Here at Thomas Angus Ranch, we consider sale-selection to be one of the most important management practices that we do all year - which is especially true now, with our California Fall Bull Sale coming up soon (September 15th)! Selecting the cattle that will be run through our sale barns is a crucial step, second to the mating selection, for us to better meet our customer's needs - which is our ranches’ primary goal.
Sale selection occurs around two months prior to our sale date. Selecting which bulls sell and which will not is a lengthy process which requires a keen eye and an ability to know what each animal's strengths and weaknesses are. This, in turn, allows us to understand where each animal should be placed both geographically as well as genetically,
or if they should be held from the sale. By spending time to collect and go through this valuable information, we are able to consistently market and deliver the right animal for each operation‘s environment, price, and herd goals.
Sale selection starts by determining which genetics and which EPD profiles will be in demand this upcoming season - a difficult task, as we attempt to predict the needs of our customers before many of them know what they will need. We rely on customer conversations, sales history, industry news, and larger livestock sales and events to give us an insight as to what the next season will bring in terms of genetic demand. After we understand the genetics that are going to have high demand in the cattle industry this season, we go to work selecting the animals that fit these industry preferences.
Next, a very in-depth phenotypic evaluation is needed to scrutinize the candidates. This evaluation includes structure - without a doubt, the most important phenotypic attribute - as well as muscle, volume, and balance are all accounted for to help us ensure we are selling animals that don’t just have great and in-demand genetics, but also are capable, sound, and productive animals. This is our mainstay, at Thomas Angus Ranch, where we are known for breeding, selecting, and growing animals with great numbers that are also extremely functional - the secret to great seedstock.
Finally, regional variations can play a role in what type of animal goes into each of our geographically-varied sales. For instance, in higher elevation sales, we always keep a close eye on PAP scores (an evaluation of animal cardiovascular performance at elevation) by testing and selecting the pedigrees that positively influence it - ensuring our customers that run at high elevations can rest easy knowing that their cattle will be healthy and productive. Other regional factors that have a large affect are frame score size, shedding ability, and disposition to name a few.
We consider sale selection to be extremely important and use every tool at our disposal to ensure that our customers are taken care of and satisfied with our offerings. After selection, our next goal is to get the right animal to the right customer - which is a post for another day, but in short - if matings, sale selection, and customer services are all performed correctly, it will lead to a very satisfied client base.
If you are interested in our upcoming September 15th California Fall Bull sale, please read more information at this link, where you can also RSVP and share the event with colleagues and friends!