|Three unique family businesses form Great Lakes Beef Connection and reclaim the tradition of seedstock leadership in Michigan. The state of Michigan has a historical position in the seedstock industry starting in the early 20th century. This storied past is one reason this group of producers combined forces to develop a new chapter to the Michigan seedstock legacy.
J/C Simmental at Clare, Michigan is operated by the John and Connie Miller family and specializes in high value SimAngus genetics. John explains, “We’ve had Simmental and Angus cattle for nearly 40 years, but we always liked the productivity and longevity of our SimAngus commercial females. When we made the commitment to combine the very best Simmental and Angus genetics available, that’s when we really discovered the unlimited potential in the hybrid seedstock business.”
Salinas Farms is located near Marion, Michigan and began their cattle endeavors in the commercial side of the business. Andy and Lynn Salinas and their family own and manage the farm and have a tremendous reputation for quality cattle and high level management. After a few years of implanting embryos for breeders, Andy and Lynn decided their operation was well suited to the production of high value seedstock, thus they began their own program.
Andy says, “We’ve always prioritized the value of great genetics in our commercial herd, now we focus on the improvement and production of those genetics in the seedstock portion of the cows. We are still commercial cattlemen first and always will be. I think that philosophy keeps us in line with our breeding program so that we can relate directly with the needs of our commercial bull and female customers.”
Owned by Jim and Maggie Zinser and located near Clare, Michigan, the J Bar J Ranch is where the “connection” takes place. The Zinsers operate the facility where approximately 80 bulls are brought together at weaning, developed and marketed.
“We thought this was the logical place to grow and market the bulls,” explains Jim. “The soil here is very sandy, which greatly reduces the amount of mud and the facilities we previously used for our stock contracting business provide efficient methods for the management needs of a bull development program. We plan to develop the bulls using a high roughage program to help insure their longevity and service capacity for our customers.”
While the Zinsers may be new to the beef segment of seedstock business they are no strangers to the importance of high quality genetics and breeding principles. In 1969 Jim and Maggie bought a regional rodeo company and over the years advanced to the elite rodeo association of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys’s Association. Throughout those years Jim raised rodeo bucking horses. After selling the rodeo company in 2008, the Zinser’s decided to become involved with Simmental and SimAngus cattle. With the help of their nephew (John Miller) and his family the couple now raises high-end Simmental influenced seedstock.
The Great Lakes Beef Connection sale is scheduled for the second Saturday in March each year and offers 60-70 SimAngus and Simmental bulls. “This is be by far the largest selection of SimGenetics available in this region of the country,” describes Marty Ropp of Allied Genetic Resources. “Michigan commercial producers are just like those everywhere else in the country, they can really benefit financially from the planned harvesting of heterosis.”
Andy & Lynn Salinas
|Group(s):||Great Lakes Beef Connection|
|Address:||4735 16 Mile Road
Marion, MI 49665
|Upcoming Sale(s):||Great Lakes Beef Connection Production Sale, March 10, 2012; J Bar J Ranch; Clare, MI|