By Sterling Allen
for Agri-Times NW
Friday, February 6, 2009
ENTERPRISE — “My goal is to breed balanced cattle with a whole industry approach that will still work in the real world,’ said Jeff Parker, Highview Ranch, located along Alder Slope just west of Enterprise.
Parker is the second generation operating Highview Ranch that was started by his parents, Dave and Shirley Parker in 1960.
After graduation from Cal Poly, Parker had the opportunity to travel extensively and work with cattlemen throughout the West in both the animal health and A.I industries. Later, Parker managed two large ranches scoping from cow-calf, stockers, back grounding, finishing, and carcass data to purebred programs with extensive A.I. & ET programs with production sales.
He returned to the family homestead ranch in 1997 and began building an Angus base cow herd garnering foundation females from Gardiner Ranch, Kansas and Sitz Ranch, Montana.
Highview Ranch practices an intensive management grazing systems used extensively to increase the head days per acre by focusing on re-growth and stockpiling grass for late fall and winter grazing. The calves are weaned on grass and back grounded through the fall grazing season.
The cowherd, all replacements, and all sale bulls have been tested and ear notched for BVD P.I. tested free. The Angus calves display Angus Source identification tags.
“The conversion to a Powder River 2000 cattle handling system, with hydraulic chute, has allowed the Highview Ranch cattle to be worked efficiently, reducing stress and labor, “said Parker.
Parker has a specific approach to breeding and genetics.
“First, I am a cowman who understands that the complexities of my breeding decisions, when coupled with my management, have implications not only for me, but for my bull customers and ultimately the entire beef industry,” remarked Parker.
The cowherd is 100% bred A.I. The bulls are ultrasound tested which allows Parker to gather information to develop a high accuracy EPD’s from the cowherd. ET calves will comprise of 25% of the calf crop.
“When you buy a bull from me you know the same guy who made the mating decisions is the same one who is going to calve out the cows, the daughters, sell commercial progeny as value added feeders, retain ownership himself, and write the checks for all the bills,” stated Parker.
Parker markets 50% of his Angus bulls locally and 50% through out California and the PNW.
“I am focused on bringing the best progressive, yet real world genetics at affordable prices to my bull customers,” said Parker. “I have a saying here that I am not only the CEO but HDD (Head Ditch Digger) on this ranch operation.”
Jeff Parker is an innovator and progressive next generation of cattlemen that will provide a lasting positive influence for our beef cattle industry.