Turkey Ridge Shorthorns focus on commercial traits | TSLN.com

Turkey Ridge Shorthorns focus on commercial traits

Loretta Sorenson

A select few Turkey Ridge Shorthorns end up in a show ring somewhere in the Midwest. But Todd and Suzanne Koerner, who farm outside Freeman, SD, in Turner County, say their genetic pool has been built on traits that produce high quality commercial cows that fit in a cow-calf production environment.

“The cattle were, in a sense, my wife’s dowry,” Todd says. “She had three or four cows when we got married. They came from Suzanne’s father, Gordon Brockmueller. Gordon’s genetics went back to the Shorthorn herd his uncle developed.”

The Koerners can’t say for certain why their family chose to raise Shorthorns. From their own experience they believe the quality and hardiness of the cows were influencing factors.

“Shorthorns are really good mother cows,” Todd says. “They have good dispositions and there’s good marbling capacity in their meat. They cut well. Our genetics maybe stand out a bit in the Shorthorn industry because we’ve bred for the same genetic traits, overall maternal traits and nature of the cattle as a whole. Those are the traits Gordon’s uncle selected for. The disposition of our cows and bulls are what many of our buyers look for. Most of them go into a cross-breeding program. Some breeders emphasized show traits over the years and developed animals suited to the club calf industry. We made the right choice for us by choosing to stay with the more practical traits that buyers want in an animal going into a commercial operation.”

Moderate sized cows are one consistent trait the Koerners maintain in their genetic strategy.

“We’ve tried to eliminate any larger-framed cattle because they’re not as efficient in our operation as the smaller cow,” Todd says. “When we started our herd in 1987, the emphasis in the Shorthorn breed was toward larger-framed animals. We try to keep our cows around 1,200 pounds now. That size works well with our bottom line. We also make sure our cows breed back every year. If they don’t produce a live calf they don’t stay. We’re at a point where we’re able to cull more heavily than we used to so we maintain the best genetics. We test for TH and PHA, genetic defects that pertain to the Shorthorn breed.”

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A select few Turkey Ridge Shorthorns end up in a show ring somewhere in the Midwest. But Todd and Suzanne Koerner, who farm outside Freeman, SD, in Turner County, say their genetic pool has been built on traits that produce high quality commercial cows that fit in a cow-calf production environment.

“The cattle were, in a sense, my wife’s dowry,” Todd says. “She had three or four cows when we got married. They came from Suzanne’s father, Gordon Brockmueller. Gordon’s genetics went back to the Shorthorn herd his uncle developed.”

The Koerners can’t say for certain why their family chose to raise Shorthorns. From their own experience they believe the quality and hardiness of the cows were influencing factors.

“Shorthorns are really good mother cows,” Todd says. “They have good dispositions and there’s good marbling capacity in their meat. They cut well. Our genetics maybe stand out a bit in the Shorthorn industry because we’ve bred for the same genetic traits, overall maternal traits and nature of the cattle as a whole. Those are the traits Gordon’s uncle selected for. The disposition of our cows and bulls are what many of our buyers look for. Most of them go into a cross-breeding program. Some breeders emphasized show traits over the years and developed animals suited to the club calf industry. We made the right choice for us by choosing to stay with the more practical traits that buyers want in an animal going into a commercial operation.”

Moderate sized cows are one consistent trait the Koerners maintain in their genetic strategy.

“We’ve tried to eliminate any larger-framed cattle because they’re not as efficient in our operation as the smaller cow,” Todd says. “When we started our herd in 1987, the emphasis in the Shorthorn breed was toward larger-framed animals. We try to keep our cows around 1,200 pounds now. That size works well with our bottom line. We also make sure our cows breed back every year. If they don’t produce a live calf they don’t stay. We’re at a point where we’re able to cull more heavily than we used to so we maintain the best genetics. We test for TH and PHA, genetic defects that pertain to the Shorthorn breed.”

A select few Turkey Ridge Shorthorns end up in a show ring somewhere in the Midwest. But Todd and Suzanne Koerner, who farm outside Freeman, SD, in Turner County, say their genetic pool has been built on traits that produce high quality commercial cows that fit in a cow-calf production environment.

“The cattle were, in a sense, my wife’s dowry,” Todd says. “She had three or four cows when we got married. They came from Suzanne’s father, Gordon Brockmueller. Gordon’s genetics went back to the Shorthorn herd his uncle developed.”

The Koerners can’t say for certain why their family chose to raise Shorthorns. From their own experience they believe the quality and hardiness of the cows were influencing factors.

“Shorthorns are really good mother cows,” Todd says. “They have good dispositions and there’s good marbling capacity in their meat. They cut well. Our genetics maybe stand out a bit in the Shorthorn industry because we’ve bred for the same genetic traits, overall maternal traits and nature of the cattle as a whole. Those are the traits Gordon’s uncle selected for. The disposition of our cows and bulls are what many of our buyers look for. Most of them go into a cross-breeding program. Some breeders emphasized show traits over the years and developed animals suited to the club calf industry. We made the right choice for us by choosing to stay with the more practical traits that buyers want in an animal going into a commercial operation.”

Moderate sized cows are one consistent trait the Koerners maintain in their genetic strategy.

“We’ve tried to eliminate any larger-framed cattle because they’re not as efficient in our operation as the smaller cow,” Todd says. “When we started our herd in 1987, the emphasis in the Shorthorn breed was toward larger-framed animals. We try to keep our cows around 1,200 pounds now. That size works well with our bottom line. We also make sure our cows breed back every year. If they don’t produce a live calf they don’t stay. We’re at a point where we’re able to cull more heavily than we used to so we maintain the best genetics. We test for TH and PHA, genetic defects that pertain to the Shorthorn breed.”

editor’s note: for more about the koerners and their cattle, visit http://www.turkeyridgeshorthorns.com.

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