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 phonotypically correct, moderate in frame with lots of volume, good uddered, good feet and wean off a 600 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 starting in May throgh 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. We expect the bulls to gain three pounds per day. We sell at least the bottom one third end of the bulls as steers. We keep the top end of the heifers and sell the rest as commercial heifers. We consign our very top heifer(s) to the NILE in Billings, Montana. Our replacement heifers are wintered here at the ranch. They are fed a quality hay with a grain supplement.
The cows are maintained on grass-afalfa 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 pasture in the Bear Paw Mountains, the home place and some leased land.