“Low Maintenance” is a term that seems to get thrown around quite a bit. We
strongly identify as having low maintenance cattle and feel that it is important for us to define
exactly what that means to us. Red Angus identifies maintenance energy in their suite of EPD’s.
And, while we have among the nation’s lowest average ME EPD herd, we generally put little
faith in EPD’s and ME cannot be an exception. Our view of low maintenance is much more
inclusive and complex. As our parents did for us and their parents did for them and their parents did for them and their parents did for them, we want to position the next generation of ranchers for success. In looking at the challenges of today and tomorrow, human capital jumps out as being our most glaring problem. As it gets more and more difficult to recruit young people to ranch country, it gets more and more difficult to fill ranch positions and to provide an acceptable range of services in town. As more and more services are lost, it becomes even more difficult to operate and more difficult to recruit young families. This is where our number one selection tool kicks in, (no it is not EPDs or DNA or ultra sound) NATURE. Our cows and heifers calve outside and unassisted. We have a no catch and keep policy (unless we’re fishing because we don’t understand the point of the catch and release craze). That is, if for any reason a cow or
heifer has to come to a head catch, they are culled. If a cow or heifer cannot get their calf up and
nursing quickly, they fall out and are culled. If a cow cannot take what is available to her and get
bred in a short breeding season, she falls out. We are forced to turn our head away from EPDs
and fads and sharply focus our eye on udders, disposition, feet, fleshing ability, and fertility. No
other type makes it through. What we are left with is a cow herd that can MAINTAIN itself
physically with minimal human intervention and can MAINTAIN itself numerically by having
very few opens and fall outs that require replacing. The goal is to own cows that, ultimately,
allow their owners to MAINTAIN an acceptable standard of living.
Low maintenance cow herd-cow herd that through natural selection requires minimal human
intervention to maintain itself physically and numerically.