I took a little vacation time yesterday to go to a Seedstock Plus bull sale. The sale catalog I received a couple weeks ago had all the breeding info I needed. I studied the bull genetics and the lineage of my cows for about a week, then I circled 4 choices. This would be my list. Out of 150, these were the bulls I liked. These were the bulls I would bid on.
After traveling about 100 miles on icy roads, we arrived at the sale facility of AB Farms, Lathrop Missouri. I looked over the bulls. Hmmm... Looks like my time narrowing down my choices was well spent. I liked the bulls I had picked (the video shorts on the sale web page helped). The only question left, what would they bring?
This was a combination Angus, Balancer, and Gelbvieh sale. The bulls sold in that order. I wish I had been looking for Angus bulls. Less interest or bidding was shown towards the Angus, as everyone had come for the Balancers and Gelbviehs. I, of course, was in that group! As the first Registered Homozygous Black Balancer Bull walked into the ring, the auctioneer started off the bids at $1500, and the bidders commenced bidding. As the auctioneer rhythmically went 35,35,36,37,37, I reminded myself, that's not cents per pound! The final bid $4100.
Honey Bunches looked at me and asked, "was that one you wanted?" The answer, sadly, was "no". I was looking for a better one! I hoped the initial excitement and the prices, would die down as several bulls were sold, and my first pick approached the ring. No such luck. My hand, with my buyers card, stayed firmly in my lap as the bids went zooming past the $4K mark. I felt something in my back pocket. Reaching around and pulling it out, I found my checkbook had actually shrunk to half its original size!
The Balancer sales continued and I watched quietly. I did bid on one bull, but that was early in the bidding, and I just wanted people to know I did have a buyer number! I thumbed through the sale catalog. Maybe my one purebred Gelbvieh choice would go a little cheaper.
The Homozygous Black Bull stepped into the ring. Buyers cards filled the air. The bull danced a jig, the crowd did the wave, and as the bid reached $5100, the bull took a bow and left the ring. At least that's the way I remember it! Honey Bunches gave me a sad look. "I think we are done here", I told her.
On the trip home we discussed the sale. "I didn't think they would be so high", she said. I reminded her there were more sales coming up. "So you aren't disappointed?", she asked. "Nope". We drove through the gray, dreary day back to the farm. As I unhooked the cattle trailer, I looked over the fence at my recently acquired Balancer/Gelbvieh pairs. 8 of the ten calves are bulls. Not only are they black as night, they are huge and growing faster than any calves I have ever seen. "Next year", I think to myself, "next year".