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Virginia Cooperative Extension -
 Knowledge for the CommonWealth

Giles Ranch And Mossy Creek Farm Named
Beef Improvement Federation
Commercial Producers of The Year

Livestock Update, July 1999

Scott Greiner, Extension Animal Scientist, Beef, Virginia Tech

Roanoke, Virginia -- The Beef Improvement Federation (BIF) honored Giles Ranch Company of Ashland, Kansas and Mossy Creek Farm of Mt. Solon, Virginia as co-winners of the Commercial Producer of the Year Award at the 31st Annual Convention in Roanoke, Virginia.

Kelly Giles and the Giles Ranch Company are focused on improving the end product. The century old ranch uses leading edge technology and innovation to keep in step with changes in the beef industry. The family operation includes a commercial cow calf herd, stocker and feeder cattle, farming and lease hunting. As a founding member of U.S. Premium Beef, a closed marketing cooperative, Kelly Giles has a good understanding of changing consumer demands and steps needed to meet those demands. Replacement heifers are synchronized and bred AI to proven sires that excel in calving ease and carcass merit. Giles uses full brother, embryo transfer bulls on a uniform cowherd to produce a consistent calf crop. Feeder cattle are finished in custom lots and marketed through U.S. Premium Beef. Feedlot performance and carcass data are collected and utilized to direct future breeding decisions.

The Giles Ranch also focuses on constant improvement of the natural resources. Land and water management practices have enhanced the efficiency of the cowherd and have increased wildlife populations allowing for the development of the lease-hunting program.

Mossy Creek Farm, owned and operated by Ernie Reeves, is a multigenerational family farm located at Mt. Solon, Virginia in the Central Shenandoah Valley. The 2,500-acre operation supports a 650 plus commercial cowherd and a 2,000 head backgrounding enterprise. The Angus-based cowherd calves in February and March with roughly 40 percent serving as surrogate mothers for a custom embryo recipient service. The two year-old heifers start calving two weeks later than the cowherd in an appropriate 45-day calving season. A rotational grazing program is used for all females with harvested feed needed approximately 90 days per winter (January 1 - April 1). Calves are weaned in late September - early October and then enter the backgrounding operation. Purchased calves come directly from other producers and are co-mingled and sorted by sex and size into uniform lots of 65 - 100 head for the growing phase into until they reach roughly 750 lbs. At that point, 80 percent are sent to custom feedyards utilizing individual cattle management for finishing with the balance sold as feeders through Virginia Cattlemen's Association sponsored sales. Health and performance data is shared back with the producers of purchased calves. In 1998, 442 calves were fed and obtained 70 percent choice and 67 percent yield grade 1 and 2.

Reeves also practices several soil conservation and environmental management techniques which led to Mossy Creek Farm being granted the 1997 NCBA Region I Environmental Stewardship Award.

The Beef Improvement Federation is proud to recognize these two outstanding beef producers as the 1999 BIF Commercial Producers of the Year.

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