Red Hill Farms Cattle Production
Our goals for the cattle operation are to offer each customer a complete genetic program along with support services. Our success is measured by the profitability of the commercial producers and purebred breeders who use Red Hill genetics. Our sale cattle have been selected to improve economically relevant traits in order to optimize the practicality and profitability for our commercial customers.
We focus our Red Angus and Simmental programs on 3 principles:
- offering cattle documented as breed leaders for economically relevant traits
- offering cattle that are phenotypically pleasing to the customer
- offering services to help our customers improve profitability
We manage our cattle in a practical manner to prepare them to thrive in the environments of our customers’ farms and ranches. We believe we are in a unique environmental and forage setting. Cattle developed on fescue seem capable of universally adapting to a wide range of environmental conditions.
What our customers say
Our Story by Bart Jones
I was introduced to Red Angus cattle at a very young age. All my life I have repeatedly heard the story about my attending the Wilson Farms Red Angus Sale in Castalian Springs, Tennessee when I was 3-years old. Wilson Farms had purchased the original Pioneer/George Chiga herd. I can also remember attending the Wilson Farms Dispersal sale when I was 4.
Since childhood, Red Angus cattle have been of interest to me. My dad, Dr. Gordon Jones, a retired professor of animal science at Western Kentucky University, frequently discussed the positive attributes of Red Angus cattle. I was not involved in the cattle business until I returned to the family farm after graduating from Oklahoma State University (OSU) in 1996 with a degree in animal science.
Shortly after graduating from OSU, I became involved in commercial cattle production (cow/calf). I quickly learned to appreciate the characteristics of Red Angus cattle that I had heard my dad describe over the years. He talked about calving ease, milking ability, sound udders, longevity of production, disposition and growth without excessive frame size. And, needless to say, with my background on the National Championship Meats Judging team at OSU, I was acutely aware of carcass quality and carcass cutability.
My primary farming business after college involved purebred swine, tobacco, sheep, and commercial cattle. In fact, my family has been involved in the purebred Duroc business as long as I can remember. My father and grandfather have been breeding purebred Durocs since 1965. Landrace and Yorkshires were added when I returned to the family farm. Our primary objective in the swine seedstock business has always been to improve production efficiency and enhance net profits of commercial producers. We have taken the approach that if our breeding stock truly worked for our commercial customers, the elite animals from our herd should be superior enough to improve most purebred herds. With that approach, swine breeding stock has been sold into more than 30 states and several foreign countries. This same approach has become the philosophical foundation for selecting, breeding, and managing our cattle seedstock operation. We have never based our breeding decisions on fads, fancies or show ring performance, but on traits of economic importance to our commercial clients.
Now, how did we get involved in the Red Angus business? Shortly after Sarah and I married, we made the decision to expand our farming operation. We realized our most readily available resource was the potential for leasing pasture land. Since our area of Tennessee and Kentucky has excellent potential for growth in the beef cattle industry, it seemed logical for us to increase our beef cowherd. We began this expansion by purchasing the entire herd of Red Angus cattle from the late Jere Caldwell of Danville, Kentucky. Mr. Caldwell’s breeding decisions had been based on traits of economic importance in commercial beef production. He had been breeding purebred Polled Herefords for more than 40 years, and he had been collecting carcass data on his herd for almost this entire period. Mr. Caldwell’s Red Angus herd was developed by “grading-up” to Red Angus (1B) from his outstanding Polled Herefords.
When my dad visited Mr. Caldwell’s herd, he noticed that every Red Angus pedigree was exclusively Buffalo Creek breeding. Dad quickly learned that Gini Chase was Mr. Caldwell’s niece. We want to express a huge note of gratitude to Mr. Caldwell for the outstanding job he did in developing our “original” or “first” herd of Red Angus. Those cows have served us well and continue to be an important part of our 1B Red Angus and SimAngus programs.
After we had observed our Caldwell cows for a few months, we decided to purchase a bull from Buffalo Creek. We contacted Jack and Gini Chase, and they offered us the opportunity to become partners in some of their outstanding herd sires. We purchased 2/3 interest and full possession of Buffalo Creek Keystone 6033. Keystone has been a major contributor in the development of our herd.
This was just the beginning of our association and friendship with Jack and Gini Chase. We quickly learned to appreciate the critical observation and selection that had been practiced at Buffalo Creek for many generations. The Chase’s had placed tremendous emphasis on convenience traits and cattle that would reproduce regularly on the limited Wyoming range forage resources. At the same time, the cattle had been selected for optimal growth and as much carcass superiority as could reasonably be dragged along. At Buffalo Creek, we found short haired cows with excellent feet and udders, and very calm dispositions. Within a few years, Buffalo Creek also began to purchase herd bulls from Red Hill. In the 2011 Final Chapter sale at Buffalo Creek, four Red Hill bulls (84S, 28U, 1W and 41W) sold with 84S being Lot 1 and selling for $30,000 to Rick Calvo and David Hall. 1W is now at ABS.
In 2006, a severe drought at Buffalo Creek had resulted in the need to sell some cows. Our friend, Mr. Dal Clark, purchased 20 foundation females from Buffalo Creek to add to the females he had previously purchased from Red Hill to establish his Coyote Hills herd. Mr. Clark and his family became the first Red Hill Cooperator herd, and at present, Red Hill manages the Coyote Hills farms and cattle with a cooperator/lease arrangement. Red Hill is very appreciative for the working relationship with the Clark family.
In the Nov 2008 Buffalo Creek sale, Red Hill and Coyote Hills purchased Buf Crk Nice’N Easy T189. This bull has proven to be very prepotent for transmitting the superior cowherd building traits that have become a trademark of the Red Hill program. In the Buffalo Creek Dispersal, this bull’s dam, P154, was purchased, and she has become a major contributor to the Red Hill program. In addition, Buf Crk Amy M172, was also purchased to bring in another Buffalo Creek cow family and to concentrate the B571 genetics.
The Forbes family and Beckton Stock Farm have also provided very important herd building genetics for the Red Hill program. In 2003, the first 3 Beckton females were purchased with M554, the dam of 84S, 49P, 54P, and 16R becoming the flagship cow for the Red Hill program. Several other Beckton females have been purchased with X072 now serving as a flush cow at Red Hill. In addition, Beckton Julian B571 semen has been used in developing a sound foundation for Red Hill. Thanks to Beckton for allowing us to use B571 and other important sires in the Red Hill program.
After the Buffalo Creek Dispersal, a few cows from Jack and Gini Chase were moved to Red Hill. We are now honored to have these cows in our Cooperator program.
On March 18, 2006, we hosted our first annual Bull and Female sale at our farm. We offered both Red Angus bulls and yearling females. We are grateful to the many supporters of this event. We appreciate the buyers and the many friends and fellow cattlemen who offered positive comments regarding our breeding program. This spring sale is held the third Saturday in March each year.
As our Red Angus herd continued to grow, we saw an increasing need to offer multiple breeds to our commercial customers. After consideration of several breeds, we decided that Simmental cattle would complement our Red Angus cattle and positively impact our customers’ profitability better than any other breed. The USDA Meat Animal Research Center data and progeny test data from the American Simmental Association show clear genetic progress during the last 20 years for traits of economic importance to commercial producers. Progress in the areas of direct and maternal calving ease has been the best in the beef industry. The Simmental breed was also the only breed association to provide across-breed EPDs for SimAngus composites.
We first visited the Gateway Simmental herd in April, 2006. At Gateway we found people and cattle that closely matched our breeding philosophies. Gateway says their breeding stock is “selected to enhance retail value and pasture productivity.” We purchased semen and embryos from Gateway to start our Simmental program. In addition, six Gateway herd bulls have been purchased as well. We certainly wish to express our appreciation to Jim Butcher of Gateway for his guidance and counsel with our Simmental program. We also wish to thank Jim for allowing us to purchase 10 outstanding 8 and 9 year old cows to bolster our Simmental program.
A bull that is having a huge impact on the Red Hill program is J Bar J Nightride 225Z. He was purchased from the Zinser herd in Michigan in partnership with Gibbs Farms in Alabama. When Nightride was purchased, we knew he was a moderate framed, big volume, easy fleshing, sound structured bull with a calm disposition. In the catalog, we saw an excellent EPD profile for Nightride, but we also noticed the night before the sale that his DNA profile had enhanced his EPD’s in a very positive manner. Nightride is a fantastic calving ease sire with a balanced EPD profile that gives him an API of over 200. The genetic superiority of Nightride has been validated through the Carcass Merit program and with data from many herds where he has been sampled. Nightride semen is now available through GENEX.
Our genetic base in both the Simmental and Red Angus breeds has grown to the point that both bulls and heifers being produced rank at or near the top of each breed for economic index values. We believe our endophyte infested KY 31 fescue forage program is one of the toughest environments in the US, and we have identified cattle with the genetic capacity to thrive under those conditions. Cattle that thrive in this environment seem capable of adapting to any area of the US. We have identified genetic lines that thrive in this environment, and we are linebreeding those lines to improve the consistency with which the desirable characteristics of our cattle are transmitted. We have also identified a few elite black Angus that thrive in this environment. Those Angus lines are being used to develop a purebred Angus herd as well as being strategically added to both the Red Angus and SimAngus herds.
This story is only in the beginning… Please visit the remainder of our website to learn more about the exciting progress taking place at Red Hill Farms. Thanks for visiting our website and showing an interest in our cattle.