The Top Notch cow herd is heavily influenced by Sitz Alliance 6595, Connealy Onward, Image Maker, SAV Bismarck, New Trend, EXT, and New Design 036. We believe the mother cow should be phenotypically correct, moderate in frame with lots of volume, good uddered, good feet and wean off a 700-pound calf. We also want a cow with a balanced set of EPD's. We don't believe in selecting for one trait.
Our cows and calves are summered on native grass, from May through October, depending on the year. We wean the calves around the first of October. The bull calves are shipped to the feedlot located at Peterson Grain and Cattle north of Havre, Montana. The bulls in the feedlot are expected to gain three pounds per day. A third or more of the bulls are marketed as steers. We keep the top end of the heifers as replacements and sell the rest as commercial. Usually, one of our very top heifers is consigned to the NILE Angus Female Sale in Billings, Montana.
The cows are maintained on grass-alfalfa hay. After calving, we will feed a protein supplement to help with breed-back, milking, and condition. All the cows are synchronized and AI'd around the first of May. They are then turned out with the bulls for 45 days.
We run the cows and calves on Marvin's summer pasture in the Bear Paw Mountains as well as the home place.
Our cow herd is acclimated to the harsh conditions that northcentral Montana is known for.