Nestled in the productive Green Hills of Northern Missouri near the city of Milan, Jim and Sherry Brinkley, their daughter Crystal, their son Justin, and their three grandchildren Chloe, Brae and Ayden Brinkley, have put together a diversified agricultural enterprise that should sustain their family's future for many more generations yet to come. With Sherry's family history with the famous Stockyards at Kansas City and Jim's ongoing work with the Smithfield plant in Milan, the outstanding Angus herd they have built is only one component of a family commitment to the land and an agricultural way of life.
As 2017 has arrived at Brinkley Angus Ranch, two of the greatest herd sires in the history of the program now call this their home. Both sired by A A R Ten X 7008 S A from great cows, they are both breed leaders in the population and among the sons of that famous sire.
The X man superhero for breeding virgin heifers is Xceptional. Sired by Ten X from a dam by Objective, the now-deceased dam of Xceptional was Three Trees' pick of the first calf heifers at Connealy Angus Ranch where she had the highest $Beef value index of that age group at that time and her maternal brother Connealy Premium Product was a past selection of ABS Global from the Connealy herd.
Carrying on a cow family of great fertility and added scrotal circumference, the $60,000 grandam of Xceptional was a McKellar "Pick of the Bull Dams" at Connealy Angus that was a fourth generation Pathfinder Dam and a maternal sister to his dam that is also a McKellar foundation donor produced the Knoll Crest and McKellar herd sire Connealy Beacon, a long-time leader among active Angus sires for Scrotal Circumference EPD.
Recording the Number 3 Calving Ease Direct EPD among 424 sons of his sire among active sires as of March of 2017, Xceptional records the Number 4 $Beef value among Ten X sons with a double digit CED. Combining the Number 6 Yearling Weight EPD among Ten X sons with the Number 7 Weaning Weight EPD, $Weaned calf value index and Marbling score EPD, Xceptional ranks among the top 16 sons of Ten X for $Beef value index to make him a rare and valuable breeding tool that touches every base the beef industry expects from Angus genetics.
Xceptional is a bull that can be bred to heifers with complete confidence whose daughters should be exceptional young cows. Contact Jim Brinkley about breeding your virgin heifers to Xceptional in 2017.
The X man superhero for breeding cows is Xfinity. Sired by Ten X from the famous power cows Blackbird 8809 at Vintage, maternal brothers to Xfinity include the featured ABS sire V A R Reserve, the $250,000 half interest ORIgen sire V A R Generation 2100 and the $100,000 half interest Accelerated Genetics sire V A R Index 3282 and his dam has produced more than $3,000,000 of progeny sales value at Vintage Angus Ranch where she is a cornerstone of the Angus breed.
Xfinity was Jim's choice from the 2014 Vintage Bull Sale in California and he was a member of the embryo flush that included the record-setting V A R Frontier and the $42,000 half interest V A R Ranger with his full brother V A R Foreman selling half interest for $42,500 as Lot 1 bull of the 2015 Vintage Bull Sale.
As of this writing, there have been 25 Xfinity calves born from first calf heifers in four contemporary groups with AHIR data and they have an average calving ease score or 1.0 that indicates that they ALL been born unassisted with 55 calves in eight contemporary groups recording an average weaning ratio of 103 while 40 calves in five contemporary groups have an average yearling ratio of 104 and 46 progeny scanned in five contemporary groups have an average %IMF ratio of 107 and an average URE ratio of 102.
Xfinity has been a "customer satisfaction" sire for Brinkley Angus Ranch and he ranks top 1% of active Angus sires for Yearling Weight EPD, Marbling score EPD, $Grid value index and $Beef value index with a top 2% ranking for Weaning Weight EPD, maternal Milk EPD and $Feedlot value index and a top 5% for Rib Eye are measure EPD, top 10% for hot Carcass Weight EPD and $Weaned calf value index with a top 15% rank for Residual Average Daily Gain EPD, the best predictor of feed efficiency.
As of March 2017, among 424 sons of Ten X among active Angus sires, Xfinity records the Number 6 $Grid value index, the Number 7 Yearling Weight EPD, the Number 8 Weaning Weight EPD and the Number 9 Marbling score EPD, ranking among the top 25 for $Beef value index.
Through the ownership of sires like the X-men that rank at the pinnacle of the Angus population for the traits that generate economic return in the beef industry along with the use of genomic testing and selection technology, Brinkley Angus Ranch is setting the pace for improvement in the end product that ultimately creates and drives the entire value chain of beef production.
Brinkley Angus Ranch offers sincere congratulations to Haley Fitzpatrick of Wheeling, Missouri who purchased three steers from the 2013 Brinkley Angus Ranch calf crop that were purebred bulls that Jim Brinkley decided were not up to par for one reason or another to be sold as bulls in the annual Brinkley Angus Ranch production sale.
Haley obviously did a fantastic job feeding and developing her steers as all three were eventually graded USDA Prime and earned the significant premiums that accompany that grade. Two of the steers were entered and shown by Haley in the 2014 Missouri State Fair carcass competition where they were the ONLY two steers in the competition to grade USDA Prime and one of them was chosen the Reserve Grand Champion of the Quality Hotel/Restaurant Window division with a live weight of 1,345 pounds, an 856 pound hot carcass weight for a 63.9% dressing percentage with a 14.4 square inch rib eye area for a USDA Yield Grade of 2.99 with a slightly abundant 20 marbling score to achieve his USDA Prime Quality Grade. Haley's second steer in the competition had even more marbling with a score of slightly abundant 80 and weighed 1,420 pounds live for a hot carcass weight of 867 pounds.
With a 900 to 1,000 hot carcass that grades USDA Prime often having as much or more than $200 more actual value than the same carcass that grades USDA Choice, we are pleased to see that the emphasis we have placed upon Marbling EPD and $Beef value index really does work to make money for our valued customers!
We have been bull customers of Brinkley Angus Ranch from the very beginning and only have Brinkley Bulls in our cow herd. We love the performance we get from our calves on feed and get an outstanding group of replacement females to choose from to place back in our herd. Jim and Sherry offer outstanding service and a guarantee on their bulls that is second to none. When you buy a Brinkley Bull you do not just buy a bull, you buy a program that remains with you for years to come. We have and will continue to build our herd on Brinkley Genetics.
Pat, Cindy, Jeremy, and Heather Mosley.
In January of 2017, a white paper entitled "Field-Testing $Beef in Purebred Angus Cattle" was released from the results of a joint project conducted by Gardiner Angus Ranch, Top Dollar Angus, Inc., Triangle H Grain & Cattle Co. and Zoetis, Inc. The following excerpts highlight the results that validate the proper use of selection tools in cattle breeding in the real world!
Almost fifteen years have passed since the American Angus Association introduced its $Beef index ($B) to the U.S. beef industry. This index was designed primarily for use by commercial cattlemen to characterize genetic differences from weaning to harvest in registered Angus cattle. $B is both biologically and economically relevant, as well as being simple to use. Higher $B values indicate faster growth and more favorable carcass traits in the growing, finishing, and harvest phase of production. High $B cattle grow faster and more efficiently than their low $B counterparts. They also produce more valuable carcasses. Access to such an easy-to-use tool, which increases multi-trait genetic merit, has proven of great worth to commercial cattle producers and Angus breeders alike. Broad use of $B has resulted in the creation of more valuable Angus breeding stock, bearing fruit across the country in the form of better feeding and better carcass cattle that generate more net dollars to be shared across industry segments.
The authors have long believed that $B is highly effective in characterizing Angus genetics from weaning through harvest. High $B Angus outstrip low $B genetics with great consistency. We have witnessed such differences time and again. However, we also recognize the importance of real-world comparisons that make such differences observable for other cattle producers. To that end, the current field study was conducted as "proof of concept" research. Our objective was simply to compare High $B Angus genetics to Low $B Angus in a typical production setting. We sought to minimize environmental influences by raising the two genetic groups as much the same as possible.
How rapidly the cattle would gain weight and how their carcasses would compare was of particular interest since physical traits and financial outcomes are tightly connected and both are of great importance. We captured numerous data points throughout the study, including a wide range of phenotypic metrics as well as DNA scores. Allowing both High $B and Low $B cattle to fully express their genetic potential, then comparing the results, was the singular goal we sought to achieve.
We expected the results would speak for themselves, and they do indeed.
All 43 animals raised and harvested for this study were the result of embryo transfer. Each animal had a registered Angus sire and a registered Angus dam, providing a more complete understanding of the genetic merit of the test animals. Both the top and bottom sides of the pedigree were known and genetically quantified via American Angus Association EPDs and $Indexes. Low $B embryos were purchased in 2013 and 2014 from Angus breeders that had "dated" embryos in their frozen inventory which met our criteria as being low in growth and carcass merit. High $B embryos were accessed from Gardiner Angus Ranch (GAR), Ashland, Kansas, and were identical to the sire/dam matings GAR was making for its own breeding program at the time embryos were implanted into randomly-allocated recipient dams during the summer of 2014. We targeted a $100 difference in pedigree-average $B between the two genetic groups, and came close to meeting this objective as detailed in the next section.
Calves were born in a 44-day window from April 8th through May 22nd in 2015. Recipient dams with research calves at side remained on native pasture through weaning in the late fall. Post-weaning calves were treated with typical respiratory and clostridial vaccines and implanted with Ralgro. Winter and spring nutrition included wheat pasture and a growing ration, comprised of wheat silage, dried distiller's grains, and alfalfa hay. Rates of gain on all cattle were favorable from birth through 13-14 months of age when the cattle were shipped from GAR to the feedlot.
All cattle were placed on feed June 6, 2016 at Triangle H East Feedlot, located south of Garden City, Kansas. The two $B groups were fed together (mixed pen of steers and heifers), treated with a standard implant protocol, and harvested in three drafts, targeting 0.50 inches in average backfat. Harvest dates ranged from late September through early November 2016.
The research group included 18 High $B steers (67%) and heifers (33%) and 25 Low $B cattle of both sexes (60% steers, 40% heifers). Cattle were harvested at National Beef in Liberal, Kansas, at which time detailed carcass data was collected. Carcasses were valued on the U.S. Premium Beef grid. Base market price adjustments were made in the financial evaluation portion of the study to standardize prices across harvest groups.
High $B cattle outperformed their Low $B counterparts in every performance metric evaluated.
The pedigree average $B difference was $93.69 between the two groups ($141.12 versus $47.40), which represents the expected post-weaning difference in progeny value of the research cattle. Since the study evaluated the animals themselves (not their progeny), the expected value difference between the High $B and Low $B groups is twice their pedigree average $B difference or $187.38 per head (2 x $93.69 = $187.38, which is the $B difference expressed in breeding value terms).
This dollar amount turned out to be a reasonable prediction for how the cattle would perform. The study documented a conservative-leaning difference of $215.47 per head, favoring the High $B group.
Following are detailed results by category.
High $B steers and heifers exhibited a lifetime advantage of 0.158 pounds in weight-per-day-of-age (WDA) compared to their Low $B counterparts.
Faster growth leads to more pay weight, greater efficiency, and younger ages at harvest. All of these advantages were apparent in the study and contributed to the superior financial performance of the High $B Group.
Age at Harvest.
High $B cattle averaged 15.9 days younger at harvest.
This difference is beneficial in at least two ways. First, it saves feed and yardage. Nearly 16 days of covering animal maintenance expenses were avoided. Second, it reduces interest costs on borrowed funds often utilized during the finishing phase of production. A reasonable estimate of this cost savings is $3.06 per day (average per head cost of both groups while in the feedlot), which translates to $48.65 per head ($3.06 x 15.9 days), favoring the High $B genetic group.
Pounds always pay.
Carcass weight was evaluated in two ways. In both cases, the High $B group demonstrated a significant advantage. On a "non-age constant" basis, High $B cattle produced 27 more pounds of carcass weight despite being over two weeks younger when harvested. More total pounds with less time and less cost is an easily understood benefit the High $B genetics provided. Had these cattle been harvested on an "age-constant" basis, the carcass weight advantage would have increased to 56 pounds for the High $B group.
Both groups of cattle in the study graded very well in absolute terms. Credit that outcome to favorable birth-to-harvest management both nutritionally and health-wise.
Even so, the High $B group outdid their Low $B contemporaries by 227 points of marbling score.
This difference resulted in larger grid premiums for quality grade, and directly contributed to superior carcass value among the High $B animals.
The actual USDA Quality Grade results for the two groups were:
High $B: 72% USDA Prime, 28% Certified Angus Beef (Premium Choice), 0% USDA Low Choice, 0% USDA Select
Low $B: 0% USDA Prime, 52% Certified Angus Beef (Premium Choice), 44% USDA Low Choice, 4% USDA Select
Producing genetically superior cattle that excel in both marbling and muscling is possible.
The High $B group did exactly that compared to the Low $B cattle. Marbling scores were higher as discussed above. Ribeye areas were also larger by 1.41 square inches. This muscling advantage improves red meat yield, and helps avoid Yield Grade 4 discounts on the grid.
Actual ribeye sizes are shown below for the two groups in square inches.
Steers High $B: 15.05 square inches, Heifers High $B: 14.70 square inches
Steers Low $B: 13.59 square inches, Heifers Lot $B: 13.39 square inches
Difference for steers: 1.46 square inches, difference for heifers: 1.31 square inches
A goal of the project was to feed both genetic groups to the same fat endpoint.
This objective was accomplished. There was not a statistically significant difference in measured backfat between the 12th and 13th rib. Both $B groups were very near industry averages. Steers averaged 0.5 inches of backfat, with heifers slightly over 0.6 inches.
Because of their superior muscle and equal external fat (and despite heavier carcass weights), the High $B genetic group produced a statistically significant advantage for Yield Grade.
Lower numeric Yield Grades are favorable, and the difference between the two groups was -0.46 YG units, or almost half a Yield Grade score.
Virtually all industry grids pay premiums for YG 1s and YG 2s, while discounting YG 4s and YG 5s.
High $B: 0% YG1, 67% YG2, 28%YG3, 6% YG4
Low $B: 0% YG1, 20% YG2, 52% YG3, 28% YG4
Pounds, marbling, and red meat yield are the largest contributors to carcass value.
The High $B group excelled their Low $B Angus cousins in all of these categories, resulting a very large difference of $166.82 per head. This tremendous result speaks for itself. Genetics do make all the difference, and the EPDs and $Indexes published by the American Angus Association are extremely useful tools in helping both seedstock and commercial producers create more valuable cattle.
Carcass value superiority ($166.82 per head in greater revenue) combined with measured feed/yardage savings ($48.65 per head in lower production costs) gave the High $B group a total financial advantage of $215.47 per head versus the Low $B group.
As mentioned above, this amount is reasonably close to the projected pedigree-average $B difference between the two genetic groups when expressed in breeding value terms ($187.38 per head).
$B did its job well, and even leaned conservative compared to actual field test results.
Additional dollars related to lifetime feed efficiency could also be credited to the High $B group, but such an advantage was not quantified in this study. Since the High $B cattle grew faster, they undoubtedly grew more efficiently from birth to harvest. Faster growing cattle are well known for that. It is noteworthy that the WDA advantage with the High $B cattle versus Low $B group was nearly identical to the WDA difference between the steers and heifers in this study (0.158 and 0.153 pounds, respectively). Steers are generally 7% to 10% more feed efficient than heifers. Thus, it is quite likely that the High $B genetic cattle grew more efficiently by a similar magnitude.
Conducting real-world genetic comparisons are expensive and time consuming, but such evaluations yield valuable information to those who desire to use EPDs and $Indexes to their best advantage. This field test was designed to compare High $B and Low $B Angus genetics in a commercial production setting. The quantified financial difference between the High $B and Low $B groups aligned well with the amount predicted by the pedigree average $B differences when expressed in breeding value terms ($215.47 versus $187.38 per head).
This outcome provides meaningful evidence that EPDs and $Indexes correctly represent genetic and financial differences from animal to animal or group to group. Angus EPDs and $Indexes are more than "numbers on a page." They can be relied upon to produce real-world results.
The physical performance and financial results in this study well reflect the extreme genetic differences found between High $B and Low $B cattle. Most importantly, these results should help cattle producers realize that the tools they have at their fingertips (EPDs, $Indexes, and DNA test results) are indeed powerful tools toward the creation of more valuable cattle. The authors believe the U.S. beef industry will continue to aggressively use these tools in the years ahead, resulting in sizable benefits for producers, feeders, packers, and beef consumers.
For our customers that have purchased Brinkley Angus bulls in the past and now have cow herds with their genetics at work, we are looking forward to aligning customers with the specifications of the Top Dollar Angus brand program. We believe that Tom Brink and this new and innovative program can allow our customer to be rewarded for the added value of their calves as the national cow herd grows and added supply places added pressure on prices.
Would you like your feeder calves to have more name recognition in the marketplace? How about having access to a network representing over 40 feedyards that intend to buy more than one million head of high-end Angus feeder calves during the next year? If that sounds like a ticket to receiving "top dollar" when you sell your calves or yearlings, the Top Dollar Angus program could be right for you.
Top Dollar Angus is a genetics certification and marketing company focused exclusively on the best Angus-influenced feeder cattle/calves in the industry. To qualify, feeder cattle/calves must contain two or more generations of Angus genetics with growth and carcass traits in the top 25% of the breed. This new program is similar to Certified Angus Beef®, except that Top Dollar Angus does its "branding" in the feeder cattle and calf market. It works by certifying calf crops that meet program requirements on the farm or ranch, enabling these cattle to be marketed using the Top Dollar Angus brand name and logo. Top Dollar Angus feeder cattle are eligible to receive a $50 per head premium (sometimes more) over the average market when sold to partner feedyards. One group of Top Dollar Angus steer calves recently sold on Superior Video Auction for $67 per head above the average market for their weight and location. Another group was forward-sold for a $52 per head premium.
Why are so many profit-minded cattle feeders interested in purchasing Top Dollar Angus calves and yearlings? It's because these cattle perform very well both in the feedyard and on value-based grids. Top Dollar Angus cattle consistently deliver rapid growth and high quality grades. That puts extra dollars in cattle feeders' pockets, which are passed back to cow-calf producers in the form of price premiums over and above the average market.
Cattle feeders have grown tired of the guesswork that comes with undocumented feeder cattle. They get too many surprises from group to group, even though the cattle may look the same and have the same color hide (often black). That's why the genetic certification of high-end Angus feeder cattle is a concept whose time has come. The cattle industry needs to differentiate the best Angus genetics from the rest, which is what Top Dollar Angus is all about.
Should you consider Top Dollar Angus certification for your calves? Absolutely--YES! If you've consistently invested in high-performing Angus genetics, we can make your calf crop stand out from the pack, and give you access to the Top Dollar Angus premium feedyard network. For more information, please contact Tom Brink at 303-478-4331 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.