M Bar Shorthorns

Troy Sommer Faye & Clayton Smith


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Holy Videos Batman!!!

Posted by mbarshorthorns on November 30, 2010 at 12:23 PM Comments comments (3)

We finally got the photos and videos taken of the Denver cattle.  Thank you to Audry Hambright and Dustin Nattier for all your help over the weekend.


I've been totally obsessed with getting the production put together.  I may have found a new calling.  The calves look pretty good and so far we are ahead of where we usually are at this time of year.  If only I can make it through Denver without having a nervous breakdown.   Troy informed me that he will not be able to be in Denver until after we are set up in the yards.  It is one thing for me to get everything done at home, yet another to pull it off there.  (I really could use a housekeeper at this point)


M Bar is looking forward to a special event in the yards on Friday afternoon.  Stop by and see the cattle up close.  They will have changed a lot in the next 45 days.


Wishing everyone a fabulous holiday season.


Spring Time (by Troy)

Posted by mbarshorthorns on April 29, 2010 at 5:18 PM Comments comments (0)

Spring is upon us here at M-Bar and we are really glad that winter is over. 2009-2010 winter had to be one of the wettest, coldest winters we have witnessed here on the plains in recent years. Just last week, we were able to wash off tons of mud from the tractors, and pickups due to slogging around for the last 6 months. Enough of that, we are ready for warm, dry weather.

Our calf crop this year is unbelievable! Our herd sire, M-Bar Castlerock 722T went far and above our expectations. The first calf was born in early February. It was a heifer out of a mature cow and I watched the calf get up, nurse, and run around like a jackrabbit in less than 1 hour. Getting up and nursing is expected, but the energy that the calves had this spring was remarkable. Birth weights were small, ranging from 72 pounds to 88 pounds, with one over 90. The calves have small heads, adequate bone, style in their appearance, and all have the “stamp” from their dad. They are extremely nice to look at and are really uniform in their type, even out of cows that are not similar in design. We had numerous calves get stuck in the mud along the creek bottom and saved them all. Folks, it was WET in central Kansas this year. Pulled two calves this year out of first calf heifers, but did it out of having no patience, more than doing it out of need.

We are in the middle of breeding cows, all three of them! We are so pleased with our bull battery that they were turned out with cows April 19th. The only cows that we are artificially breeding are genetically tied too closely to the bulls being used in the pastures. I do believe in line breeding, but they are basically three quarter to full sibs to our bulls. We will be flushing one cow this year, the old Countess cow (Red Cloud X GFS Countess 9302). She has an outstanding “Fathead” bull at side, and she will be flushed the same way.

All that know us should understand that we are not huge self promoters of our cattle, we try to remain astute in our breeding decisions and let our cattle speak for themselves. We don not simply propagate the hottest bull to the hottest cow line. The reason I write this is we will be promoting the Fathead calves as I feel they are truly excellent calves with a pile of future. Please feel free to stop by and look at what we have to offer, we are usually around and really proud of what our herd has produced. There, now I am finally promoting!!!!!!!!

Faye has had a nice spring with her showing of the K-Kim heifer and Clayton is now a flock manager for M-Bar sheep division (he bought two ewes this spring). Sommer continues to keep everything going around the house and ranch and I continue to be the A #1 maintenance tech for the ranch (basically the dirty work).

Hope everyone who reads this is having a great spring and good luck in your endeavors in the future.

BRR it's cold!

Posted by mbarshorthorns on October 11, 2009 at 5:15 PM Comments comments (5)

October is too early for this... I feel like we are back in Indiana!


Faye had a great KJLS as her K-Kim heifer was Champion Shorthorn heifer.  The grand drive was tough, but she did a great job.  I hope to post a picture as soon as we get it.



It's been a crazy summer!

Posted by mbarshorthorns on September 24, 2009 at 10:55 AM Comments comments (0)

Troy had a blog entry ready for me way back in the summer that didn't make it to the top of the "to do" pile... I've got to teach him how to do this!


Upon my return from California in May we started full blast to get ready for Jr. Nationals.  Faye took her first calf heifer with an angus cross calf at side and two heifers.  The Cow/Calf pair won as you can see below and she took first place in the speech contest and salesmanship.  Her little heifer was 4th in class behind some spectacular calves and the big heifer was a little less than cooperative, so she stayed in the stalls.  Faye was second high individual in the P1 age group.  Clayton had a great time too and talks about the trip to Illinois on a daily basis and is ready to go to Indiana in two years so he can compete.


The cows have basically done their job of taking care of themselves and their calves, less the continuous battle with pink eye.  It has been BAD this year and we are continuing to battle it in the calves even here at the house.  Everything is weaned and the cows are happily enjoying a couple months on grass getting FAT.  The steers are going on the "great state feedout" in a few weeks and it looks like most of the heifers have found new homes with local 4-H kids.  Faye has picked out 2 and she has quite an eye, so we will see how that turns out.


We just returned from the Kansas State Fair.  "Fathead" (M Bar Castlerock 722T) was champion bull and Faye's K-Kim heifer was reserve in her division.  It was a long tour of five days and our digestive systems have about recovered from the constant diet of pronto pups.



This weekend is yet another Jr. Show, the last until December.  We have brome to plant, the last cutting of alfalfa is ready to put down and then it will time to bring the cows home.  Take care...


NWSS 2009

Posted by mbarshorthorns on January 23, 2009 at 12:02 PM Comments comments (1)

We are home and things are getting back to normal.  We had a great show as you can see from the pictures of "Fathead".  There has been a lot of interest in our program which is why we go in the first place. 


Wednesday we had our first calf of the season, a little shaver of 75 pounds.  She is out of a 2nd calver and the rest of them are not too far behind.  (calving interval of 11 months and 8 days!)  It is really nice to go out and find healthy calves that are running circles around their mommas.  The old Georgina 850 cow is getting close too.  She will have a Goldmine 6049 this year.


The beautiful weather in Denver made it difficult to come home... but at least we have had a few nice days to melt the pond before it freezes again. 


Next stop Ft. Worth.



State Fair

Posted by mbarshorthorns on September 17, 2008 at 10:27 AM Comments comments (0)

Well, it rained and rained and rained some more.  Our rain guage only goes to 6 inches, but one of the neighbors said we received close to 8 inches.  It really doesn't matter, it's wet! 

The Kansas State Fair was last week and M Bar made a good showing.  We took the 6049 bull and a bull calf.  The calf, "M Bar Castlerock 722T" was reserve champion bull behind TM Gus and we won the pair of bulls.  (now he gets his own tab on the web site )  Faye's heifer looked good, but not good enough for that day.  We had two heifers in the same class... Cale Hinrichsen's Countess/Dazzler and Faye's Georgina/Dazzler, they stood 2nd & 3rd behind the Champion Heifer of Fischer's.  We had a "plus" show this year and Grady Dickerson won that with his M Bar heifer.  (see the picture on the mission tab).

This was the first year for a "grand drive" at the fair and I think it was a success.  The stands were full and everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves.  It was kind of a long week, but there was a lot of socializing between the breeders of all the breeds that you don't get at most events.  Hopefully it will be somthing that will continue, maybe with a few improvements.

This week is the Jr. Livestock show in Wichita, we will see what Mr. Perry thinks. 

Jr Nationals!!!

Posted by mbarshorthorns on July 15, 2008 at 3:35 PM Comments comments (1)

Whew, it's over!!!  The show was a success from two standpoints.  The general consensus was that it was a good show (don't ask the guy who had his trailer stolen... but that's a whole story in itself).  Faye had a super show. 

Faye was high point individual.  1st with her poster, 2nd with her speech, 2nd in team sales with Taylor Bacon and made the finals in team fitting with Cale Hinrichsen and Eva Hinrichsen.  Poor dear is going to have a tough time keeping up with that one.

So... on to the next thing, county fair.  We caught Lucky out of the pasture last Friday and she is now reluctantly a show heifer again.  Faye is motivated and we really don't have to even pry to get her to go rinse.  Jr. Nationals was a good experience!!!


Spring is finally here!

Posted by mbarshorthorns on March 25, 2008 at 8:34 AM Comments comments (0)

Spring is finally showing it?s face and all of us here at M-Bar are exited to see some warmer/dryer weather.  This is not a typical statement from folks who live on the plains, but we have had a very cold and wet winter.  Our cow herd maintained body condition on hay and millet stocks, and we have just recently started supplementing our cows.  This years calf crop is not ?the best we have ever had?, as you hear from other producers in their promotions, but it is definitely the most consistent.  Birth weights have been very acceptable, as only one required assistance (first calf heifer).  We are averaging under 84 pounds, as this is quintessential to our program as well as the breeds long term existence.  Shorthorns are notoriously longer gestation (287 days avg at M-Bar), so we have tracked our shorter gestation cattle and plan to leverage the information to assist in future breeding decisions.

The Hank calves are really nice, but the A.I. technician (Troy), didn?t do as well as in past years, so we have fewer on the ground than anticipated.  The Legacy 23G calves have proven to be of moderate birth weight, and very vigorous at birth.  We turned Goldmine out in late May, so we are close to seeing the calves.  The replacement heifers that we have look REALLY GOOD.  The Hank calves are very feminine and have tremendous growth, while the Legacy 23G heifers look to be great females, with less muscle but better feed efficiency.  These heifers will be bred to an Angus bull, since we have had tremendous opportunities selling half Shorthorn/Angus calves.  We will be weighing them in the next week to gather yearling weights, since it is finally dry enough to get them up to the scale to weigh. 

Faye will be exhibiting this spring at some local shows.  She did very well at the Kansas Beef Expo.  See her pictures on the extras tab on  the website.  Denver proved to be a great trip as always, but we had a successful showing with our string.  There was quite a bit of interest in our bull, as well as breeder support for what we exhibited.  Our philosophy of having functional cattle that can be put on the tanbark was readily accepted by cattlemen as we talked with them at the National Western.  It was readily evident when we put Goldmine on display for the American Shorthorn Association in the yards.  There were many cattlemen from other breeds that commented on their desire to use Shorthorn genetics in their herds if they could find cattle of his quality on a CONSISTENT basis.  This could prove to be a revenue source for M-Bar in semen sales outside of the Shorthorn breed. 

As we finish up calving, we look forward to fixing fence, burning pastures, and cutting some alfalfa.  We planted a stand last fall, and hopefully the bugs won?t kill it all! 

Just Waiting

Posted by mbarshorthorns on January 29, 2008 at 12:49 PM Comments comments (0)

Hello to all-

We are just waiting for the heifers to start calving.  The first Hank heifer calved last week to Gold Card.  The rest of them are out waiting for me to leave.  The weather has changed and they all look like they could go at any time.


Summer/ Fall update

Posted by mbarshorthorns on October 5, 2007 at 3:09 PM Comments comments (0)

Well folks, it?s been all summer and some of the fall, and finally, I get a chance to sit down and type for a while.


The family spent most of the summer busy.  Here is a brief (not really) synopsis of our year so far???..



Faye finished school and was eager to get to stay home for the summer.  Clayton was glad to see his sister on an every day basis, but that wore out fast.  Breeding of heifers was completed as well as the A.I?ing of the cows.  We used the same bulls as last year.  Dazzler 54P, Gold Card, and JR Legacy 23G.  Gold Mine 6049 was turned out with all the cows and a select group that was spared the prostaglandin/CIDR?s.  Our other herd sire, M Bar Legacy 604 (23G /Countess gold) was used as clean up on the heifers.




Sommer and the kids went to the Junior nationals where Faye did a great job in the speech competition, posters, and salesmanship.  She is a big time competitor that does not like to lose.  I had the ?luxury? of staying home, baling square bales of brome with Alan.  It was amazing that after the last bales were loaded out of the field, lo, and behold, Sommer and the kids got home from Lawton.  Jeff Stump helped the 4-H club with a fitting demonstration/clinic.  The kids seemed to learn a lot from the demonstration and we hope that they enjoyed it and will return to learn more next year.  Sprayed pastures for weeds, as the weather opened up and it rained a bunch.  I had another ?luxury? of eating 2-4-D fumes for about a week.  Didn?t see much of the cow herd, as they MUST forage for a living without requiring added inputs to maintain body condition and nurse their offspring. 




We hosted a tour stop for the Shorthorn University tour, and had approximately 45 Shorthorn enthusiasts from coast to coast for a pasture tour and dinner.  The group seemed impressed with the cows, and was really impressed with the bar-b-que.  Big thanks to all the family and friends that helped out over the weekend to make the event a success.

The kids spent a week at the fair with bunnies, and photo contests, as well as serving food at the 4-H stand.  The rest of the month was spent in a tractor seat of some form, swathing, baling, hauling hay home and working ground.  Clayton?s ?knock-knock? jokes never get old after 3 hours in a tractor cab!  The cow herd was non-existent for the month, as we had a great grazing season, with no pinkeye or foot-rot.




We early weaned some calves for the state fair and had terrible weather to introduce the calves to feed.  100+ degree weather was not good, as the calves didn?t take off as well as we had hoped.  The rest of the cows were over belly deep in grass, due to the incredibly wet June/July.  In hindsight, we should have left them out, but there is always a lesson to be learned in life.  Finished another cutting of millet, with a great yield of hay, this has been an experiment for M-Bar this year, and pending approval from the cows, it looks to be great forage for us to raise.




Kids are both in school, as Clayton started pre-school 3 days a week.  The State fair proved to be fun, with a champion cow-calf pair, reserve calf champion heifer and reserve junior champion bull.  Faye was asked to move up a grade, but declined, due to change in peer group.  Weaned calves in mid September and, as anticipated, had record weaning weights.  Most of the calves were sold out of the pens within 2 weeks, less the replacement females, only a small group made it to the sale barn.  A special thanks to the buyers who have confidence in our program.