HAVRE, Mont. – While her dad, Kim, was gone during the second week in December to the Montana Stockgrowers Association’s annual convention, Andee, with help from her brother, Ben, were busy checking on the seedstock Black Angus bulls and females at the ranch.
Located north of Havre, Kim and Nola Peterson operate Peterson Grain & Cattle, a seedstock Angus operation, with their adult children, Andee, Casey and Ben.
With light snow falling in the week before Christmas but already warming by week’s end, the Petersons invited potential bull customers and others interested to their Northern Premier’s Open Corral at the Peterson Grain & Cattle feedlot on Jan. 11, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Petersons sent out a postcard with an announcement of the event.
It is the main event to view bulls three months before Northern Premier’s Angus Sale, which will give potential bull customers/producers the chance to see the bulls up close and ask questions about them before the sale April 9 at Bear Paw Livestock.
“Calving season will soon be here after the holiday bustle,” Andee said. “We’re inviting everyone interested in looking at the bulls to come enjoy good conversation, have chili, corn bread and beverages, and take a look at some exciting Angus bulls.”
In addition to Peterson Grain & Cattle, Top Notch Angus, Kel McC Angus and Whistling Winds Angus will be part of the Northern Premier’s Open Corral, and the bull sale.
Those coming to the event will be able to find out data about the sale bulls, including EPDs.
“Everyone in our bull sale group will bring EPDs on their bulls if they are registered, along with the sire and dam information, and typically the bulls 205-day weights,” she said. Fertility testing will take place closer to the sale.
At the event, bull owners plan to be standing in their pen of bulls so producers can stop by, view each bull and ask questions about any of the bulls they might be interested in.
“It is very laid back day, with each bull owner visiting with producers and answering their questions,” she said.
The Petersons have put years of work into their bulls, using the genetics that provide the kind of bulls their potential customers are looking for in a herd bull or bulls.
“Commercial cattlemen and other bull buyers are usually looking for good feet, good leg structure, good weaning weights, and bulls that come from reliable high-producing mother cows and fertility,” she said.
Calving ease is another trait that is important to many bull buyers.
“Most producers are looking for calving ease bulls, although this may mean different things for each producer,” Andee said. A calving ease bull to some may mean 70-pound birth weight averages, while to others, it may mean 85-pound birth weight averages.
“It the same thing with cows – the type of cows that are right for one producer may not be the right fit for another producer’s herd.”
Meanwhile, the main herd at the ranch, located about five miles away, continue to graze, with plenty of fresh water available. Their younger cows are grazing in a separate area four miles from ranch headquarters, with water from a spring that feeds into a water tank.
The Petersons are fortunate to have water tanks that don’t freeze over in bitter cold temperatures.
“We have two tanks fed by a well. One tank overflows into the other, which keeps them from freezing over when it is really cold,” she said.
Meanwhile, the temperatures are warming at the ranch.
“We got around 6 inches of snow last week, and temperatures have been anywhere from 10 to 30 degrees,” Andee said on Dec. 19. “Most of the snow is still here, but with the warming temperatures the last couple of days and with wind, the snow is already starting to melt off again.”
The Petersons wish everyone a Happy New Year.
For questions about the Northern Premiere Open Corral, call Andee at 406-945-2717, or Kim at 406-945-0544; see the Petersons website at http://www.petersongrainandcattle.com; or see their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Peterson-Grain-and-Cattle-149862365040826.