Leading a Legacy Fundraiser

Saturday, October 17, 2015 at Sullivan Farms, Dunlap, Iowa

  • 6:00 PM Prime Rib Meal and Social compliments of Sullivan Farms
  • 6:30 PM Leading A Legacy, Junior National Fundraiser Sale
  • 7:30 PM Cowboy Casino (Family fun, new prizes & gambling)

100% of the proceeds goes towards the National Junior Shorthorn Heifer Show.

O’Sullivan Auctioneers
Frank Sullivan, 612-860-6665 • Joseph O’Sullivan, 612-868-8580

Sale Day Phones
Frank Sullivan, Auctioneer ……….612.860.6665
Roger Sullivan ….612.860.0158 Montie Soules……918.645.4322
Kent Jaecke ……..405.408.2440 Alan Sears …………970.396.7521
Jake Alden ……….402.660.9048 Jeff Aegerter ……..402.641.4696
Darryl Rahn ……217.473.1124 Gwen Crawford ..402.616.5556
Don Cagwin ……217.341.7552 Tyler Pierson……..612.719.5289
Mitchell Smith ..765.606.6224 Kendra Davis ……507.440.6933

View Catalog

If interested in bidding, please contact any of the ringmen or visit LiveAuctions.tv. Thank you to all of the above for donating your time.

Event Chairmen
Advisor, Gwen Crawford & Junior Auction
Chairman, Kendra Davis

Special Thank You … A special Thank You to everyone who donated to support this sale and the legacy of the National Junior Shorthorn Show. Your support and generosity is greatly appreciated. Thank You to Shorthorn Country for advertising this event and Arin Strasburg for creating the catalog.

Also, a big Thank You to John Sullivan for supplying the meal and hosting this event.

An Aussies Perspective Continued

California HaydenSince last month’s article I have again visited a very diverse range of places. I commenced this month by travelling from California to Fallon Nevada where I was hosted by Gary and Pegi Witte. The Fallon area contains some very unique shorthorn herds. The Witte, Albaugh and Barnes herds are all registered as Native Shorthorns. The Native Shorthorn is registered with both the ASA and the milking association and can be traced back in the herdbook to have no outside influence from other breeds. They are typical of shorthorns I hear about from the past. They are moderate easy keeping cattle. In a very dry environment selection pressure on survivability is high.

I then travelled back to California to visit Bigelow, Cardey and Bennett shorthorns. Bigelow livestock have 100 females. Their herd is very consistent, moderate and functional, definitely a herd to keep an eye on in the future. Bigelow livestock are gradually developing themselves a commercial bull market which I believe is the only direction available to further grow the shorthorn breed in America. I personally can’t envisage the show heifer market growing significantly but I can see huge potential to increase the volume of shorthorn bulls into commercial herds.

Cardey shorthorns is a very well established herd that has a huge emphasis on feet and legs. A particularly interesting component of this enterprise is the huge teams of cattle taken to shows. It is not unusual for the Cardeys to take over 100 head to a show. I think Cardey genetics could be used very successfully by herds trying to improve structural correctness. I then continued to Bennett shorthorns located in the southern foothills. I had an interesting discussion with Mike Bennett about the potential to combine feeder steers from different small shorthorn producers into a group to allow for a large group of shorthorns that then may facilitate the sale of these cattle over the hooks. This sale method will do two things. It will avoid the sale barn system through which shorthorns often receive a price penalty purely due to hair colour and it will also remind the meat processors that shorthorns have a highly desirable carcase. The difficulty with this approach however would be getting a consistent group that grade well, as many shorthorn breeders have quite different directions.

The final day I was in California the temperature had reached a beautiful 90oF (32oC). The next day I flew to Chicago where I was greeted by Aaron Hahn and a much cooler temperature. He delivered me to Horton shorthorns. Like the vast majority of shorthorn breeders in America, shorthorns are not the Hortons only business. However they have implemented some very interesting strategies to market the beef they have. They have established a relationship with a local restaurant that offers Horton beef in burgers as a seasonal menu item. This ensures the product is seen as unique and interesting to consumers but also allows a small herd with seasonal calving to maintain a vertically integrated market.

1Since I have been in the USA I have come across many breeders that sell freezer beef and have a small but loyal cliental. Often it is argued that a major disadvantage of beef over chicken and pork is a less consistent product. Many systems have been established to try and remedy this issue, with varying success. I think within a brand consistency is essential. However within the entire beef industry I think variation in beef eating characteristics is a massive strength that the industry can utilise more. Consumers want to enjoy eating, try new foods, and be able to share with their friends positive dining experiences they have. Just look at all the photos of food on social media. The wine industry utilises variation in production better than most. They use it to make wine interesting but also a topic of discussion and debate. Marbling for example. Many consider it to be very desirable. I personally really enjoy a well marbled steak. However I’m not sure every consumer wants the same amount of intramuscular fat that I do. Some may want more, some less. I think variability makes beef interesting and thus there is a lot of potential to grow freezer beef and branding of products. Provided there is consistency within each brand as a consumer wants to know what to expect from each product.

While in Illinois I also visited Hahn Family shorthorns. This is definitely a family operation with each member having their own set of skills and experiences to for fill their role within the enterprise. This breeding program is trying to push for greater efficiency in their herd. The use of Ash Valley Prestige 0665 to reduce birth weight but maintain growth is a clear example. I have often discussed with people on this trip the most efficient way to select for calving ease. It is a huge problem in many herds particularly those with a show ring focus. It is my belief that a moderate birthweight that is well shaped to facilitate passage though the pelvic canal is ideal. I think using extremely low birthweight bulls will increase calving problems.  This is because very low birthweights will reduce selection pressure on the heifers and cows to have adequate pelvic diameter to calve. Thus offspring of low birth weight cattle will only be able to have very small calves. Hahn family shorthorns have a similar philosophy and actually measure pelvic diameter on all females.

2Waukaru shorthorns in Indiana was my next destination. The Jordan’s herd has a reputation for power and growth. Many Waukaru sires have been very successful in Australia for this reason. I was really pleased to see that the Waukaru herd also ensures calving ease is maintained. I was at Waukaru during the peak of calving season where all the cows are expected to be able to calve by them self. It’s a challenging time of the year when the frozen ground is melting and mother nature hasn’t quite decided if its winter or spring. Temperatures fluctuated while I was at Waukaru from pleasant days to windy snowy days with temperatures well below freezing. Rensselaer Indiana is incredibly productive ground and as a result the vast majority of land is corn or soybeans, there are very few commercial cattle. This means that Waukaru as a seedstock breeder must sell the majority of their bulls interstate. Thus I think it’s a real testament to the quality of the Waukaru herd, as the clients must see there genetics to be superior enough to be worth transporting across the country. Waukaru is definitely one of the breeders carrying the commercial flag for the shorthorn breed.

While at Waukaru I was also fortunate enough to visit Donor Solutions. The first day I was there I was able to watch conventional embryo transfer by Dr Chuck Hannan and have some practice palpating and scanning ovaries. Donor solutions is also a satellite clinic for Trans Ova so I was able to observe the IVF of 19 cows including one terminal. The program I’m on truly does provide some amazing opportunities.

Thank you again to all of my hosts over the last month, particularly the Jordan’s as they looked after me for 2 weeks. I’m almost half way through my time in America and am loving every moment.

Hayden Morrow

Australian Shorthorn Ambassador

ASA to Host Livestock Publications Council Internship

The American Shorthorn Association is proud to announce that it has been selected to host the 2015 Livestock Publications Council summer intern. Members of the Livestock Publications Council were given the opportunity to submit applications for their respective organizations to host the intern. The ASA was selected from many qualified applicants.

This summer, the student will be given many opportunities to learn various functions throughout the organization. Primary goals of the internship will include marketing, photography/videography, design, and event planning.

For more information on this exciting opportunity, please contact Megan Brehm, Director of Communications and Marketing at the American Shorthorn Association.


Preparation is the Key to Success!

As many cattle trailers are getting ready to hit the road and head out on their annual trek to Louisville, one of the most important things to remember before pulling out of the driveway is, preparation is the key to success.

We all know how it goes, or how it is suppose to go, if you work hard at home it will all pay off in the end. I do believe this, but when it comes to taking stock to a show there are other things that we tend to overlook that need to be done in order for all of our hard work to even matter. Like the ole saying goes “Success always comes when preparation meets opportunity”

Being properly prepared helps ensure success and that the trip goes off without a hitch. The first step to achieving this is sending in those entries. Clearly, if the entries aren’t done properly and turned in on time it won’t be possible to even take animals to the show. Going hand-in-hand with the entries are the registration papers. Once our entries are done I go through the registration book that we take to shows to make sure papers for the appropriate cattle are in there. I check and then double check that not only are cattle registered but that we have the ORIGINAL version of the papers with us when we pull out of the driveway with the trailer. Black and white photocopies or pages printed off an online registration system aren’t going to cut it when it comes time to check in at the show. You’ll be sadly disappointed at the response you’ll get when you try and hand one of those to a breed representative checking in cattle.

Another thing that won’t get you very far at the show is if your cattle aren’t tattooed. Now I know no one likes getting that green tattoo ink on them or if you happen to have a white heifer, all over her, but you’ll be far more disappointed if you can’t show because you didn’t tattoo your cattle. So, take the time ahead of time and tattoo your animals. If you even question whether or not yours are tattooed get out a rag and a flashlight and check it out for yourself. It is better to be safe than sorry.

The last critical preparation piece that basically determines whether or not your cattle can show or let alone be on the grounds are health papers. The vet is the go-to man that knows what we need and how to get it done. With that being said, make sure you look into this weeks prior to your departure as sometimes additional tests are needed. Regardless, your vet will appreciate you being ahead of the game and we all know we need to keep our vet on our good side.

Entries, registration papers, tattoos and health papers, they are all critical items that need to be taken care of prior to the show. Just like now days it’s pretty hard to buy a drink or get on a plane without proper identification like a passport or drivers license, it is also pretty hard to show your cattle at a show without the proper paperwork.

If you’ve got all that stuff taken care of you shouldn’t have to worry about not being able to show your animals. But one thing you do want to be able to do is not only show them off in the ring but also in the stalls. This is where preparing the proper signage is key. A good eye catching display can make your cattle and operation the talk of the barn. We try to accomplish this by having very readable signs for each animal that include our farm logo and any co-owners, then for the bulls we put on display we create larger eye-catching banners. Whatever you can do to create excitement about your cattle is helpful in promoting them and you.

Finally, once all of that stuff is prepared and taken care of there is only one more thing to do before hitting the road to the big show…PACKING. You have to pack for yourself and for your cattle. This is never a fun task and nine times out of ten it ends up in an argument but once that trailer door is shut and you’re on the road to NAILE, it’s all worth it. One of the best things to help make the packing process go smoothly is to make a list. Put together a list of everything you need ahead of time then just check stuff off as you pack it in the trailer. Heck I have even seen people who have this list and a diagram of how everything should be packed saved on their computer and before each show they just hit print and packing the trailer is a breeze.

I know a lot goes into getting ready for a show and this is just a scratch at the surface, but all things that can be easily over looked. So make sure you are prepared, that way you can enjoy standing on those green shavings and hearing the classic tune coming from the iconic organ man. Best of luck to all and safe travels on your journey to Louisville.

A Clear Focus at Clarmont Farm

By: Megan Brehm, Director of Communications and Marketing, American Shorthorn Association

I arrived a day early to the 2014 Shorthorn Junior National Show in Louisville, Kentucky and made the drive to Maysville, Kentucky. The trip proved to be a valuable experience: witnessing firsthand the tremendous value Shorthorn cattle can bring to commercial cattle herds.

After one hundred forty miles of picturesque country side driving from Louisville to Maysville through the heart of Kentucky’s thoroughbred horse and bourbon country, I found myself wrapped up in the natural beauty of the state’s winding roads, abundant trees, and large open green pastures.

Nestled in the hills of Northeastern Kentucky, Maysville is home of Clarmont Farm, a Shorthorn influenced commercial herd operated by the Clarke family for over one hundred years. After following winding roads and a few missed turns later, I arrived at Clarmont Farm, a striking farm with rolling pastures and ponds.

Approximately one hundred and twenty Shorthorn/Angus influenced cows make their home at Clarmont. The herd is based strictly on performance traits in growth, terminal carcass traits, and profitability. The herd calves in both spring and summer with approximately a quarter of calving completed in the fall months.

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Clarmont Farm has been operated by the Clarke family in continuous succession for over one hundred years. The operation began in 1913 with row crops, hay, and cattle. In the early days of the farm, all cattle were purebred Shorthorn seedstock. Reese Clarke, founder of Clarmont Farm, bought and sold cattle over a large region spanning from Canada south. Since then, many changes have occurred at the farm, but one constant remains, a love for high quality cattle. Today, the farm is operated by Craig & Janet Clarke and Tyler & Kenzie Clarke. Tyler is the fourth generation family member to raise cattle at the farm. Jeff Jones, Farm Manager, is also credited with much of the farm’s success. Jones is a natural cattle enthusiast with a heart for the farm, second to none.

photo a

Beginning in the 1980’s the focus of the farm shifted from a purebred Shorthorn operation to an Angus commercial program with some Shorthorn influence. Over the years, the Clarke’s noticed that performance quality had gradually been decreasing. It was time for a change. In effort to increase performance within the herd, attention shifted back to the Shorthorn breed. The Clarke’s needed a crossbreeding tool to increase maternal and carcass traits. Shorthorns were the solution. “We simply looked at Shorthorns as the quickest way to improve our cattle herd; particularly in regards to growth and birth weights,” stated Tyler Clarke. “I spent a tremendous amount of time researching how we could build in many of the performance traits we needed to return to our herd. Shorthorns easily made their way to the top for crossbreeding potential.”

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Clarmont Farm’s herd is comprised of nearly all Angus/Angus cross cows. All cows at the farm are selected for carcass and maternal traits. All bulls at Clarmont are now Shorthorn; they must meet rigid standards for quality. Any bull selected for use in their operation must be backed by heavy duty performance data. The end goal for the Clarmont operation is terminal beef; genetic decisions must be made that are reflective of that goal. Bulls are selected to be in the top 1% of Weaning Weight and Yearling Weight EPD’s for the breed, along with a solid maternal genetic background. Bulls have primarily been purchased from the Waukaru herd, Rensselear, Indiana. Bulls from Waukaru have been predictable in their genetic output, largely due to the tremendous amount of performance data collected from their herd. Bulls have been consistent and pass on real world performance attributes that improve the Clarke’s bottom line.

The results? The Shorthorn/Angus cross calves have easily outperformed their straight Angus calves from years before. The crossbred Shorthorn/Angus calves have been quite versatile, recording higher weaning weights and high meat quality. “We are extremely pleased at how well the Shorthorn cattle have adjusted to their surroundings and thrived. They have adapted well to drought and rough winters with ease, all while keeping their high quality maternal traits. Our goal is to produce high quality consumer focused beef. Shorthorns have been up to the task and have improved our end product dramatically.”

Evidence of the quality the Shorthorn breed can bring to commercial cattle herds is clearly visible through the results obtained at Clarmont Farm. The Clarke’s are able to offer a new and different perspective for purebred Shorthorn breeders as a customer of the breed. What could Shorthorn do better? What direction should breeders aim towards in the future? Tyler Clarke believes the answer lies primarily in promotion and education. “The Shorthorn breed must establish a presence within the commercial beef industry as a proven, quality, answer for crossbreeding and herd improvement. As an association, effort needs to be directed towards supporting the commercial segment of the industry who purchase Shorthorn genetics. The ShorthornPlus program has a tremendous product, but customers must be made aware of the value and performance associated with adding Shorthorn influence to their herd.” With continued interest in the Shorthorn breed, the concept will continue to expand, but efforts to grow will expedite the growth. Examples of areas Clarke believes could make a difference include establishment of a database of supply chain for Shorthorn genetics and mass marketing of Shorthorn influenced stockers.

Overall, the Clarke’s are extremely satisfied with the impact Shorthorn cattle have made on their herd. As commercial breeders, the added value to their calves has been dramatic. Since reincorporating Shorthorns back into their genetic lineup, the Clarke’s haven’t’ looked back. As I made the return trip to Louisville, my thoughts shifted from the scenery around me to the road the Shorthorn breed is travelling. Shorthorn and ShorthornPlus composite cattle have a bright future in store. “The future is bright for the Shorthorn breed, we couldn’t be more enthusiastic to utilize all Shorthorn has to offer,” stated Clarke.

Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance

“Remember, prior planning prevents poor performance.” These were the words of a wise college accounting professor I was given the opportunity to learn many things from. At the beginning of the course’s first semester, I comprehended the scope of the quote to apply only to class materials and the importance of studying for exams. However, as the year progressed, I began to understand that the concept of prior planning encompassed far more than my accounting homework.

Today, as I continue to think about the significance of this saying, its importance in the cattle business becomes clear.  So oftentimes, in the hectic nature of our day to day activities at a cattle operation, future planning becomes tossed aside in lieu of more pressing tasks at hand. However, to ensure our future success, planning for the future is of utmost importance.

Do you know where you want your operation to be in the future? Today is the best day to set goals for tomorrow. Be proactive in making your operation even better than it is now. Learn more about a topic that could help improve your bottom line, try a new idea, the opportunities are endless. Today’s beef cattle market is the highest on record. How can you plan ahead to make sure your operation is profitable when markets become narrow?

  • Establish an effective record keeping system. Incorporating a system that accurately records expenses and profits will be a valuable decision making tool. Decisions can be made with real world numbers, in turn helping to increase productivity and profitability.  Are your cattle performance records up to date? Do you have a performance record keeping system in place? If not, take the time to learn more about record keeping and to find a system that best meets your herd’s needs.
  • Gain knowledge about industry trends and technology. Today’s fast paced, technology based world has not overlooked the cattle industry. Today, there are many products, innovations, and technology available that can help your herd and operation improve. Areas that technology continues to touch include: reproductive, feed efficiency, and herd health technology.


Oftentimes, looking to the future can be overwhelming; however, the task today will reap benefits over and over in tomorrow’s world. ­Agricultural producers have a multitude of resources available to help answer questions and provide educational materials. State extension services are a great place for producers looking for useful information. As you transition and prepare for the future, I hope you too will remember that “prior planning prevents poor performance.”


What Can Performance Data Do for You?

With added emphasis being place on today’s cattle producers to utilize performance data within their operations, many may be left wondering what the benefits will be. Sometimes as a small breeder it is easy to ask “what does my data really matter, if any, besides-I only want to register a few head this year.”

Performance should matter to all breeders; no matter how big or how small. Performance data relies on the submission of data from all breeders and cattle. When considering how EPD’s work, all data is averaged to give indicators of genetic performance. When only cattle to be registered have data submitted, it skews the accuracy of all EPD’s.  The concept is simple; we need all the data we can get for the most accurate EPD’s possible.

Some beneficial thoughts about submitting and utilizing performance data:

  • EPD’s are a common sense approach to competing with other breeds in a factual, easy to compare manner. When the ASA completes its transition to the Multi-Breed EPD system, breeders will receive EPD’s that compare to the largest genetic evaluation system in the industry.
  • Improved marketing opportunities will result for cattle with EPD data to back their genetics. Cattle that are proven with accurate EPD results will be more appealing to customers who want to keep performance in check.
  • The breed will experience long term improvement through better data records.  Performance records take the effort of all breeders submitting data for the good of the whole breed to be of great use.

The Shorthorn breed has a decision to make as the ASA transitions to the Multi-breed EPD evaluation system. Will the Shorthorn breed utilize performance data to its full potential? Please take time to consider the impact your herd’s data can play in the enhancement of the whole breed.

Building a Better Future

With summer comes the process of moving cattle to pasture, AI breeding, and administering vaccinations. As producers are hard at work with such activities, it is a great time to evaluate practices and facilities for possible areas to improve handling of cattle.

The movement for animal welfare and safe handling processes has increased dramatically in past years. Numerous food retail outlets have incorporated animal handling requirements before products are purchased from suppliers. Consumers want to be reassured they are receiving a safe, wholesome meat product that was handled appropriately. As producers, keeping ahead of the trend will not only make for more efficient use of time when working or moving cattle, but will help the beef industry gain credibility and trust from beef consumers.


The first step to assuring quality in our beef products is to carefully evaluate methods that are in practice at our operations now. Look for areas that need to be improved. Examples include improving working facilities that are lower-stress for animals, taking note to not overcrowd animals, or improving lighting in working facilities for a safer environment. Evaluating the method in which cattle are worked is an important step for cattlemen to take. Programs such as Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) are ways to improve knowledge of appropriate handling of cattle. Sharing BQA information with employees or others involved in the direct management and care of cattle allows everyone involved in the operation to handle cattle safely and contribute to overall success.

Consumers are more concerned than ever about the quality of meat products we provide.

Members of the American Shorthorn Association have a unique opportunity to position themselves as leaders in the beef industry by taking beef quality assurance and safe handling techniques seriously. Image the impact that the breed could have in the future with 50%, 80%, or 90% of our membership certified in BQA. Today’s consumers are demanding their food is safe and properly handled. By spreading the message that more beef producers, are determined to meet and exceed consumer demands, we will build confidence and demand for our product. Marketing efforts in today’s world could make a dramatic difference in demand for Shorthorn beef if our membership base was viewed as a group of cattlemen concerned about the quality of product and the consumer who purchases it. There is no time better than the present to prepare and pave the way for a bright prosperous future.

Are You Ready for Summer?

Are You Ready for Summer?

Memorial Day is this weekend! With the holiday’s arrival, marks the unofficial start of summer. As summer arrives, focus should shift towards herd maintenance issues. Taking the time to prep for herd health concerns will ensure a healthy cow herd through the duration of the hot, stressful summer months for cattle.

Some tips for cattle management throughout the summer months are:

  • Water
    • Provide constant fresh water source for cattle on pasture. Cattle require more water during the summer months than one may realize. Consider the minimum requirements for cattle at 90F.
      • 400 lb Calves: 9.5 gallons/min per day
      • Lactating Cows: 16.2 gallons/min per day
      • Mature Bulls: 20 gallons/min per day
  • Mineral Program
    • Cattle should continue to receive a high quality mineral supplement while on summer pastures. Consider the demands of hot weather, terrain, and lactation on cows; supplement accordingly for increased conception rates and herd heath.
  • Fly Control
    • With summer, comes the return of flies. Flies are a major nuisance for cattle and producers. Flies are able to spread pink eye and mastitis through the herd, as well as increase herd stress. Consider multiple options when seeking to control fly population. Methods that make a difference include fly control mineral supplements, fly tags, insecticide dispensing rubs for cattle, among others. Evaluate the needs of your herd for the most effective program to suit your needs.
From everyone at the American Shorthorn Association, enjoy your holiday weekend!