calve in 60 days and have it done and over with. But you know, I have one employee, my herdsman, that works with me everyday. He and I can both AI so we will synchronize with a lot of cattle to breed in two or three days and we’ll get it done. It’s just a matter of checking reheats at that point. My Dad and my Brother they do help on nights and weekends a little bit, but for the most part it’s me and my herdsman. (Mikhayla) Awesome, great. Thank you. We’ll be right back after these messages from our sponsors.

(Mikhayla) Good morning. Welcome back to That’s My Farm. I’m Mikhayla DeMott, your guest host, back here at the New Haven Angus Ranch with Brandon New. What are some technologies you have incorporated here at the ranch? (Brandon) We do quite a bit. Obviously AI. We’ve been doing that for an awful long time. We’ve been doing a lot of ET work, embryo transfer work. We do a little of the 50K, HD 50K testing. Obviously we have a website, just like everybody else out there anymore. But we also, when it comes to our sale, we video all the cattle selling. We don’t run them through the barn and we just do it on TVs. Then we can put those videos on our website. I’ve always got guys right before the sale, hey when are the videos going to be up? I need the videos. I want to see such and such a bull. I say, guys I’m working on it. We’ll get them. New to this year, we’re actually going to broadcast the sale online and so we’ll give that a shot and hopefully it pays for itself. (Mikhayla) Expand a little bit on the blood testing aspect you do here. (Brandon) We do a little, just a little bit. We don’t do them all by any stretch of the imagination. I’ll do five or six of my better end bulls every year on the 50K and it’s just a measurement within the breed to see where they rank as far as all of their EPD tabulations, as far as calving ease direct, and birth weight, weaning weight, yearling weight, where they rank in the breed. It also gives them a little higher proof on their accuracies of their EPDs. So, instead of having a .05, they will be a .035 as far as accuracies, so a little bit more of a known product when you sell them. (Mikhayla) Going off the whole EPD thing, explain that a little bit for our viewers who might not know. (Brandon) EPD is an Expected Progeny Difference and it’s just a way as breeders or commercial cattlemen to compare cattle from herds. We use ratios to compare cattle within a herd. EPDs are used across herds. I can compare my cattle to somebody in Nebraska or Montana or California or even Canada. (Mikhayla) What are some performance measurements that you do when your cattle are young? (Brandon) We take birth weights when they’re born, weaning weights at 205 and then yearling weights at 365. To add to that we also on the bulls at a year of age, we take a scrotal measurement. Then we also take ultrasound measurements, get the marbling, rib eye, and fat thickness at a year of age. (Mikhayla) How do you rely on the American Angus Association to help you here on your ranch? (Brandon) They do a lot of stuff for us. I think the big thing is they help us market our cattle. That’s what they’re there for. But they are also the keepers of all the data, all these birth weights and weaning weights and all these millions and millions of records that not only me, but other breeders have turned in that help make these EPDs and make them as true as what they are. But also they have a media department, API, they build my catalog. They have helped me with my website, allthingsangus. They do a lot for us. They have regional managers that are what they term the go between, between the office and us. Jeff is a big resource for me and a lot of times I’ll end up texting or calling him with questions and he’ll give me a straight out, honest answer what he thinks I ought to do. (Mikhayla) Great. Thank you Brandon. We’ll be right back after these messages from our sponsors.

(Mikhayla) Good morning and welcome back to That’s My Farm. I’m Mikhayla DeMott your guest host, here with Brandon New. To start off, how have you, what challenges have you faced since you have…? (Brandon) Right. The big one would be the drought four or five years ago. That was hard. But increasing input costs, fertilizer, fuel, corn goes up, distillers grain goes up, all my inputs go up. Then when corn goes up we’ve had a lot of pasture ground, good pasture ground, good hay ground, get broken up, so we’re losing the ability to even have a chance at some pasture or hay ground that’s close, being farmed right now. (Mikhayla) Do you have some plans and preparation things in place for challenges? (Brandon) Probably no. Not like I should. To be honest with you we kind of attack these things as they happen. I just know that I’ve changed the way I manage our cows as far as how we feed them, and like I stated earlier I want those cows to do more. We stock pile the grass and they can do it easier and cheaper than I can, make hay and feed hay. I try to let those cows do more of that and try to make a little less hay. That way, we don’t need a new baler as often and we don’t need quite as good of equipment to cut down on some of those higher overhead costs that typically we would see. (Mikhayla) You’ve mentioned some changes you’ve made. What are some changes you’ve seen here on the ranch over time since you’ve taken over? (Brandon) Not to toot my own horn, but the cattle are better. (Mikhayla) Yes. (Brandon) I mean, they’re a lot better and they’re bringing in bigger starter calves every weaning period. My conception rates are better. I have less opens. We’re getting more performance on our bulls. We’re getting more muscle in them and still keeping them for the most part, very much oriented towards a calving ease product, but still having the pounds and the power and the performance to sire good heavy feeder steers. (Mikhayla) So as far as this ranch has come since you’ve taken over, how do you see it in the future? (Brandon) I don’t know. I think we’re going to stay going down the same path that we’re headed. I don’t know if any of my kids will ever want to come back to the farm. Ground around here is pretty expensive. That’s going to be their call. I’m not going to push them one way or the other, but I’m for sure going to raise my kids with a good ag background, I’m just going to keep staying the course and doing my thing here in Leavenworth County as long as I can. (Mikhayla) Great. Thank you Brandon. Thank you for watching That’s My Farm. I’ve been visiting with Brandon New here in Leavenworth, Kansas, at the New Haven Angus Farm. Stay tuned next week for the next episode of That’s My Farm.

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