AC Cattle Company: 2011 Black Hills Stock Show Supreme Champion Female honors
Sometimes, it pays to do your homework, which is exactly what Cam and Allen Stateler of AC Cattle Company did when they sought out another show to market their top-quality cattle.
“We were already exhibiting at the Iowa Beef Expo, the Nebraska Cattlemen’s Classic, and the Denver Stock Show,” Allen explains. “We were looking for another place to show and sell some of our cattle, and had heard good things about the Black Hills Stock Show. After visiting the show, we thought it looked like a good place to try.”
The second year the couple exhibited cattle at the BHSS, their decision paid off.
“Last year was only the second time we had participated in the BHSS, and we were honored with showing the Supreme Row Champion female,” Allen says. The heifer first was named Grand Champion Chiangus Female during the breed show.
AC Cattle Company is a joint partnership between Cam and Allen Stateler, and her parents Richard and Connie Behmer. The company, located in Hoskins, NE, is focused on producing the total package.
“Our tagline for AC Cattle Company is ‘The style you want. The performance you need,'” Allen says. “What we are trying to do is marry the two worlds of the show ring and commercial cattle business to produce commercial cattle that can still compete in the show ring, but have the performance to do well in the commercial business.”
Over half of the bulls produced at AC Cattle Company are sold to commercial operations. “We have sold bulls all over the United States from Utah to as far east as North Carolina,” he explains. “The majority of our bulls are marketed through shows and sales. It has worked out pretty well for us.
“Looking at the bull mass you would need to hold your own sale, we don’t know if we ever want to become that big,” he says. “We typically market 15-20 bulls each year, with the majority being sold at the National Western Stock Show, Black Hills Stock Show, Iowa Beef Expo and the Nebraska Cattlemen’s Classic. We also sell some bulls private treaty here at the home place.”
AC Cattle Company also sells some show heifers along with a few replacement heifers each year. “We run about 100 head of registered cows,” Allen says. “Mostly, they are Chi-Maine, Chi-Angus, Simmental cross, Angus and Charolais.
“We were building our herd until corn went to $7, and grass started becoming harder to come by,” he explains. “We have since switched gears and tried to maintain our calf numbers, but our core herd is headed toward becoming more of a donor herd.”
The family started an extensive embryo transfer program eight years ago by implanting embryos into other cooperator’s cows. Cam is the primary caretaker of the cattle, and leads the venture.
“Currently, we utilize all our own embryos,” he explains. “We haven’t marketed any embryos yet. This year, we will offer a flush at the Black Hills Stock Show Gold Rush sale.
“Although we currently utilize all our own embryos in-house, we hope to start selling some embryos in the future as we build up our inventory,” he notes.
The cows in the operation calve in the spring from February to March. Most of the bulls they produce are marketed as yearlings. Allen, who works as a nutritionist for Hubbard Feeds, says the bulls are developed on a moderate energy ration that allows them to reach their lean gain potential, without becoming overly conditioned.
“They are also developed so there are no negative affects on their longevity or how they do their job,” he adds.
The family focuses on selecting cattle with reproductive efficiency, but also ones that are structurally sound, and have some performance traits.
“I think it is our ability to strike a balance between performance and style that sets our operation apart from others,” Allen says. “The goal has been to find a way to promote what we produce here. It would be hard to sell the kind of bulls and show cattle we produce without getting out there and showing our cattle.”
Showing cattle at high-profile events like the BHSS and Denver have helped the business gain much needed exposure.
“A lot of our bulls go on to become not just herd sires, but semen sires, also,” he says. “We really need that exposure, and the ability to get our names out there, and that is what showing has done for us.”
In addition to marketing replacement cattle, the family also holds an annual club calf sale in the fall. The sale is held private treaty, and many of the prospects can be viewed on their Web site. The sale features both steers and show heifers, many that will go on to accomplish honors at the county and state level.
Editor’s note: For more information about AC Cattle Company, visit accattleco.com. Allen and Cam can be reached at 402-565-4308.