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Morven Farms Wins 1999 Virginia Seedstock Producer of the Year Award

Livestock Update, April 1999

Scott Greiner, Extension Animal Scientist, Beef, Animal and Poultry Sciences, Virginia Tech

Morven Farms, owned by John W. Kluge, has been named 1999 Virginia Seedstock Producer of the Year.

Beginning with his original Albemarle County land purchased in 1982, Morven Farms has grown to 10 individual farm tracts encompassing nearly 8,500 acres owned and 3,500 leased. These farms are home to approximately 1,000 registered Angus, Charolais and Simmental females and an additional 200-plus commercial/recipient herd.

Every calf bred at Morven is by an A.I. available sire and is performance tested and objectively measured and evaluated for economically important traits. Irregardless of breed, Morven's EPD herd averages rank within the top five percent for growth and maternal traits. Additionally, when carcass data EPDs are available, Morven cattle are bred to be positive for marbling and ribeye area.

An aggressive on farm embryo transfer program generates about 500 embryos per year. Numerous Morven-bred sires are featured at A.I. studs.

Genetics from the Morven breeding program have been distributed in 10 foreign countries (including Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chili, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico, New Zealand and Venezuela) and nearly every state within the continental U.S. Morven personnel have provided technical training and consultation services in Nigeria, Poland and Russia; additionally, they have judged cattle in Australia, Canada and New Zealand.

Live cattle are merchandised via (1) private treaty, (2) alliances formed with Ankony Corp. of Nebraska, Lemmon Cattle Enterprises of Georgia, Camp Cooley Ranch of Texas and Monfort Integrated Genetics of Colorado and (3) public auction (for example, during the past four years at the annual 500 head Dixie Range Bull sale in Montgomery, Alabama, Morven has consigned the high-grading bull twice, the grand pen of five three times, the reserve pen of five two times, the grand pen of three two times and reserve pen of three times, while utilizing four different breeds).

A believer in backing philosophy with capital, John Kluge & Morven Farms partnered with the Ukrops Bros. Of Richmond, Va., in forming PM BEEF GROUP, an integrated, value-based beef distribution alliance. In the past, Morven Farms has also provided funding for transgenic research at Colorado State University.

Numerous soil conservation and forestry stewardship and environment awards have been presented to Morven. Morven has hosted several breed association field days and agricultural extension workshops, and is a frequent workout stop for several college judging teams. Additionally, donations have been provided to help Virginia youth further demonstrate their evaluation and speaking abilities at the national level.

Morven personnel have served and held leadership positions on various local, state and national organizations, including numerous state breed associations, the Virginia Cattlemen's Association, Virginia BCIA, and the Virginia Agri-Business Council.

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