Cattlemen’s tour planned

The Southwest Missouri Cattlemen’s Association will hold its annual fall tour on Sept. 12. This year’s event will be in the Halltown vicinity of eastern Lawrence County.

The tour begins at 1:30 p.m. at Blue Silo Beef 1 mile south of I-44 on Highway O at Halltown. The hosts will be Kassi and Ian Glassman. They own 330 acres and run a Simmental-based cow herd of just over 100 head. They attended a grazing school and are utilizing the management-intensive grazing practices from the school. Their cow herd is split with two-thirds spring calves and one-third fall calves.

The interesting story they tell is how they’ve switched from selling breeding stock to selling their animals as beef. They utilize their small feedlot to develop conventionally grain-fed beef and market it in a variety of ways. They even have opened their own shop on the farm. They strive for consistency in the beef they produce.

The second stop is north of Halltown to visit Nathan and Taylor Isakson’s fall-calving, low-input operation. Using 5-acre pastures and power fencing, their goal is to only feed hay about 30 days in the winter. They have a custom baler harvest their hay or they buy if necessary. They rent the 160 acres from his grandmother with intentions of buying it.

Nathan focuses on fertilizer and herbicides to develop adequate pasture. He markets his calf crop in late June through Joplin’s value-added sale. His herd is composed of Show-Me-Select heifers and he’s setting up last fall’s heifer calves to sell at the May 2021 Show-Me-Select bred heifer sale at Joplin.

The last stop is just south a couple of miles to Jerry and Judy Crownover’s operation. Their 90-cow herd calves in the late winter-spring are mostly Red Angus purchased from the Show-Me-Select bred heifer sale. He breeds them to Beefmaster bulls and one Shorthorn bull.

As with the previous stop, he sold his hay-making equipment and buys what he needs. His forage program is built around Kentucky 31 fescue, white clover and lespedeza. He says he used to run 200 “cheap” cows, but as he slows down, he’s found it’s better to buy the good, bred heifer.

Twice a year he has a custom cowboy crew come in and work the calves and cows.

This year’s tour showcases smaller operations, with each of the three being cost-conscious. Area cow-calf producers should find many items useful to them whether they have the average, one-bull cow herd or a much larger operation.

The tour is jointly sponsored by the Cattlemen and University of Missouri Extension. Due to COVID-19, social distancing will be practiced as much as possible and face masks are encouraged. Should the tour need to be canceled, sufficient notice will be given. You may also contact the MU Extension center in Mount Vernon at 317-466-3102 for details.