Sandhill Farms Named BIF Seedstock Producer of the Year
Sandhill Farms was honored with the 2010 Beef Improvement Federation (BIF) Seedstock Producer of the Year award during the 2010 BIF Annual Meeting and Research Symposium June 30. Outstanding seedstock operations in the U.S. and Canada have been awarded this honor annually since 1972.
A fifth generation, family-owned and operated Hereford seedstock business, Sandhill Farms is located in south central Kansas near Haviland.
Currently managed by Kevin and Vera Schultz, the framework of today’s cattle program was laid by Kevin’s father, Ron, and grandfather, Roy. Ron and his wife, Arnita, still play an active role in the farm today. Kevin and Vera’s children, Brooke, Tyler and Courtney, are starting the sixth generation.
The operation began as a commercial cow-calf and farming business. Registered Hereford bulls were brought into the program in the mid-1940s. The registered cow herd was added in the mid-1980s by Kevin and Vera.
The herd today consists of 300 brood cows, with about two-thirds being registered and one-third being purebred commercial. The spring-only breeding program uses artificial insemination (AI), embryo transfer (ET) and cleanup bulls. AI is utilized on all commercial and registered yearling heifers and top-performing registered cows. The commercial and bottom-end registered cows are used as recipients in the ET program.
Sandhill Farms has tested more bulls in the American Hereford Association (AHA) National Reference Sire Program (NRSP) than any other breeder in the last 10 years. After being tested and proven, the top bulls are used in the breeding program. Outside bulls that are highly accurate and proven from multiple herds are also used.
The family has participated in the AHA Whole Herd Total Performance Records (TPR™) program since its inception. Sandhill Farms is recognized as a Gold TPR breeder for its commitment to collecting performance data.
“The Schultz family is progressive and yet determined to have a program that provides a product that is built through sound, objective thinking,” says Jack Ward, AHA chief operating officer and director of breed improvement. “They do the research, test the bulls, collect and incorporate all the data, and then utilize AI and ET to make quick and meaningful progress.”
For the last 14 years the Schultz family has participated in the National Western pen show and has had the champion or reserve pen the last five years.
The Schultz family is also involved in programs designed to improve Hereford genetics and grow market share for Hereford beef, while promoting sustainable management practices for the farm’s customers and their families.
After selling bulls private treaty for years, Sandhill Farms hosted its first production sale in April 2008. Currently, it sells 65 bulls per year, with 30% going to purebred breeders and 70% going to commercial breeders.
The American Hereford Association, with headquarters in Kansas City, Mo., is one of the largest U.S. beef breed associations. The not-for-profit organization along with its subsidiaries — Certified Hereford Beef (CHB) LLC, Hereford Publications Inc. (HPI) and American Beef Records Association (ABRA) — provides programs and services for its members and their customers, while promoting the Hereford breed and supporting education, youth and research. For more information about the Association, visit Hereford.org.
Note: pictures available by request. Contact Angie Stump Denton at firstname.lastname@example.org or (785) 562-6197.
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