KILLDEER, N.D. – The Stroh family stayed busy in late January finishing up final preparations for their 31st annual Ranch Ready production sale.
“We ran our Hereford coming 2-year-old bulls through the chute and scrubbed them for the sale,” said Matt Stroh, who operates Stroh Hereford Ranch with his parents, Mike and Dawn, and brother, Lucas.
Neighbors and friends helping the Strohs were Phil Dukart, Garrett Leland, Marianne Gartner, Caitlyn Welch, Chris Gartner and Jordan Martin.
“We appreciated their help. We had a good crew to get everything done and the bulls and bred heifers are all looking good for the sale,” Matt said prior to sale day.
They cleaned off the hocks and knees on the animals and planned to run them through again on Feb. 3, the day before the sale.
“We blow them off the day before the sale to get all the straw off from laying on bedding, as well as all the dust and dandruff that gets caught in their hair coats. We want them nice and clean for the sale,” he said.
Each animal has a final weight taken at that time.
In addition, each bull had a scrotal measurement taken, as customers want to know that measurement.
“We take the scrotal measurement for their use in making decisions on buying bulls,” Matt said.
When the Strohs do the final blow out, if they see a tag that is coming off or is damaged, that tag gets replaced.
“We’ll replace that so it can be easily read,” he said.
After the dry conditions during the first two weeks in January, at least a couple of inches of snow fell and stayed around with temperatures dipping into the single digits. However, nice weather was expected for the early February sale as temperatures warmed to start the month. The warm spell also helped the Strohs quickly get the sale barn ready.
Matt said they spread out wood chips on the floor and set up the bleachers in the barn.
“Mom is going to go in and do some decorating,” he added. Dawn put some final touches on the barn.
On the day before the sale, the Strohs planned on penning the sale bulls, as well as the registered and commercial bred heifers, on one side of the barn. Their plan was to feed and water the animals that evening and again the next morning on sale day.
“We’ll be up extra early, checking to make sure there is plenty of water and hay for the bulls and heifers,” Matt said.
Livestock Link also comes in the day before the sale, as well, and sets up large TVs.
The Stroh’s auctioneer, Scott Weishaar, sets up his PA system the morning of the sale.
“They will get everything set up for the broadcasting and the clerking station,” he said.
In addition to checking over the animals on the morning of the sale, Feb. 4, the Strohs set out refreshments and make sure everything is ready for the sale.
People arrive to look over each animal in the morning leading up to the noon lunch.
“We’ll be talking to guys who come to see the bulls and answering any questions they may have,” he said.
Stroh Herefords was part of North Dakota Stockmen’s Association’s All Breeds Cattle Tour in the southwestern region of the state during the fall of 2018.
Matt talked about the herd at the tour, as he showed off several of their Hereford registered bulls and females.
“We develop our herd to meet the conditions here. If they are not developed the right way, they won’t last long. We focus on moderate birthweights, high performance, and excellent carcass traits,” Matt said at the time.
“The reason we like to sell coming 2-year-olds is they are more mature and we have more quality control. The bulls are used to the weather up here and the bulls walk a lot. We emphasize longevity and good feet by doing that.”
As Matt has said previously, even then he was telling other cattlemen that the 2-year-olds “would cover more cows right out of the gate.”
Matt will talk on how the family’s production sale went in the next report.
For more information, see the Stroh’s website at https://strohherefordranch.com, or check out their Facebook page.