Dear Joe and VBPA,
We thought VBPA members might be interested to learn about Ray's and my recent trip to the National Western Stock Show in Denver, CO showing our Highland breeding stock and our crossbred Highland/Shorthorn steer. This was our 12th annual trip taking our Highlands to the NWSS, but the first showing a Market Steer.
We had an excellent show, winning Grand Champion Cow/Calf with Shat Acres Cinnamon Raisin and her heifer calf Shat Acres Raisin Rain. This is the third time Cinnamon Raisin has won Grand Champion Cow/Calf, previously in 2011 and 2014, and the only cow ever to win this award three times. Cinnamon Raisin will be ten in May, also the oldest cow to ever win this award at the NWSS.
Her calf, Raisin Rain, was Reserve Division Champion, as was her older brother, Shat Acres Raisin Cain (the bull calf Cinnamon Raisin won with last year).
We brought a yearling heifer to put through the Highland National Sale who was the second highest selling female in the sale.
Probably most relevant to VBPA members however, is Charlie, our Highland/Shorthorn X steer winning Reserve Grand Champion Carcass Competition. This is determined by ultrasound and a complex formula to calculate the steer's value as beef per market price the day of the competition. We were surprised and thrilled with this award for many reasons. Although we love our purebred Highlands they are extremely slow growing and economically challenging, particularly as our beef is 100% Grass Fed and Finished. Fifty years ago NWSS Carcass winners were often Highland/Shorthorn crosses, so that is what we have been experimenting with to find a faster growing animal that maintains the qualities of Highland beef. The animal that beat Charlie was a Highland/Angus X--six months older than Charlie weighing just 36 lbs more. In Denver, Charlie weighed 1303 lbs at 20 months. He is a massive animal, but with an extremely gentle and reliable temperament.
Although we hate to, we will be processing Charlie in the next couple of weeks. He is ready for market and his next job is to help support the herd financially. We wondered if anyone would like to come see Charlie and what we are doing with crossbreeding for beef production before he is processed? Charlie is at our farm in Plainfield, but we also have many Highland/ShorthornX and Highland/AngusX at the farm in Greensboro.
The picture of Charlie is from NAILE in Louisville in November when he weighed around 1150 lbs., as I did not take a picture of Charlie in Denver.
Janet Steward and Ray Shatney
Shat Acres Highland Cattle, LLC
DBA Greenfield Highland Beef
Beef with Integrity
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