Making cattle work for them
By KRISS NELSON
HINTON – Raising maternally efficient framed, easy fleshing Angus cows is the premise behind the breeding stock operation at Jauer Dependable Genetics.
Owned and operated by Roger Jauer and his sons Kurt Jauer and Doug Jauer, the Hinton-area operation has been in business for 50 years.
“We raise breeding stock and have been doing that for 50 years,” said Kurt Jauer. “We have had over 40 sales. Our sales are held in the end of January where we have a bull sale and a bred female sale.”
“We are breeding stock operators here,” Doug Jauer added. “We are not commercial. We don’t raise cattle for market; we raise cattle for breeding.”
The Jauers sell cattle to several states in the U.S. and Canada.
“If the cattle can live here when it’s hot and humid and then in February when it was 20 below, if they can live through that they can live anywhere,” said Kurt Jauer.
“This February winter was pretty harsh, our cattle used minimal inputs, yet they did very, very well,” said Roger Jauer. “They kept their condition and their fleshing ability. They did very well with the environment this winter.”
The Jauers pride themselves in raising quality maternal cattle.
“We don’t raise the big, huge, growthy type of cattle,” said Kurt Jauer. “We raise cattle that are more moderate frame. They are out in forages and easy fleshing type of cattle that don’t need to be pampered so much. They can graze and take care of themselves and you don’t need to push the feed to them.”
“Like Kurt said, all of our cattle are moderate frame and bred to be easy fleshing and have lower input costs,” said Doug Jauer. “That’s what sets us a part from others. We raise animals that are economical.”
“They are really lower maintenance cattle,” said Roger Jauer.
Kurt Jauer said he would like to see the beef industry become more profitable, but in the meantime, they strive to keep a profit with their type of herd.
“We keep saying we try to be low maintenance here,” he said. “We have the cattle work for us instead of having to push them so hard and feed them year around.”
“Ag prices in general have not kept up with the greater economy,” his brother, Doug, said. “The price of fuel, the price of equipment, price of land – it has all gone up much faster than the price of commodities, so we try to keep our expenses low to offset that difference. We can still be profitable here with the efficient product like we have.”
The eldest Jauer started a breeding stock featuring those types of maternal and moderately framed animals.
“It was always my feeling cattle had to go out and work for you,” he said. “They have to be low maintenance, easy fleshing and they work for you. They are not abused or anything, but they need to out and be more productive and economical Economics play a big part of it.”
The Jauers said they don’t try to focus on just one trait.
“We don’t go extreme with any traits like growth, milk or anything like that,” Kurt Jauer said. “We try to balance everything in the middle. We don’t go to an extreme, but we don’t go too low either. If you do that everything works with Mother Nature a lot better.”
He added another option is purchasing their cattle and breeding them to a more terminal type of animal.
“I think we need in the beef industry, you need to have your maternal and your terminal type of cattle,” he said. “A lot of producers raise more terminal type of cattle – the bigger frame and bigger growth than us. I think you need both. You need to combine them and you can use both of those traits.”
Jauer said his family utilizes artificial insemination with at least 70 percent of their cows.
“We try to select for cows that are really functional; a cow that can go out in the real world environment and work,” he said. “One that will calve easy and have a live calf every year.”
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