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Sunday, August 21, 2011

From Oklahoma to Kansas

Hey All,

One more pic from Hope and Ryan Pjesky's Ranch, Enid, Oklahoma before we headed for Ashland, Kansas. 

This is the typical 'large' form of transport for US ranchers.  It will hold 30 head of cattle each weighing around 700 - 800lb.  The photo is taken from the ground at the rear gate which is where the cattle are loaded.
Mode of stock transport in the USA
After lunch we hit the road for Kansas.
From Oklahoma to Kansas
Our first visit was to the Gardiner Angus Ranch in Ashland, with owner/operator Mark Gardiner.
Road travelled from Enid to Ashland
Gardiner Angus Ranch signpost
Mark Gardiner has a long family history of breeding the ideal Angus. They Artificially Inseminate (A.I.) their entire breeder herd and also sell semen from their many proven and selectively sired bulls.
Gardiner ranch Bulls ready for A.I.
Their feedlot was built, for finishing their saleable cattle and also to keep their bulls close to the A.I. shed.  Nothing is done by halves on this Ranch, including their feedlot, which is round, with pens tapering in to a centre yard. This is where the cattle are then sorted or the Bulls are moved to the A.I. shed.
Gardiner Angus Ranch feedlot
Their identification scheme is just as intense with the tags differentiated by colour, names, numbers, age, sex and sires.  After the Gardiner Angus Ranch we hit the road for Pratt.
From Ashland to Pratt, Kansas
Along the way we passed many windfarms which cover the Kansas Horizons.
One of many Kansas Windfarms
Then again, not the only thing you may see along the road!!
Roadside Sightings
Our next visit was to the Pratt Feed Yard where we were met with long-time manager Jerry Bohn.  
Cattle eating at the Pratt Feed Yard
Their feedlot has its own on-site mill where all of the cattle feed is customised.
Pratt Feed Yard Mill
Due to the drought they are also milling hay to use as a gap fill, due to lack of grain/corn.  Hay is fed into the mixer, chaffed and then added to the feed ratio for the entire feedlot.  The Pratt Feed Yard Mill produces 1 million pounds of feed a day, this coincidentally, is the same amount of feed that is fed out to the cattle.
Hay being milled into chaffe
The feedlot currently holds 38,000 head with 80% being customer owned.  The Pratt Feed Yard is not currently using any form of RFID tag but are exploring options to maximise on the value adding options. 

Catch you further along the track...
Cheers Rob

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