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B/F Cattle Company

Brett & Libby Foster

Our B/F Philosophy on Beef

Thank you for your interest in our family’s cattle. We whole heartedly believe that this is a great time to be in the beef business and that raising beef is a great way to work together as a family. In the Foster household, we understand the hard work it takes as cattle producers to stay ahead of the curve without losing focus, and to make a profit doing what we love. By producing the most efficient and profitable cow herd possible, using the resources that our environment provides, B/F Cattle Co. can help you reach your goals too. Our entire herd carries the infamous calving ease and carcass quality of Angus and the great maternal traits along with exceptional weaning growth and extra muscling of Gelbvieh. Our Balancers® are multi-generational, guaranteeing a much more consistent calf crop. And they get it done on Missouri’s fescue pastures without pampering! All of our bulls are born and raised on pasture. B/F bulls are some of the most athletic, easy keeping bulls that you will find and ready to go to work! We grow them slower than most, and no bulls are sold before they are 18 months of age so that they will breed more cows every year for more total years of production. When you put a B/F bull to work in your herd, you’ll see the difference he makes.

About

Here is a bit of info about our herd and our farm environment.

We raise and sell registered Balancer® Bulls (Gelbvieh/Angus cross). As a commercial and seedstock cattle operation located in west central Missouri, we graze our cattle on endophyte infected fescue, the most prolific forage in our region. Fescue and high humidity make for an environment that requires a certain kind of cow who cannot only survive, but thrive.

Fescue


If you research "endophyte infected fescue," you will probably wonder why a seedstock producer would intentionally graze such a grass. The reason: It is the most hardy, naturally growing pasture forage for this area. Also, we feel that if a seedstock supplier is truly going to add profitability to their commercial customers through reliable genetics, their cows must endure the same environmental challenges as that of their customers. 

It is a tough job finding genetics that excel here. We have learned the hard way, that northern and most western developed lines of genetics can only barely survive here. We have seen more regression from the most popular A.I. sires, than we have profit.

If a seedstock supplier mentions the phrase "acclimated to fescue," do yourself a favor 

and run. For he, nor his cows know anything about fescue country. All of our bulls were raised by dams born and raised, and who have made their living on fescue. B/F genetics are built to thrive in fescue country. 

Culling Practices
We have identified cow families and sire lines that excel for calving ease, weaning weight and docility. They have enhanced carcass quality and make females with longevity, structural soundness and are easy fleshing. All while eating fescue.

A lot of seedstock producers use the negatives of fescue as an excuse not to cull cows. We on the other hand, use the challenges of our environment to sort the good from the bad. We make NO excuses for bad structure, poor disposition, hard keepers, late breeders, high birth weight, or pretty much anything that causes extra time or money. Such cows simply need to go to the killer plant -- no matter how extensive their pedigree or impressive their EPD's.

Carcass Traits
We have fed out a couple thousand head of commercial calves as well as bulls and heifers that didn't satisfy us. We have proved that you can have moderate framed cows and still have 1250 pound finish weights, with good daily gain and above average carcass quality. The first set of calves we got carcass data back on, graded 76% choice and 70% yield grade 3. We have since identified individual sires that will consistently grade 90% choice or better. 70% yield grade 1 and 2. We don't chase carcass trait, but we are very aware of them. For all of you that are chasing high marbling scores, keep in mind that a USDA Prime carcass leaves some very, very fat hamburger that must be mixed with some old killer cow to make it marketable. If the entire U.S. cow herd produced 100% Prime carcasses we would all probably be looking for other jobs. And we have never used a huge ribeye bull that could produce a decent female! Without chasing carcass, we simply put a little upward pressure on it to develop a herd of Balancers® which are unparalleled in the Gelbvieh breed for carcass merit

I view carcass traits like many other traits that are measured by E.P.D.s. If you shoot for middle of the road, you will probably avoid wrecking a good set of cows! We do incorporate DNA technology, with a strong emphasis on tenderness.  

 To read more on fescue and endophyte

 

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A Test for Tenderness

             “The effects of selection using this test are permanent and cumulative within the herd.”

--Drovers

 

Siblings to the bulls for sale in our Maternal Integrity Spring 2018 Sale made an impression at U.S. Premium Beef®.

Check out this set of Cleland calves!

77% Heifers / 23% Steers

Pay wt. 1266

Choice - 87%

Yield Grade

     1 - 16%

     2 - 54%

     3 - 26%

     4 -   4%

$67.50 carcass premium

$162.30 overall premium/calf

They ranked in the top 20% for carcass premiums for all cattle killed at U.S. Premium Beef® for that week.

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Living with Endophyte Infected Tall Fescue

"The final piece of living with endophyte infected tall fescue is having cattle with a high level of tolerance and environmental adaptation."

--Jim Gerrish, 

Author of Management-Intensive Grazing: The Grassroots of Grass Farming" and "Kick the Hay Habit: A Practical Guide to Year-around Grazing" and is a popular speaker at conferences around the world. His company, American GrazingLands Services LLC