Circle K Farms

Circle K Farms, located outside of Great Bend, Kansas, is owned and
operated by Scott Temple.  Scott specializes in backgrounding lighter
weight calves, preparing them for the feedlot.  Learn how Scott deals
with the special needs of “put together” cattle, getting them to respond
to him, and using his dog to help manage them.
(Dan) Hi there folks, thanks for joining me this morning on That’s My
Farm. I’m Dr. Dan Thomson and today we are going to be outside of Great
Bend, Kansas, at Circle K Farms. We are going to meet with Scott Temple
and we’re going to talk about things, about how you background cattle and
prepare them for the next phase which is the feedlot. Sure glad you
joined us and stay tuned for the show.
Closed Captioning Brought to you by the Kansas Soybean Commission, the
Soybean Checkoff, Progress Powered by Kansas Farmers.
(Dan) Folks, welcome to That’s My Farm, I’m Dr. Dan Thomson. Today
we’re outside of Great Bend, Kansas, here at Circle K Farms and we’re
with Scott Temple. And Scott thanks for joining us today. (Scott) You
bet. (Dan) Thanks for… The wind is blowing a little. (Scott) A lot.
(Dan) Well folks, here on That’s My Farm, we have highlighted different
farms, ranches, feedlots and different things around the state of
Kansas and today we’re going to talk about a segment of the beef
industry, a grow yard or starting cattle and whether it’s wheat pasture
in a grow yard there’s a stocker background or segment between that
cow/calf man and the feedlot. And you’ve been on both sides now.
(Scott) Yep. (Dan) And starting these calves. And so talk to me a
little bit about your operation here with the backgrounding operation.
(Scott) Well, basically we get calves anywhere…sometimes we get the
bigger calves, but most of the time we try and work with the lighter
calves. In the fall of the year we try and get a lot of weaning calves,
kind of put them in a pen, feed them, get them straightened out. Put them
on a wheat, if it’s growing, kind of grow them, put two or three hundred
pounds. We’ve got guys that we deal with basically want to put two to
three hundred pounds on them and then and take them and resell them.
A few guys will keep them, retain ownership and take them on to the feedlot
and fatten them. But for the most part, what we’re doing is just…kind
of in the middle between the cow/calf man and the feedlot. (Dan) So, a
lot of these calves… you’re getting a light weight, I’m assuming that
they’re some put together…cattle…(Scott) A lot of times we’re
getting yeah, out of Missouri, southern cattle you know, put together,
sometimes we’ll get a good group but mainly just put together. (Dan)
So, now when these cattle come in, what are some of your bigger
challenges coming in off the truck. (Scott) Well, I think just like
anything, I mean the lighter the calf, the more apt to have problems
you’re going to have. You know, I guess, what we try and do is get them
through and get them vaccinated, determine whether they’re high risk,
whether they need antibiotics right off the bat or we can just kind of
pick at them and go along that way. (Dan) It’s a one of those things,
it’s one of those things that is kind of hard to predict and you’ve got
to go a lot on history of the cattle that you’ve had. (Scott) Right,
and you know, for what we’re dealing with and put together cattle we
don’t have a lot of history, so it’s just kind of… you just have to
pretty much focus on how they go to eating, how they look coming off
the truck and what they are going to do at that point. (Dan) Sounds like a
winner. Well, we’re going to have to take a break. We’ll go to commercial
but when we come back we’re going to continue to talk to Scott Temple
outside of Great Bend, Kansas. You’re watching That’s My Farm and we’re
sure glad that you joined us.
(Dan) Hi there folks, welcome back to Circle K Farms outside of Great
Bend, Kansas, I’m Dr. Dan Thomson and I am joined today by Scott Temple
and we’re talking about backgrounding cattle here at Circle K which
Scott tends to a couple thousand head of these calves out here in this
starter yard. So, when these calves are coming in and you know, we all,
we’re going to run them through the processing barn and that’s kind of the
welcome sign coming in to a place for these calves. What are some of
the things that you stress when you are moving them or working with
these cattle? (Scott) I think that you know, we talked about earlier
the most stress cattle handling. I think that’s important. You know, I
think getting the cattle off the truck, getting them penned, getting
fresh water, fresh hay, letting them rest a little bit. And then it just
kind of depends on the stress of the cattle how… whether it’s 24
hours or 48 hours, we try and get them back up, handle them as good as we
can. I like to use dogs. Cattle, I can go out here and sometimes
they’ll kind of scatter on me. You know a dog just kind of holds them
together. They’ll ease out the pen, ease up the alley and then we just
get them up here and try and handle them the best we can. (Dan) So, when
you’re exercising cattle and I think that people, you know when they
hear the term exercise, we even had people that have gone out and
thought we were jogging animals, but really it’s an exercise in going
out of the pen. (Scott) Yep. (Dan) And responding to your commands. We
mean the cattle and so you’re training the cattle. So it’s an exercise
in how to respond to what you want them to do. (Scott) Yea, I think it’s
very handy, especially if you get a fresh weaned calf. And he doesn’t
know how to drive away from you and he’s herd bound and he is sick and
you start easing him in the gate, the first thing he’ll want to do is
go back to his buddies. He doesn’t understand there’s a gate down
there. Well, if you go in there for the first three days and you walk
these cattle out the gate, just let them turn around and trot back in
the pen, they’re comfortable with it. When you go to ease that sick one
out, he knows where that gate’s at and as soon as you scoot him away,
he’ll walk right out that gate and you won’t have to chase him around
and have any problems with him. Right out the gate, he knows the
routine, he’ll walk up here go through the chute and you can put him
right back in and you don’t have to “hi ya” and run around and stress
him more before you get your antibiotics in him. (Dan) And it’s amazing
you know, we spend so much time talking about which antibiotic or which
vaccine we’re going to use, I think this might be better than anything we
have on the end of a needle. (Scott) Exactly, I agree. (Dan) Well,
we’re going to take another break. Folks, we’re visiting with Mr. Scott
Temple outside of Great Bend, Kansas, at Circle K Farm. Thanks for
joining us this morning on That’s My Farm We’ll be back after the
(Dan) Hi there folks, welcome back to That’s My Farm, I’m Dr. Dan
Thomson here with Scott Temple outside of Great Bend, Kansas, on a
blustery, windy day but at least we’ve got some warm weather and we’re
hoping for some rain. We’ve been talking about high risk calves and
talking about bringing them in to a backgrounding operation. And you
know, you’ve been in larger feed yards and now with the grow yard. And
there’s a difference in your ability to spend time with the individual
calf, there really is a place for these stocker/backgrounder
operations. What are some of the tools or some of the things that
you’re using to help identify sick calves. (Scott) Well, here in this
type of situation, I can be there when every calf gets drops some feed.
And better identify the ones that just aren’t coming to the bulk as
fast, so that you know that you can kind of write a number down and
maybe look at the calf. He may not be showing all the clinical signs of
being sick, but I can catch him a day early if I know he’s not going to
feed right away. So, you’re here in a small, smaller yard you can do
that. You know, spend more time like we talked, spend a lot more time
in the pens with them. I’m not rushed to get around. (Dan) I talk to
people, a lot of times you know, we’re pulling sick instead of ugly. We
pull those ugly calves because they look bad, but they’re not sick.
(Scott) Yep. And here you can see, that ugly calf’s up at the bunk
pushing everybody away. You’re not as apt to pull him, as you are when
you just see him standing out there by himself. (Dan) And I am a big
prescriber of riding those cattle behind the feed bin dropped and being
able to go in and scoop some of the calves that are holding back in the
back of the pen, even if they are aren’t sick, there’s something going
on. (Scott) Yes, exactly. For some reason, there are not up there at
the bunk. And you can bring them up here and you know just exercise and
stimulating them, get them around up here. After I doctor they’ve always
got the opportunity to eat a little hay, to get a little different
stimulation and get them back to the pen. (Dan) Yep. And being able to
treat them at point in time at the beginning of the process, the disease
process, nothing is probably more sensitive to a calf being sick than
when they quit eating. (Scott) Right and when you know, they’ll quit
before they start showing signs. (Dan) Absolutely. (Scott) And you can
be there to get that medicine into them and make it you know, make it
work better, make it more efficient because you’ve got it to them
instead of after they needed it. (Dan) Yep. When they, they’re gaunt,
which is one of the biggest clinical signs, you know they’ve been off
feed for a few days. And if you’re riding behind them when they’re not
eating and looking at them, it just speeds up the process. What are some
of the other clinical signs that you look for in these calves when
you’re riding them? (Scott) Just the depression you now, a calf will
cough, the way he carries his head. The kind of cough, you know,
because all these calves will have a little cough, especially on a day
like today when the wind is blowing everything around. You’ve just
got to kind of determine what kind of cough it is. The calf… just the
impression and the hair coating even. Once you kind of… what I look
for, more or less, is… I look at healthy cattle and then when you see
one that isn’t healthy it kind of just stands out. It’s easier if you
go looking for sick cattle, you can about make all of them look a little
sick. But if you are looking at healthy cattle, and they all look good,
when one doesn’t look good, you’ll really notice it. (Dan) Yep. And I
think…even in vet school that’s how we teach all the different
subjects. If you don’t know what normal is, you don’t know what
abnormal is. (Scott) Yea, exactly. (Dan) Looking at them through the
eyes of what they normally look like and you can say, “Well that one’s
not doing right.” (Scott) And it’s just spending time with them and
knowing just exactly what they’re doing. You know, this set of calves
over here they may look a little depressed all the time, that may be
there normal. And this calf over here, these cattle over here, there
normal is going to be a little different. And being able to judge the
difference, and what you can do with them. (Dan) That’s great. We’re
going to take a break folks. When we come back, more Scott Temple
outside of Great Bend, Kansas.
(Dan) Folks, I’m so proud to be a part of the beef industry and the
many things that we and cattle producers get done whether it’s looking
at cow/calf operations, stocker and backgrounder operations, or things
that we do here in commercial cattle feeding operations. We really do
produce a safe, wholesome, affordable product for consumers. And it
goes from a lot of people who care a lot about the cattle that they
raise and they care about the customer that they are serving, and the
consumer. And when we look at programs such as beef quality assurance,
progressive beef, things that are tied into providing a product on the
table, it gets down being able to execute it at the ground level. And
we have so many people that care. We’re very thankful for the
opportunity that the industries here in Kansas allow us to come into
their operations, provide some transparency and show you what all goes
into providing the meat and eggs that are on your dinner table. Thanks
for joining us and thanks to everybody in Kansas agriculture for
everything that they do.
(Dan) Folks, welcome back to That’s My Farm and we’re having a great
visit and Scott, folks this is Mr. Scott Temple of Great Bend, Kansas,
and we’re at Circle K Farms. And Scott I appreciate you taking time out
of your day to spend with us and share things with our viewers. (Scott)
Not a problem I appreciate you coming and giving me the chance. (Dan)
It has always been good; we’ve known each other a long time, worked on
different projects and always appreciate everything you do for K-State
and for all of us in the beef industry. Stocker operations are
important. And stocker and backgrounder operations, like you said,
you’ve been on both sides of this deal as far as receiving cattle from
operations and now producing the cattle to go to the feed yards. And
what are some of the things that you know, when you think about
stocker/backgrounder operations and their importance what are some of
the things you kind of think about? (Scott) Well, I mean, you’re
basically setting the calf up for the rest of his life in the feeding
industry. So, if you can get a good stocker and they come right off the
cow and they come to a good stocker, you get the health issues
straightened out, you get the handling issues straightened out, when
they go to the feedlot, then you shouldn’t have any issues, they should
just go on feed. You won’t have as many cattle that get sick you know,
all of them are going to get sick, there’s a chance but you’re going to have
less cattle get sick, they’re going to handle better, if they’re been
handled right. Cause they’ve been through the chute, they know all of
it and so they are going to go on and perform better in the feedlot.
(Dan) It’s basically like going to middle school before you go to high
school. (Scott) Exactly and you know, you are going to spend less time
at the feedlot with the health issues, less time processing if they’re
handled right. And you know, a good stocker can eliminate a lot of the
problems out on the finish end of it. (Dan) And I think it is vitally
important that you know, we talk about a lot of different issues,
whether it’s animal welfare or judicious use of antibiotics and food
safety, having the animal properly cared for in a stocker/backgrounder
operation just makes that animal more of a product that we want to
produce for our consumer. (Scott) Exactly. (Dan) Coming out of the feed
yard. (Scott) Exactly. We want to get into some of these chronic issues
and things that… (Scott) And you can eliminate a lot of that in the
beginning if you handle them right, from the start. (Dan) Do you guys
work with any of the producers or have you ever had any direct bought
cattle, or things to that nature? (Scott) We get few locals, but no we
haven’t. And I’ve been here about two years and we’re just kind of
trying to get this up and going and so… we’re not as busy as what
we’d like to be at this point but it’s with the market you’ve just
kind of got to go with what’s coming. (Dan) They aren’t cheap are they?
(Scott) And that makes it all that much more important to do it right
from the beginning. (Dan) Absolutely. Well, when we’re talking about
these calves coming in with a thousand dollar bill on each one of them,
it can be something else. (Scott) Yea. (Dan) Well, I appreciate you
joining us today and spending some time with us and letting us take
part of your day. (Scott) Not a problem. (Dan) Folks, thanks for
joining us today on That’s My Farm and I hope you enjoyed our visit and
extend a big thanks to Mr. Scott Temple here at Circle K Farm. If you
want to know more about That’s My Farm or see the archived episodes you
can go to our website at You’ve been watching
That’s My Farm. I’m sure glad you joined us. I’m Dr. Dan Thomson and
I’ll see you down the road.
Closed Captioning Brought to you by the Kansas Soybean Commission, the
Soybean Checkoff, Progress Powered by Kansas Farmers.