Circle A’s total operation encompasses over 25,000 acres and near 8,000 breeding females. Developing both a purebred-commercial and registered herd simultaneously has proven to have many advantages for both segments of the operation. The now 7,000 head commercial herd has provided a great, “real life” testing grounds for the registered seed stock herd. Circle A has done more than any beef seed stock operation in the world to accurately describe genetic differences for both output and input costs and develop a true profitability index. Profitable genetics can be rapidly identified and multiplied in the purebred-commercial population. Problem genetics are also quickly identified and eliminated reducing customer risks. Producing the kind of seed stock that Circle A desires to use in their own commercial herd keeps their finger on the pulse of the commercial man’s needs, and results in cattle that are not only top of the line genetics, but with built in functionality, productivity and longevity.
The cow herds operate in forage-based production systems averaging about two acres of primarily fescue grass per cow. The cattle are required to breed and wean a respectable calf with minimal supplementation, or face being culled without exception. Running about 500 cows per man, necessity traits are closely monitored and cows are strictly culled leaving no room for inferior udders, bad feet or poor temperaments.
Progeny testing the most promising genetics for themselves, other leading Angus breeders and ABS Global has resulted in a commercial cowherd backed by over two decades of pedigree and production history. Circle A’s commercial cowherd has yielded over 160,000 birth and weaning records and 60,000 carcass and ultrasound records, making them the largest contributor to the American Angus Association’s carcass database. But, it is their 29,000 heifer AI records, 24,000 cow stayability records, 3,800 shear force and 4,500 individual feed intakes that have allowed them to go where no other genetic supplier has gone.
Circle A has developed EPDs for heifer pregnancy, cow stayability, tenderness and feed intake, all representing the first of their kind in the Angus breed. This sizable population of cattle exquisitely documented for profitability, lead to the development of the Circle A Premium Bull, or CAPB, program. Dam’s eligible to produce a CAPB bulls must rank in the top 5% of the herd for profitability index. Intense selection pressure from a large herd heavily selected for overall profitability helps ensure that CAPB bulls will create value for Circle A customers.
In 2008 Circle A unveiled their CAPB Contract Production program for producers requiring 10 or more bulls annually. Contract production allows genetics to be better matched for environmental challenges, managerial resources, market targets and is ideal for operations looking to optimize the value of their genetic inputs and rest assured the quality and price of their seed stock will remain intact for the length of the contract. Circle A markets their CAPB and purebred bulls together as long-yearlings and coming twos after they have been ultra sounded, semen tested and carefully scrutinized for soundness.
Our cows work for a living and our bulls are built to last. We develop our bulls slowly and cull them stringently. We market 450 bulls annually at our two bull sales on the third Saturdays in March and October. We also market 450 bred heifers at each of these sales. They are sold in lots of five head, ultra sounded to calve within 10 days of one another and fetal sexed. Both the bulls and heifers are a great way to inject proven, profitable genetics into any commercial herd. This level of profitability-proven, data-driven genetics can only be found at Circle A Angus.