AI'ing with Select Sires in Northern Nevada

70 miles south of the nearest town, down miles of gravel road lays a heifer development lot where moderate, easy keeping heifers are developed.

A tractor with a bale chopper delivers alfalfa rations grown on nearby circles and fields of wheel line.  Electricity is found only at the pump; for anything else you'll need to bring your own. A generator makes the chute hum, and a separate generator keeps the thaw units warm.

As heifers come in heat, and their Estrotect patches turn color; they're pulled. Work is done horseback; quietly.  Except for the small swirls of dust made my hooves, you wouldn't know anyone was there.  Pens of cattle are sorted; horses cut, riders pull and hand motions dictate in or out.  Good movement creates good movement, and before long a pen of heifers are close up; ready to breed.

The Select Sires crew suits up; attire is varying but one thing remains consistent - the AI glove and a positive, team oriented attitude.  The goal is common; get heifers bred accurately & efficiently.

Ellison Ranching has a lot going on this time of year; and while they can spare a crew to pull heats and bring cattle to the alley; the rest of the jobs are filled by a crew from Select Sires.  Once heifers are in the alley, we take over.  Patches are pulled, shots of GnRH are given if needed, and cattle are lined up to go into the barn.  It's a dance, and everyone knows their routine and part.  Just like the cattle; good movement creates good movement.  The crew talks when communication is needed but otherwise keeps their head down and does their job. 

A four man barn is run, with one person thawing and everyone trading out after 50 heifers.  The crew who trades out swaps places with the crew bringing cattle to give their arms a break.  This happens over and over until the last heifer goes through the barn.  One by one, heifers come to the barn, get AI'ed and leave to go back to a pen to eat.  Stress is kept to a minimum, straws are thawed the same way every time, and timing and target are at a forefront.

 Saturday morning, we had a chance to visit with some of Ellison Ranching's Board of Directors before we started the first set of the day.  It was neat to get their take on the event.

  Cold drinks iced in coolers quench throats on warm May days in the high desert; snacks shared space on the prep table with replacement gloves and rolls of towels.  A crew of 10+ pitched canvas tents in the corner of an alfalfa field adjoining the feedlot, slept on cots, fellowshiped around a campfire, and ate meals cooked out of a bumper pull horse trailer.  In between breedings, the crew restocked the barn, visited with the ranch crew, or took a nap in their teepee.

For us; it was a family affair.  We're fortunate that Ira (Ellison's GM) is the son of a ranch manager and believes that exposure is important.  Clint grew up in a similar situation (his dad managed ranches before later in life buying cows & running his own ranch) and we always say "How are we to raise future ranch managers, who don't have a family ranch to go back to, if we don't expose them early?"

We are grateful for that shared value.


Success is reason enough. 

Thank you to Ellison Ranching for allowing us to help them with their reproductive success.

All pictures above are from the weekend we spent on Ellison Ranching's Cottonwood Ranch, an hour south of Battle Mountain, Nevada.  .

If you want reproductive success to be your reason, Select Sires wants to help you. 
Contact Clint at (541) 609-0167.

This has always been Andy Anderson's project; and with his passing this spring everyone wanted to make him proud.  We hope we did and we hope he enjoyed watching over us....


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