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Management

WBCIA continues bull test traditions, makes some improvements

Shoshoni – With nearly 30 bulls on test representing five states, Bob Pingetzer says that this year’s Wyoming Beef Cattle Improvement Association (WBCIA) bull test has gone well.

“The weights were a little lighter than they have been in the past for gains, partly due to the weather,” Pingetzer comments, “but the quality of the semen is probably the best it has ever been.”

This year

“We have cattle here from Idaho, Montana, Utah, Wisconsin and Wyoming,” he notes, “and if you count the junior members, we have close to 30 bulls.”

Pingetzer says the majority of the bulls on test are Angus bulls. However, there are Red Angus and some Gelbvieh cross cattle on test this year, as well.

While the test has been run largely the same as in years past, Pingetzer noted that feeding changed slightly this year.

“We fed the bulls like they were all-natural,” says Pingetzer. “We didn’t use any antibiotics or ionophores in the feed.”

If cattle required any veterinary care, they were treated as necessary, but they were not fed the antibiotics and ionophores as they had been in the past.

Pingetzer mentioned that while he isn’t certain whether changing the feeding strategy affected semen results, he feels that it did impact the gain of the bulls.

Selling bulls

Pingetzer notes that this year’s marks 28 years of the sale, and WBCIA has continued its focus on calving ease bulls.

“People come after calving ease bulls here because we are really strict on that,” he says, “but there are some really good cattle that sell really reasonably otherwise.”

Because of the strong focus on calving ease bulls, cow bulls sell at much more affordable rates.

“People are overlooking cow bulls just because they are looking for calving ease,” comments Pingetzer. 

Though bulls may see better gains or perform at a higher level in the test, he notes that heifer bulls may bring twice as much from the sale.

“It is really significant,” he comments. “People are coming after heifer bulls. If someone needs cow bulls, they are very affordable at the WBCIA bull test sale.”

Sale 

“For breeding purposes, this year’s bulls are as good of bulls as we have had,” says Pingetzer, adding, “The quality is pretty similar to the past.”

This year’s sale will be held on April 6 at 1 p.m. at Pingetzer’s Bull and Heifer Development Center in Shoshoni. 

With 110 bulls up for sale, buyers have the option to attend the auction or bid online thought DVAuction. Buyers wishing to utilize the online option should visit dvauction.com to register and for more information. 

All bulls in the sale will be performance, ultrasound, BVD, semen and PAP tested prior to sale.

WBCIA activities

The Wyoming Beef Cattle Improvement Association (WBCIA) was established in January 1984 to support beef cattle production in Wyoming. Since then, the group has continued with the same goal.

Under their August 2003 strategic plan, the WBCIA defined their focus as, “To improve Wyoming beef cattle to meet the current and future demands of the beef cattle industry and enhance the financial opportunity for Wyoming beef cattle producers.”

As part of that plan, they identified four targets to accomplish their goals.

First, they look to maintain and improve accuracy and efficiency of production. By focusing on traits that are economically important, WBCIA looks to select those cattle that can improve production. 

They also work to encourage producer education, as well as research and development related to improving beef cattle.

Next, WBCIA cooperates with industry associations and organizations to promote the beef industry.

Finally, the organization encourages the development of marketing strategies based on the genetic merit of cattle. 

As a result, they have organized a nine-member board to work to accomplish their goals.

Saige Albert is managing editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup and can be contacted at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..