Our herd is the result of over 30 years of strict selection for cattle proven to be productive, profitable, and low maintenance in rangeland conditions like we have in the Missouri River breaks of northern Montana. We select both individuals and genetic lines first for functional traits: disposition; quality of udder, feet, and legs; fleshing ability; and moderate mature size. Second, we select for calving ease; most of the sires we use are in the top percentages within their breed for calving ease. Next, we select for excellent maternal traits and longevity, producing the type of cows that consistently raise one good calf after another with minimal inputs. Our cows usually graze year-round with only mineral and protein supplement during winter. After we have selected for these traits, then we put as much growth and carcass quality into the cattle as we can without wrecking functional traits.

The ranch has AI’ed on and off for 24 years. For the last 15 years, we’ve AI’ed 7,500+ cows to proven bulls selected from the best producing herd sires in top breeders’ herds from across the country. The sifting is just as rigorous on the ranch. We start off saving the top 120 bull prospects out of our best cows. From birth in April till sale day in March, these bull prospects are evaluated for 20 separate criteria. A lot of nice bull calves end up steers because we retain only the top 15% for bulls. Do not look here for groomed, fitted, or over-fed bulls. These are working cattle for working ranchers. The bulls have been raised in the Missouri River breaks, without lush pastures or creep feed. Our focus is producing moderate framed cattle selected to increase profit through efficiency, longevity, and dependable production under low-input grazing programs.

2022 Annual Production Sale offering

The bulls have done well.  The first 35 days they were gaining 3.35 per day.  That was the same gain the bulls recorded last year.  However, this year I took off the bottom 13 bulls and this pushed the average daily gain to 3.60 per day.  There aren’t many cattle that can outperform these cattle and certainly not at the Veseth sale average. 

These bulls are gaining well but are not fat.  The ultrasound data from 2021, on the Veseth bulls was .13” for backfat.   I don’t know of any other groups of bulls with less than .22” backfat and many with substantially more.

The industry standard is 1.0 square inch of Rib Eye Area (REA) per 100 lbs. of body weight (CWT).  We started ultra-sounding in 2015. At that time our average was 1.06 square inch REA/CWT.  The bulls in 2021 averaged 1.16” REA/CWT.  This is part of the reason we have increased our adjusted REA by over an inch per animal in that time.  You need to remember that these cattle are selected first for calving ease and maternal before selection for growth and carcass. 

In 2015 the average ultrasound intra-muscular fat  (IMF) was 4.68 and in 2021 IMF was 5.36.  That moved the marbling scores in these bulls from Select + to Choice -.  You need to remember that bulls don’t marble as well as steers.