Seedstock operators, Redland Angus raises range bulls
Worland – After growing up on commercial cattle operations, Kendrick Redland began raising registered Black Angus bulls in 1979 and has continued to do so since.
“I like genetics, so I got started in the registered business,” says Kendrick. “I started raising bulls five or six years before and met Sharon, and then we continued together.”
Both Kendrick and Sharon were raised on commercial operations in the area, and they strive to produce a bull ranchers everywhere can utilize.
“We like cattle that work in a range environment,” Kendrick explains. “Coming from commercial ranching backgrounds gave us pretty good insight on what works.”
By following a type that works in a range environment, Redland Angus provides customers with a quality product that stays consistent year after year.
“We have certain bloodlines and a certain type that works,” Kendrick says. “We concentrate on staying true to that type.”
The Redlands look for a moderate, deep-bodied animal with a lot of rib and quarter. They look for cattle that stay in good condition with the marginal resources provided on the Wyoming range without additional inputs.
Good fleshing ability is essential for the environment they work in.
“This is what we believe in and breed for,” Kendrick says. “The numbers on our cattle are not extreme in any way.”
“When we started, both of us knew what we wanted to do,” Sharon says. “Right out of high school, Kendrick started raising bulls. My aunt and uncle had a registered Hereford operation, so I had some background with the registered side of ranching, as well.”
For Kendrick, genetics and registered cattle were always an area of interest.
“I naturally gravitated toward the registered animals,” he explains, “but we wanted to run them like commercial cows.”
The Redlands focus on cattle that are built for Wyoming rangelands.
Redland Angus have two bunches of cows – one group that starts calving in March and the other the middle of June.
“The bunch of cows that teaches us the most about how our genetics work are the June calvers,” Kendrick explains. “They run out on the range year-round.”
They run the calvers with their mothers as long as possible – as long as the feed resources are available – through the winter months.
“We wean those calves and let the cows go through the rest of the winter,” he continues. “We usually get to the middle of December or beginning January before we pull the calves off.”
While they get to see the results of the genetic selection in the June calving cows, Kendrick adds that they also utilize the same genetics in the spring calving herd.
“We feed the spring calving cows two or three months of the year, depending on our grass situation,” he notes.
Redland’s first bull sale is held the third Saturday in January every year, when the bulls from the spring calving cows are sold.
“We have people who like the yearling bulls, and they can get those at our January sale,” Kendrick says. “In November, they can buy older bulls from our June-calving cows that are run over a year.”
After their bull sale, they offer free delivery of the bulls to buyers.
The spring cows calve out on river bottom near their home place.
“They are still calving out,” says Sharon, “but they are closer to home, in case we get a spring storm.”
After spring calving, the summer calving cows are trailed to their mountain pastures in the middle of May, where they summer at about 7,500 feet.
“We take them partway up the slope of the mountain, and then we start AI’ing the spring-calving cows,” says Sharon. “When we are done AI’ing, we take the June calving cows the rest of the way up, and I move onto the mountain.”
The spring calving cows are also moved to the high mountain pastures after they are AI’ed.
Sharon spends her summers on the mountains with the cattle, checking fences and making sure that the cattle do well. However, they don’t constantly monitor the cattle.
“It is a true range calving operation,” Kendrick adds.
The June calving cows are AI’ed on the mountain in September, and all the cows are brought off the mountain toward the end of the month.
“By the time we come off in September, we are starting to get the summer bulls ready for the November Sale,” Sharon continues.
After their November bull sale, held the Saturday before Thanksgiving each year, the cycle starts again.
“It’s a pretty good cycle of life,” Sharon adds.
At the same time the cows spend all their time on Wyoming ranges, Redland Angus bulls are only fed minimally to keep them in good shape.
“We have a nutritionist who helps develop the rations we use to develop the bulls,” Kendrick says. “He says that this group of bulls requires less grain than any others he works with. They are very forage efficient, and that is what we are shooting for.”
Hearing that they are achieving their goals is heartening, adds Sharon, noting that many producers also comment on the consistency of their bulls and their high degree of natural muscling.
“It is always nice to hear feedback from other people,” says Kendrick, “and we are very confident in the type of cattle we are breeding and what they do.”
Rather than follow trends, Kendrick notes that they have identified a type and continue to improve their cattle toward that goal.
“One of the biggest challenges for ranching today is in government regulations,” Kendrick comments. “The people we deal with at the BLM are really great. We are very blessed.”
By taking care of the ground and working to improve resources, the Redlands know that they can continue to work to accomplish the multiple use goals of BLM.
Kendrick adds, “Our other concern is regulations, like those brought on by EPA.”
Moisture concerns also plague Washakie County.
“It is a double-edged sword, believe it or not,” says Kendrick. “The moisture allows us to graze out year-round, and while we never have an overabundance of forage, it seems like we always have enough.”
Kendrick and Sharon both mention that they appreciate running registered Angus cattle for a number of reasons.
“For me, I like that we are able to help people keep their cost of production down,” Kendrick comments. “Our genetics are honest, real-world genetics, and the cattle are able to utilize the resources that the ranch provides in an economical fashion.”
Cutting cost without cutting performance continues to be at the top of the Redlands’ priorities.
For Sharon, she says the opportunity to work outside in an environment where she gets to do something new each day is a great opportunity.
“I love the feeling of caring for something and being a steward of the animals and the land,” Sharon comments. “It is rewarding.”