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BEEF MONTH-A leader among Iowa Angus breeders

By Staff | May 3, 2014

ROGER JAUER said a focus on low maintenance and input and cattle functionality has enabled what he considers the success of the family’s current cattle operation, one of the larger breeding herds in northwest Iowa.

HINTON – Roger Jauer’s pride was evident as he eyed the herd of cattle in a pasture at the family’s Jauer Dependable Genetics operation just east of Hinton.

He took time to retrieve his cap blown into the pasture by the day’s strong April winds and considered what he feels has made the Jauers’ Angus herd popular with breeders and beef producers alike.

“I guess you could say we’re kind of renegades in the industry,” Jauer said. “We like to produce cattle that are low maintenance, low input; a cost-efficient kind of cattle.

“I think this has been a big factor in making our business what it is today.

“We figure we’re further ahead this way with low cost cows and bulls when you put it all together.”

“We like to produce cattle that are low maintenance, low input; a cost-efficient kind of cattle.” —Wayne Dewey Hinton-area Angus cattle breeder

Jauer, into his 45th year as an Angus breeder, is joined by his two sons, Kurt, assisting with cattle and calving; and Doug, with records and computers.

“Having the boys helping out has helped a lot in getting everything done as I’ve gotten older,” he said.

His low maintenance approach includes foraging his cattle during winters, as weather allows, basically on cornstalks, mineral and salt.

“Maybe you don’t get quite as big a weaning weight,” he said, “but the costs are substantially lower.”

Although there are times, he said, of “give and take,” still, “we feel we’re further ahead when you put the whole thing together.”

Costs this past year were, he said, “very minimal” considering the open winter.

Calving is from April through May.

Young bulls, kept two years are on the same low-maintenance growing ration which Jauer said cuts down on possible feeding or fertility problems that result from what a “hard feeding” program.

“You might consider it’s growing naturally and with minimal problems,” he said.

Animals from the Jauer herd can be found in other Angus and cross-breeding breeding herds

Cows are “intensely line-bred,” Jauer said, producing a consistent uniform fleshing, which creates what he terms as “basically a really functional” type of cattle.

Jauer started his herd with Kansas cattle and has methodically increased numbers as he retained desired cows and bulls to meet his breeding goals.

Offspring are sold at an annual sale with listings for 200 females and 50 bulls at this year’s January sale with buyers typically coming in from between 15 to 20 states.

A number of the animals, Jauer said, go to purebred breeders who appreciate the low maintenance, good udders and good mothering ability of the females.

Others will go to crossbred breeders looking for high-bred vigor and better weaning weights.

In the case of the crossbreds, Jauer said the Angus breed’s strong carcass cutout is balanced with the Jauer Dependable Genetics approach to feeding. These account for the cattle’s popularity with crossbreed producers.

“We like to select within the herd,” Jauer said, “a middle-of-the-road approach, a balance of carcass, functionality and practicality rather than the far end of things where you can end up with trouble.”

Jauer said that “while it’s anybody’s guess” he’s optimistic, on the overall cattle industry as it observes May Beef Month.

“With numbers at a present 60-year low,” he said, “it’s positive for the cattle industry.

“The only variables I see are those where the government is involved. You don’t really know what will happen.

“Politics could ruin everything. If, however, the demand for cattle continues, it could be a very strong period for the industry for quite awhile.”

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