Kit West and discovers niche market by developing replacement heifers through Heifer.pro | TSLN.com

Kit West and discovers niche market by developing replacement heifers through Heifer.pro

When Kit West read that the average beef herd size in the U.S. was only 40 head, he saw an opportunity. “Producers with ranches that small only need to keep a few replacement heifers each year,” he says. “Where they need so few, it is not very economical to grow their own. That is where I come in.”

West and his family started a company called Heifer.pro, where ranchers can come and purchase quality replacement heifers in any number from one on up, or they can bring heifers to West, and he will grow and breed them at his facility.

West is a third-generation rancher who lives on the family ranch near Chugwater, WY. He became interested in growing replacement heifers while seeking ways to expand the family’s ranching operation. “We are in a transitional phase right now,” he explains. “My dad and one of his brothers want to retire from the operation. We are trying to keep our operation stable and expand it, and still provide them with enough money to retire.”

West said they actually started raising and purchasing replacement heifers to grow and sell a few years ago, and since they have done quite well with those, have decided to expand the business. West started a Web site last summer, http://www.heifer.pro, where he not only advertises what he has for sale, but also allows other ranchers to advertise their heifers for sale at no cost to them. “I advertise the Web site in most of the major agriculture newspapers, so it provides ranchers who list heifers for sale on the site free advertising,” he explains. “It is my way of helping the industry increase their cow numbers, and a way for me to market the heifers I have for sale.”

West said ultimately, his goal is to build a small social network of like-minded producers who can utilize the heifers he produces. “Right now, most of the ranchers I work with are here in Wyoming, but I am starting to get some interest from producers in other states like Montana and Kansas.”

The family cattle operation is primarily comprised of Red Angus and Black Angus cattle. “I hope to expand the number of bred heifers I have available, and be able to get into more breeds,” he explains. “I look for lots of 20-25 heifers, grow them, [artificially inseminate] them to a quality bull of their own breed, and sell them as bred heifers,” he says.

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West has a local artificial insemination (AI) technician, Kim Cullen, who pelvic measures and evaluates the heifers when he purchases them. “Anything that will not make a quality cow is turned into a feeder calf. Kim does the heat detection and AI’s them,” he explains. “If there are 100 head of heifers, she can synchronize them and have them bred up within a couple days. About 60-65 percent of them will be bred, while the rest will be bred using cleanup bulls.”

When Kit West read that the average beef herd size in the U.S. was only 40 head, he saw an opportunity. “Producers with ranches that small only need to keep a few replacement heifers each year,” he says. “Where they need so few, it is not very economical to grow their own. That is where I come in.”

West and his family started a company called Heifer.pro, where ranchers can come and purchase quality replacement heifers in any number from one on up, or they can bring heifers to West, and he will grow and breed them at his facility.

West is a third-generation rancher who lives on the family ranch near Chugwater, WY. He became interested in growing replacement heifers while seeking ways to expand the family’s ranching operation. “We are in a transitional phase right now,” he explains. “My dad and one of his brothers want to retire from the operation. We are trying to keep our operation stable and expand it, and still provide them with enough money to retire.”

West said they actually started raising and purchasing replacement heifers to grow and sell a few years ago, and since they have done quite well with those, have decided to expand the business. West started a Web site last summer, http://www.heifer.pro, where he not only advertises what he has for sale, but also allows other ranchers to advertise their heifers for sale at no cost to them. “I advertise the Web site in most of the major agriculture newspapers, so it provides ranchers who list heifers for sale on the site free advertising,” he explains. “It is my way of helping the industry increase their cow numbers, and a way for me to market the heifers I have for sale.”

West said ultimately, his goal is to build a small social network of like-minded producers who can utilize the heifers he produces. “Right now, most of the ranchers I work with are here in Wyoming, but I am starting to get some interest from producers in other states like Montana and Kansas.”

The family cattle operation is primarily comprised of Red Angus and Black Angus cattle. “I hope to expand the number of bred heifers I have available, and be able to get into more breeds,” he explains. “I look for lots of 20-25 heifers, grow them, [artificially inseminate] them to a quality bull of their own breed, and sell them as bred heifers,” he says.

West has a local artificial insemination (AI) technician, Kim Cullen, who pelvic measures and evaluates the heifers when he purchases them. “Anything that will not make a quality cow is turned into a feeder calf. Kim does the heat detection and AI’s them,” he explains. “If there are 100 head of heifers, she can synchronize them and have them bred up within a couple days. About 60-65 percent of them will be bred, while the rest will be bred using cleanup bulls.”

When Kit West read that the average beef herd size in the U.S. was only 40 head, he saw an opportunity. “Producers with ranches that small only need to keep a few replacement heifers each year,” he says. “Where they need so few, it is not very economical to grow their own. That is where I come in.”

West and his family started a company called Heifer.pro, where ranchers can come and purchase quality replacement heifers in any number from one on up, or they can bring heifers to West, and he will grow and breed them at his facility.

West is a third-generation rancher who lives on the family ranch near Chugwater, WY. He became interested in growing replacement heifers while seeking ways to expand the family’s ranching operation. “We are in a transitional phase right now,” he explains. “My dad and one of his brothers want to retire from the operation. We are trying to keep our operation stable and expand it, and still provide them with enough money to retire.”

West said they actually started raising and purchasing replacement heifers to grow and sell a few years ago, and since they have done quite well with those, have decided to expand the business. West started a Web site last summer, http://www.heifer.pro, where he not only advertises what he has for sale, but also allows other ranchers to advertise their heifers for sale at no cost to them. “I advertise the Web site in most of the major agriculture newspapers, so it provides ranchers who list heifers for sale on the site free advertising,” he explains. “It is my way of helping the industry increase their cow numbers, and a way for me to market the heifers I have for sale.”

West said ultimately, his goal is to build a small social network of like-minded producers who can utilize the heifers he produces. “Right now, most of the ranchers I work with are here in Wyoming, but I am starting to get some interest from producers in other states like Montana and Kansas.”

The family cattle operation is primarily comprised of Red Angus and Black Angus cattle. “I hope to expand the number of bred heifers I have available, and be able to get into more breeds,” he explains. “I look for lots of 20-25 heifers, grow them, [artificially inseminate] them to a quality bull of their own breed, and sell them as bred heifers,” he says.

West has a local artificial insemination (AI) technician, Kim Cullen, who pelvic measures and evaluates the heifers when he purchases them. “Anything that will not make a quality cow is turned into a feeder calf. Kim does the heat detection and AI’s them,” he explains. “If there are 100 head of heifers, she can synchronize them and have them bred up within a couple days. About 60-65 percent of them will be bred, while the rest will be bred using cleanup bulls.”

editor’s note: to learn more details about west’s program, visit http://heifer.pro. he can also be reached at 307-331-0357.

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