B/F Cattle Company

Brett & Libby Foster

It Takes Beauty to Make Braun






Size Matters
We strive to produce a mature, fit female. At weaning time we want them to weigh between 1150 and 1250 pounds. With a body condition score of 5.5 to 6. In comparison, popular A.I. sired females will, at weaning time, weigh over 1400 pounds. With a mere body condition of 4 to 5 if grazed on fescue. 

We have figured out "the hard way" to avoid what we call  "the small cow syndrome." On fescue, the cows that weigh 1100 pounds or less, that were bred to be efficient in another environment, now mean a 300 pound calf at weaning time. And I have seen no proof that the cows that wean the worst calves breed back any better than the good calf raisers.


Birth Weight
Our females have to be easy fleshing without pampering, breed back in a 60 day breeding window, wean an impressive calf, be docile, and otherwise fault free. She must also have a moderate birth weight. We like to see birth weights on our first calf heifers to be between 55 and 65 pounds. On our cows we like 70 to 85 pound birth weights. We occasionally have to help a first calf heifer.

If it is anything except a breech she is no longer used as a registered cow. We have absolutely NO tolerance for helping a cow to calve due to any reason. If a cow needs assistance she gets a ride to the sale barn or is used as a recipient in our embryo transplant program to make sure we do not pass her genetics on to someone else. I believe that a larger-than-necessary birth weight is the leading cause for abnormal presentation of the calf. By placing strict standards on such things as birth weight and pelvic measurements, calving season is a breeze.

What the industry perceives as convenience traits, we consider mandatory!   




This is an area that has around four times more economical impact on the rancher than any other trait. It has been grossly underestimated by most universities and ignored by most seedstock producers.  

We make no excuses for open or late breeding cows. If the "no excuse" philosophy became industry standard, I would not have to raise nearly all of our own genetics to be profitable in fescue country! As a commercial cattleman, I have much higher culling standards than the operations many will buy their bulls from! 

Calving interval - The amount of time (days or months) between the birth of a calf and the birth of a subsequent calf, both from the same cow.



#1 Breeder in Missouri

Now Top Ten

in the Nation

Dam of Merit & Dam of Distinction females

Every fall, the American Gelbvieh Association honors the females in the herd book that exhibit consistent maternal efficiency through the 

Dam of Merit & Dam of Distinction program.

The AGA credits its members who continue to place selection emphasis on the maternal traits of the breed



Beef Cows, How Big is Too Big?       

It has been estimated that for each 100-pound increase in mature weight a cow requires an additional $15 - $20 in supplementation costs.  In addition, that same 100-pound increase in mature body weight increased annual dry matter intake by approximately 550 pounds.  If we had to purchase that dry matter in the form of hay at today’s prices that is an additional $25 per 100-pound increase in mature body weight.

Even though the heavier cow is often capable of producing a large calf, it is often not larger than herd average and rarely large enough to offset the higher production costs associated with the cow’s heavier mature weight.  Even in the more efficient herds on average the cows at the heavier end of the spectrum seldom out produce the average sized cow in a particular environment.

-- American Cattleman


Late-Calving Cows Simply Are That, Late-Calving

"In reality, it probably is the No.1 trait in the cow-calf operation. Calving interval is the time between the birth of one calf and the next. Ideally, a cow should have a calf every 365 days."

--Kris Ringwall,          Beef Specialist