2007 National Stocker Award Winners
Like the cattle they grow, this year's National Stocker Award finalists share some similarities. Namely, each adds value to mismanaged cattle, presenting feedlots with a more uniform, lower-risk product. Along the way, beef consumers benefit from pounds grown for less cost than is typically possible in the feedlot.
Read the full article about the 2007 category winners.
Mercer Cattle, LLC
Fall/Winter Stocker Program 2007 Category Winner
Shawn Mercer of Mercer Cattle, LLC at Richton, Miss. winner of the fall/winter stocker division specializes in flyweight calves, averaging no more than 250 lbs. I know some people dislike handling these light calves, but we don't see a lot of health difference between a 250-lb. calf and one that is 450 lbs., he says.
We're looking for a calf that has certain genetics and growth potential, but hasn't been managed properly, Mercer says. We want to bring that calf to our farm and provide all the necessary ingredients to put weight on the animal and, ultimately, provide an upgraded animal that will interest the feedyard. Read the full article on Shawn Mercer
Tom and Bill Gallery
Backgrounding/Drylot Program 2007 Category Winner
For about two decades, the answer for the Gallery Ranch at Dewey, Okla. the winner of the 2007 National Stocker Award's backgrounding/drylot division was stockering cattle and retaining ownership through the feedlot. A few years ago, they switched to partnerships, and along the way, they diversified risk, while each partner leveraged his expertise.
Before, we would have numerous grass deals and have to buy a certain number of calves at the right weight to fit. It backed us into a corner on price, says Bill Gallery, who runs the stocker phase of the ranch with his brother, Tom. Now, the Gallerys typically receive and ship two or three loads of cattle each week. Cattle will spend the first 28 days here in separate home groups, and then another three weeks or so in commingled groups aimed for further stockering or straight to the feedlot. Read the full article on Tom and Bill Gallery
Summer Stocker Program 2007 Category Winner
Similarly, Scot Holcombe of the Holcombe Ranch based in Bartlesville, Okla. winner of the summer stocker division leverages his stocker knowledge with partnerships.In the stocker business, I feel we will increasingly need to operate within an alliance or marketing group. The lone stocker who buys and sells without forming these relationships will be isolated and have more difficulty marketing their animals on any kind of value-added market, Holcombe says.
Holcombe manages diverse and extensive forage all lease ground running stockers for himself and Mull Farms and Feeding of Pawnee Rock, Kan. Land ownership and running cattle on it are two separate decisions, says Holcombe. It's cheaper to lease land than to own it, and it gives you more flexibility.Read the full article on Scot Holcombe
See the past 2006 NSA Winners