BEEF Daily

We Ask What Makes A Cow Great? Plus, Power Tools & Western Art Up For Grabs


Today is the last day to enter to win power tools from PORTER-CABLE and BOSTITCH.

Amanda Radke PuppyAs I mentioned in an earlier blog post, our 13-year-old dog Allie passed away recently. It’s tough to replace an old friend and faithful companion like her, but my husband Tyler and I got a new puppy a month ago and we’re going about getting to know each other. Her name is Quinn, and we now are in the throes of puppy training.

The two experiences got me to thinking about the old adage, “You only get one good horse and one good dog in your lifetime, if you’re lucky.” While playing fetch with Quinn one day, I started to wonder if that rings true for cattle as well.

At the end of our lifetimes in the cattle business, will there be that one good cow that stands above the rest?

Obviously, we all hope that the vast majority of our cows are the good-doing kind -- the kind you feel confident bragging about at the coffee shop. But I imagine for many of you, myself included, there is still that one great cow that’s special to you. She’s the one that perhaps has a good calf every year, raises the biggest bull calves and has the sweetest disposition. She’s the one you’ll fondly remember.


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This week on BEEF Daily, we are hosting a photo caption contest using a photo of a herd bull I’m quite partial to. Readers were asked to caption the photo of this bull for a chance to win power tools from PORTER-CABLE and BOSTITCH.

  • The first-place winner will receive a four-tool combo kit worth $239 (shown at left), which includes a ½-in. drill/driver, 6½ -in. circular saw, a tiger reciprocating saw, and LED flashlight, with a compact lithium ion battery, a 4.0 amp/hour max pack lithium ion battery, a lithium ion standard charger, and a 6½-in. circular saw blade, and 6-in. 6TPI reciprocating saw blade, and a kit bag.
  • The second-place winner and one person selected via a general drawing of all participants will receive a two-tool combo kit worth $179. It includes a ½-in. drill/driver and ¼-in hex chuck impact driver, compact lithium ion batteries, a lithium ion standard charger, a double-ended bit tip, and a PH2 screwdriving bit. The contest ends at noon today, and we’ll announce our two winners tomorrow.

You can enter the contest here for a chance to win the power tools, and maybe get your Christmas shopping done early for that special someone.

As an added bonus, we will give away one limited-edition, signed and numbered, western art print, valued at $100. To be eligible to win the print, simply describe your favorite cow and what makes her great in the comments section below. One winner will be randomly selected from the entries.

So what makes a cow great? What makes her memorable? And how do you duplicate those results through an entire herd? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.


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Discuss this Blog Entry 5

on Oct 23, 2013

I have an 18 year old, that calves early every year, weans one of the heaviest calves regardless of bull used, is an easy keeper, but most importantly, if her newborn needs help nursing or needs treated, she stands in the field to let you do what needs to be done. As a result her heifer calves are easy to work around too. This is probably her last year, but she will never be forgotten on this farm. A whole herd like her would make life easy.

bob neese (not verified)
on Oct 23, 2013

#489, sired by a home raised "cleanup" bull, born in March of 1989, made that first and final "trip to town" in the winter of 2006.
She left, as her legacy, 15 calves she successfully raised. Every bull calf was retained and sold for a herd bull. Her very last heifer, produced at 16 years of age, proved to be her best. Like her mama, #125 has also earned Pathfinder status with the Angus Association.
Few cows will ever produce that last calf that is as good as all those preceding ones.
Few cows begin production with a perfect udder and after 15 calves still retain a perfect udder.
Few cows are capable of gaining days in the calving season each year, settling on the first A.I. service each year, and producing 15 calves that all raise the bar and help the average each year.
Few cows are capable of weaning over 50% of their body weight year in and year out, without fail, for that many years and calves.
#489 was one of those cows.
She was average size for my herd, about 1350 lbs. in her prime, 1250 lbs. at 16 years....easy fleshing, holding her condition, being a great mother that never needed help, raising healthy calves that never needed treatment, giving 16 problem free years.
And to cap off a great production career, she and her progeny were all "very easy on the eyes".
What more can be asked of a mama cow?
I have had several that I'll always remember.
#489 will likely remain at the top of the list.

DavVictor (not verified)
on Oct 23, 2013

I once remember someone saying "Build like a Boxcar"
I'm starting to learn about genetics and even though I don't necessary agree with EPD's and what they look like, I like looks and character. So I look for boxcars and a nice temperament; this is what I'm looking for as I start to build my new herd this next spring after selling off my "starter" heard on the ranch we just purchased 2 years ago.

Fairly new to ranching but I'm learning quickly how much work 20 acres can be when you also work an outside job too.

on Oct 23, 2013

We had a Charolais cow named {Scratch} who you could walk right up to in the field and scratch on her. And she was a tank - structurally correct and she weaned great calves. But her disposition was what really made her special.

on Oct 23, 2013

Ugly Mexican corriente that threw good black calves. She was the catalyst for us to convert from stockers to cow calf. We are still small but growing and she no longer fit the program. Sold her this year it was sad. In our case my best one was a dink, but she convinced us that we could do it.

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What's BEEF Daily?

BEEF Daily Blog is produced by rancher Amanda Radke, one of the U.S. beef industry’s top social media “agvocates.”


Amanda Radke

Amanda Radke is a fifth generation rancher from Mitchell, S.D., who has dedicated her career to serving as a voice for the nation’s beef producers. A 2009 graduate of South Dakota State...

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