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Mystic Hill Farms Named Virginia BCIA 2003 Outstanding Seedstock Producer of the Year

Livestock Update, May 2003

Scott Greiner, Extension Animal Scientist, Beef, VA Tech

Virginia BCIA is proud to present the 2003 Virginia Outstanding Seedstock Producer Award to Mystic Hill Farms of Culpeper, VA. Mystic Hill Farms, located in the Blue Ridge Mountain foothills of Culpeper County, was established in 1988 by owners David and Charlotte Caldwell. Manager Tommy Clark is responsible for the daily operation of the farm which encompasses 1800 acres of primarily fescue-based pasture and hay land. These resources support 850 cattle, including 300 registered Angus and 30 purebred Branvieh cows.

Mystic Hill's primary objective is to address the needs of the commercial cow-calf producer by providing dependable genetics developed in a practical environment. Calving seasons include both spring and fall to efficiently use facilities, labor and bull power. Sires are selected to result in functional, balanced offspring that avoid extremes. High accuracy, proven bulls that have significant numbers of daughters in production are utilized in Mystic Hill's AI program. Breed association databases such as the Angus Information Management Software are extensively utilized, and aid in the planning of complimentary matings designed to result seedstock to serve all phases of the beef industry. The embryo transfer program is supported by selected donors which are identified by having proven superior value to the program. The ET program is designed to expand the influence of these superior females in the herd. Angus x Branvieh hybrids are produced that express heterosis, enhance end product value, and expand the customer base. Mystic Hill had 7 bulls in 2002 Angus sire summary, one of which is leased to a major bull stud, and 3 bulls in the Braunvieh sire summary.

Mystic Hill annually hosts a spring and fall performance tested bull and commercial female sale. These farm-organized and managed sales include guest consignors who use Mystic Hill genetics. The inclusion of Mystic Hill cooperators expands the sale offering while providing a venue for these customers to effectively merchandise Mystic Hill influenced replacements. Consignment of bulls to the state BCIA bull test program provides exposure for Mystic Hill herd sires. The Mystic Hill marketing program also includes participation in state and national breed association-sponsored sales.

Environmental stewardship has long been a priority at Mystic Hill, and for their efforts they were the 2001 recipient of the Culpeper Soil and Water Conservation District Conservationist of the Year Award. Additionally, Mystic Hill has several educational events and field days. Tommy Clark has provided leadership for local, state, and national beef organizations including the Branvieh Association of America Board of Directors.

The Virginia Beef Cattle Improvement Association is pleased to present the 2003 Virginia Seedstock Producer of the Year Award to Mystic Hill Farms.

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