The Roundup -

Begger's Diamond V Ranch To Hold 45th Sale Feb. 3

 

January 6, 2021 | View PDF

Darlene and Bill Begger

"At a very young age I developed a very strong urge to be around cattle," says Bill Begger. My uncle still says "if you were gone and needed to be found all we had to do was head towards the cows and we would find you." I had a unique gift that allowed me to recognize cattle, not by an ear tag but how they were marked or their build, not everyone can see it, but cattle are no different than humans, they resemble their heritage and if you really look, they look like their sire or dam more times than not. By the time I was in high school my older brother Bob and I were Aling cows and making all the cattle breeding decisions on our ranch. In 1970 my dad and mom, Harry and Elaine, my brother Bob and his wife Virginia, and I became partners on our ranch, and named it Begger's Diamond V Ranch. Today my dad is 91 years old and my mother is 88. On Oct. 3, 2020, they celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary. My brother Bob passed away this past spring, so I lost a lifelong partner, brother, and best friend, not an easy pill to swallow.

In 1970 we knew that we were going to make cattle a major part of our operation, so Dad said if you guys are going to raise them, make them the best you can. So we brought 50 of the prettiest Angus heifers you could lay your eyes on, what a foundation (or so we thought). By the time those cows were 4 years old they had the worst udders a cow could have under her. After the second year of putting about everyone through the chute to get her calf going, Bob and I looked at each other and said we aren't going to do this ever again. We sold those cows; their calves, and started over with our home raised base. Today, our cows have superb udders and we darn sure don't start calves sucking in the chute. It was in 1973 we started AIing to Simmental, also tried Main Anjou, Gelveih, and Salers. It took one year to identify Simmental to be our continental breed of choice.

The year of 1975 we held a small bull sale and sold 11 head of bulls, we had one black and the rest were red, the black one topped the sale. Right from the start we knew black Simmental would be our focus. We became some of the first breeders in the nation to breed for black Simmental cattle. Not an easy task as black Simmental genetics were scarce as only 10 or so breeders had the vision, today there are many black Simmental cattle along with many opinions on how to design them. Oh we continued raising red bulls alongside the black ones for several years, but our customers preferred black, so today we run 600 black Simmental, Sim-Angus, and Angus cows.

We are very conscience of the homozygous black and polled traits. Today every cow is black and polled. Most are homozygous. In 1980, Mount St. Helen's erupted we had a lot of cows with white udders, right after the eruption came a May snow storm, a bright sun, and a foot of snow, we had sun burned udders and 80 head of cows with their calves kicked off. So twice a day for a week straight, we greased bags, ran 80 cows through the chute, suckled calves twice a day. We learned cows with white udders were not going to be part of our program, we don't like cows in squeeze chutes and suckling calves.

Today we rarely assist a cow at calving and if we have to get a cow into nurse, she doesn't calve here again. Fast forward today our operation is run by Bill and Darlene and their son John and wife Alicia and 4 kids (4th generation). We are very hard on and put a lot of selection pressure on our cow and herd bull selection. We don't make excuses, our motto is "THE COWMAN COMES FIRST". There is a lot of hype out there about EPDs, genomic testing, and carcass traits. We strongly believe in the use of all these genetic enhancement tools. We also know that you can ruin a cowherd quicker than a blink of an eye if you chase paper traits with no directive or focus put on an animal's ability to maintain her ability to flesh easily, be fertile and breed back on time year in and year out, be maternal and have the ability to produce pay weight and eye appeal along with being mentally sound and calm. She needs to have an excellent set of feet and legs that will serve her until she exits your program at a ripe old age. A good blend of COMMON SENSE, COW SENSE, and SCIENCE is what it takes to produce cattle that are acceptable to the cow-calf man, the feeder, and packer.

Most of all we are producing a product that must be tender, flavorful and consistently provides an enjoyable eating experience every time. Through our ½ century of breeding great cattle, the Beggers also understands the most important piece of the puzzle is their customers. Bill has spent 12 years on the MT Simmental Board, 4 years as president, and 6 years on the American Simmental Association Board. Today, John holds a position on the MT Simmental Board. The people are the best part of this business. We have had the pleasure and opportunity to do business and meet cattlemen and women from across the USA and other foreign countries. We know that it is the commercial cowman and his family that are our greatest focus and pleasure to do business with.

The Beggers understand that the cow-calf man is the one you need to design your seed stock program for. If you are accepted by the grass roots cowboy that works the land every day, the rest will come. From the very beginning we have always focused on customer service. The Begger's Diamond V Ranch stand behind their cattle 100%, if their customers have a problem they will take care of it not at ½ purchase price like many do, but at full value. We want our customers to know they are appreciated and can trust we will take care of them.

Left to Right: Harrison, John, Gabe, Alicia, Charlotte and Maggie Begger

This year the Begger's Diamond V Ranch will hold their 45th sale on Feb. 3, 2021 at the ranch, south of Wibaux where they will offer 160 black Simmental, Sim-Angus, and Angus bulls. You can be confident that these cattle will complement any program looking to add value. These cattle will calve easy, wean heavy, and add fleshing ability. They are designed to enhance the value of red or black Angus, Hereford or Baldy programs, along with programs that desire more eye appeal, sale ability, and opportunity. They will add more rear end and muscle expression without sacrificing fertility, maternal values or carcass traits. The Begger's Diamond V Ranch offers a great solution for any commercial breeding program that desires a cattle breeding program that offers more opportunity to be profitable. You will also have the opportunity to select any 2020 born heifer calf out of the spring or fall program.

 

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