The story of
I purchased my first 5 cows in 1993 from my Grandpa Hyland. These 5 cows were actually home raised Charolais cattle. Good, middle aged, functional cattle. These 5 cows did a lot of things right. They raised big calves, bred back every year, and were tame, problem-free cows. No babysitting, no hassles.
As I expanded my cattle operation I would rent another pasture and buy cows to fill it. I purchased some Angus/Gelbvieh/Hereford crosses. Some were good, some were terrible. Some cows weighed #1400 lbs. while others weighed over #1800 lbs. Some bred back, some didn't. Some had good bags, some didn't. Some were tame, some were wild. I came to the realization that when you deal with borrowed money you need things to be predictable and produce cash flow.
This led me to an accidental purchase of bred heifers. I stopped by John Cotton's to look at buying a bull for the next breeding season. Instead of buying a bull, I ended up looking at cows and falling head over heels with some bred heifers. I met with my banker and he said he'd loan me the money, but told me I could buy what I wanted or I could buy a lot more head for the price I was paying for bred heifers. After my meeting I expanded my operation with some bred heifers I was excited about, and it's a decision I've never regretted.
I purchased my first bull from John in 1995. I remember that day very clear, and so does John. He actually wanted to give me papers with birth weights, weaning weights, etc. before we walked through the bull pen. Honestly I don't know what I was thinking but I gladly denied any paper knowledge to help me make my decision and pick out a bull. I guess eye appeal was all I needed.
The cow herd I have today was made with the funds that were available to me. Criticize them, laugh at them, analyze them, fault them for all the things you can think of but just remember that when you go back home to do the same with your own herd. If you were that hard on them to select or cull neither of us would probably have a cow left to look at.
Today's family operation consists of registered Angus cattle, corn, soybeans, alfalfa, oats, and wheat production. This keeps us on the move 24/7.