Phil & Dawn Keppler:
not just calve cows? Wouldn’t
it be easier to have fewer groups of cows? No
virgin heifers or bred heifers to develop or calve
you can’t buy ‘em
as good as you can breed ‘em? Well
NOW you CAN!
coming 3 year old commercial cows AND Not
your typical commercial cow. Complete
individual performance data, including ultrasound. 1
weaning data and ratios.
& Black Baldies Bred to SK Bulls
registered and commercial heifers are developed
together in large groups on a cost effective
ration designed to grow them sensibly. We allow
for the competition of the large group and
the conservative ration to weed out any genetics
gain and be fertile.
is too apply economically relative conditions,
mother nature, competition, accurate data,
and good cow sense to decide which genetics
move forward in our breeding program as well
We are continually
looking for new methods and technology to help
us produce pounds of beef more efficiently. True
with anything in agriculture, it is easier
to focus on the revenue as opposed to costs.We
strive to maximize efficiency not just revenue.
in Western New York we are fortunate to have
a climate that is one of the best selection
tools for feed efficiency and survivability.
Our climate and the way we simply run cows
will not allow any genetics that are high
maintenance or predisposed to heath problems
survive or breed back. Our
harsh environment is a great asset for developing
genetics that will adapt and prosper in many
selection tool that we feel is extremely important
for identifying genetics that will make money
in different locations is competition.
cattle in a feedlot situation, a large cowherd,
or performance test need to be aggressive
at the feed bunk. We try to achieve the maximum
efficiency of output, not just maximum output.
to put emphasis on EPD’s and performance ratios
to produce better genetics. For example, in our
registered herd, we annually bring in a high accuracy
reference sire to add more validity to the EPD’s
of our Hereford cattle. Because it is our Herefords
which are producing our commercial cattle. With
respect to performance ratios we tend to put
more emphasis on large sire group averages rather
then just individual performance ratios or measurements.
data and wonderful EPD’s wouldn’t help much if
they’re not good cattle. Performance information
goes a long way for improving cattle, but you still
need more then just numbers. 90% of cattle are still
bought and sold on how they look. Why be in the cattle
business if you don’t like to look at your
cattle? Disposition, maternal ability, calf vigor,
etc. still takes the eye of a good cowman to
of our Commercial Herd
base of our commercial herd is from the original
Forrestel Farm’s registered
Hereford herd that had it registrations let go.
When Phil Keppler took over management of the herd
it was just commercial grade Hereford cows (with
the horns still on!) that he began to crossbreed
with first Angus and then Simmental bulls. The
Simmental cross females quickly culled themselves
out due to their inability to handle the harsh
winters just grazing on corn stalks.
Then we implemented the crossbreeding program
that our friends at the Padlock Ranch were using,
the Hereford X Red Angus X Shorthorn rotational
cross. This cross really worked well and maximized
heterosis. We still have some of these females
left in our herd.
In the late nineties we decided to bring Angus
bulls back in to fill the demand for black baldie
females that we started to experience.
Today we run roughly 200 commercial cows and also
breed a portion of our registered females to Angus
bulls. Recently, commercial cattlemen are rediscovering
crossbreeding, and the demand for our crossbred
females has never been better.
- Works every time it's tried!