Category Archives: Hereford

A Year in the Life of a Heifer: July Installment

The feature heifers are growing…these photos were taken in early July. They are both in quite good shape. Mother’s milk and green grass are agreeing with them! Next weekend we will be sorting pairs and making the hard decisions about which calves to keep and which to sell.


Yours in travel,
The Asphalt Cowgirl

“Now our windshield’s a painting that hangs in our room, It changes each mile like the radio tune” —Rodeo Moon, Chris Ledoux

Asphalt Cowgirl June

Last month was an extreme example in travel. Here’s a brief recap of all that happened!
The first week of June I was on Maui for a work conference. Tough gig, I know. I think I would like Hawaii better when it is February in Montana, though. It’s awfully hard to beat a Montana June! Here’s the view from my room.

While others had beach and pool plans, I was a true ag nerd and went to the sugar museum, where I learned a bunch about sugarcane farming – here’s a nice field of it.

We went to Iao Valley State Park and hiked around their loop, where we saw the Needle in all its elevated glory.

The second week of June I attended the Montana Stockgrowers Association midyear meeting in Miles City. A fine parade was held on Saturday morning, including this set of steers near the lead.

The third week of June I was at Ag Lenders Range School hosted by the Voldseth family near Martinsdale. It was beautiful after the rain quit, and we got to tour a wind farm. I stepped down as the Extension representative on the range school board, and those wonderful folks were kind enough to get me a plaque as a parting gift. 


The last week of June I was…is this starting to sound like a strange summer version of the Twelve Days of Christmas?
Anyways, the last week of June I was in San Angelo, TX, advising my academic quadrathlon team for the regional contest. The academic quadrathlon is a 4-part animal science contest for undergraduates, consisting of a comprehensive written exam, an impromptu oral presentation, a hands-on lab practicum, and a double elimination quiz bowl tournament. And MSU won!! Second year in a row!! Back-to-back champions!! Here is our team photo, plus a few action shots from the lab practicum section. The students and I will be traveling to the national contest in Kansas City in July.


While in San Angelo, we got to tour the Rocking Chair Ranch and take in the scenery around the area. 


You may have seen painted ponies in other downtown areas? They ain’t got nothing on the San Angelo sheep.


I hope you all had a fabulous Independence Day holiday weekend!

Yours in travel,

The Asphalt Cowgirl

“Now our windshield’s a painting that hangs in our room, It changes each mile like the radio tune” —Rodeo Moon, Chris Ledoux

Cow Families

I’ve had some great cows over the years. Actually, my entire cow herd – past and present – comes from a heifer my folks gave me when I was 8 years old. Here’s what I looked like then…

Now, I have a pretty cool 11-year-old cow who is the matriarch of the bunch these days. Her number is 3064.
I’ve kept every heifer she’s ever had for a replacement. I bred her to Red Angus bulls the first few years – this is 742, her 7-year-old daughter.
Then I started breeding her to Hereford bulls, hoping for some heifers just like her! Here’s 0217, her 4-year-old daughter.
And 1031, her 3-year-old daughter.
And 2004, her 2-year-old daughter, who is a full sister (same sire, too) to 1031. 2004 and her dam calved on the same day this year, so 3064 became a mom and a grandma (again) all in the same day!
What do you think? See any family resemblance? I do, but I know them pretty well!

Stay tuned for another post this week updating you on this year’s feature heifers!

Yours in travel,

The Asphalt Cowgirl

“Now our windshield’s a painting that hangs in our room, It changes each mile like the radio tune” —Rodeo Moon, Chris Ledoux

The Better to Hear You With, My Dear

I’ve always loved that line in Little Red Riding Hood. It’s come to mind quite a lot this spring (and every spring) when I’m out looking at the pairs. My, what big ears they have…





We are officially finished with branding and pre-breeding vaccinations. I successfully sprained my ankle for the second year in a row on this very same weekend. This time it was even bad enough I went to the clinic in Ennis to get it checked. Not broken, so that’s something. How I did it involves cutting off a bull’s broken horn that had gotten infected. It’s a dandy of a story.

It’s finals week here at Montana State University. Good luck to all and best wishes to this semester’s graduates!!
Yours in travel,

The Asphalt Cowgirl

“Now our windshield’s a painting that hangs in our room, It changes each mile like the radio tune” —Rodeo Moon, Chris Ledoux

Feature Heifers and Springtime

About a month ago, I introduced you to the “feature heifers”, 4005 and 411. Since the last post, they’ve been branded and have moved to a new pasture with 78 of their closest friends and their dams. These pairs make up our “AI bunch” and will be artificially inseminated in late May. We AI about 80 mature cows each year; the earliest 80 head to calve who are 4 years old and older end up in this bunch.
The girls have grown quite a bit. 4005 continues to be pretty sassy. 


Photobombed by Chancy! The ranch brand is a “7 hanging V”. The green in her ears is tattoo ink. She has “4005” tattooed in both ears.
Even pretty heifers can take a bad picture.
411 thinks she’s pretty cool, too. My uncle plans to keep her as a replacement heifer, and so she wears his brand, “P hanging X”.
She found a handy place to scratch her head. 


Pretty nonchalant about life.


I’m glad to report we’re done calving, which is always a major milestone of spring. Now we’re looking forward to green grass!

This week is a busy one, with the Montana Nutrition Conference and Livestock Forum, meat science class alliance presentations, calving class presentations, Collegiate Stockgrowers end-of-year shindig, Ag Day in Ennis, College of Ag Student Council end-of-year shindig, and Madison-Ruby Conservation Districts Banquet. Whew.
Yours in travel,
The Asphalt Cowgirl

“Now our windshield’s a painting that hangs in our room, It changes each mile like the radio tune” —Rodeo Moon, Chris Ledoux

New Feature: A Year in the Life…

Happy National Agriculture Day!
Today I’d like to introduce you to a couple of young ladies I’m going to feature throughout the next year or so. My hope is to give an inside look into the first year of heifer calves on our operation. I chose a crossbred and a purebred to highlight some of the differences and similarities in how we manage those different groups.
This is 411. She was born on February 26th, and came into this world backwards, thus requiring a little human assistance!

  

Her mom is 919, a 5-year-old cow who is ¾ Red Angus and ¼ Hereford. 411’s sire is a Hereford bull we called Dozer (he’s the bull I’m scratching in this blog’s profile picture). This combination means that 411 is 5/8 Hereford and 3/8 Red Angus. 411 was conceived via artificial insemination, or AI – and I was the technician.
We use orange tags to signify Hereford-sired calves, and the “D” tells us Dozer is her daddy. We use (or start with) 3-digit numbers for our crossbred calves and the first number signifies the year. So, 411 was the 11th crossbred calf born in 2014.
This is 4005. She’s got quite a little sass.
She was born on March 3rd to 6017, an 8-year-old Hereford cow. Her sire is a Hereford bull we call Cowboy, and she was also conceived via AI – and I was the technician (there’s a theme here).
We use green tags for Cowboy-sired calves and use 4-digit numbers for our Hereford calves. So 4005 was the 5th Hereford calf born in 2014.
I’m excited to bring you updates through the year as these heifers grow up!
Yours in travel,

The Asphalt Cowgirl

“Now our windshield’s a painting that hangs in our room, It changes each mile like the radio tune” —Rodeo Moon, Chris Ledoux