Natural Progress on the Ranch

Natural Progress on the Ranch

Beef cattle Beef cattle

August 17, 2016

There's one thing that is a given in the cattle business – change is always on the horizon. A Colorado rancher shares the story of how his business has changed and expanded, even when faced with adversity.

Jerry Hasart, of Top End Farms, explained how his farm operates. “We retain ownership all the way. We feed them ourselves at home and humanely handle all these cattle, walking animals from pasture to pens. Our operation is close enough that we can do that without hauling them. We give vaccination shots to babies, and as we wean, and then in the feed yard. We keep expanding every year for different numbers because of the premiums we get through producing top quality Angus beef.”

With the help of GeneMax testing and AI, selecting cattle for growth, marbling, disposition and udder quality has gotten easier. 

Hasart said, “Gainability still pays the bills, so you have a big enough animal to sell when your time comes. By doing that – by increasing that carcass weight at the top side, and increasing the genetics for High Choice and Primes, by changing bulls over – we keep increasing as we go up.”

When faced with drought in 2010 and 2011, slowing down wasn’t an option. Hasart kept going. “We fed cows in the summer to get us through the year. We didn’t want to sell our cows if we didn’t have to. So we just kept expanding the herd by keeping more heifers. We knew the genetics was coming, we just had to keep doing it.”

They have invested in a ranch near Valentine, Nebraska, to spread out weather-related risks. With that comes more opportunity for the future. “Our focus is to produce enough calves that in time our feed yard will be self-sustaining, producing of all our calves, off of our own genetics, which I think is a win-win for everybody. You talk about sustainability; there is no better word for us. Just keep going forward; don’t stop,” said Hasart.

For more information on hitting the high-quality beef target, visit or

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