Double J Ranch is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year. Operators Ronald and Will James of rural Mindenmines, Mo., recalled many family dinners put on hold to show bulls to customers, and the father and son duo laughed about a time when they were stopped one Easter Sunday, mid-egg hunt, to show a bull to an interested customer. The bottom line is, Double J Ranch tries hard to give their customers what they want.
When the James are selecting herd bulls at national shows, they look for traits they know their customers want. They try to keep a wide variety of Registered Limousin, both red and black, to make sure they have an animal that will please any customer. Raising Limousin cattle pleases Ronald and Will both.
Ronald has raised cattle most of his life. He had Polled Herefords for many years, but about 20 years ago, he decided to try something different. He “tried out” several breeds before settling on Limousin.  Some of his favorite things about Limousin cattle is they calve easily and the calves are fast growers and “fast starters.” Ronald said he appreciates the higher market value that seems to be associated with Limousin cattle.
Most of the sales that Ronald makes are private treaty sales, because he likes dealing with people one-on-one much more than having a large production sale. “It is hard to put together a good production sale,” Ronald said. Though he always tries to keep quality bulls available for his customers, having enough bulls that he is proud of for a production sale would be difficult. He mainly sells bulls, but occasionally sells a few heifers.
Ronald has tried many different techniques, like having production sales, as he produces and markets good quality cattle. They have tried doing ultrasounds on cattle to check the carcass quality, but no longer use that technology. They also tried using an artificial insemination program, but decided against that practice as well. Of course, Ronald has reasons for his choices. He tries to keep up on all the latest innovations, but he said, some are more valuable to his operation than others.  
Though many people use AI programs to get good bloodlines, Ronald goes about it a more “natural” way. He watches the ranches that win national competitions, and then buys bulls from them. He has purchased bulls from Minnesota, Montana, Colorado and Oklahoma, to name a few. He believes to truly know what a bull is like, you need to actually interact with it instead of just reading its stats on a piece of paper.  “When you AI, you don’t know what you get for sure, but when you have the bull, you know exactly what you’ve got," he noted.
One of the traits that Ronald values and breeds for is gentleness, and that is something that can’t be seen on paper. He tries to raise bulls that are tame, thick, have good muscling and good EPDs.  Ronald often uses his own bulls to breed his herd, as well as bulls he has bought and brought in to improve a specific aspect.
He has over 200 cows, so he is able to produce quite a few replacement heifers and bulls each year. In the cow herd, Ronald and Will try to have cows that have good mothering ability, good disposition, low birth weight and have fast growing calves. The have cows calving in the spring and fall.  
The Double J Ranch is a busy place. They're constantly taking care of large herds of cows and calves scattered in several pastures at several different farms, taking care of separate pens of bulls, baling all their own hay, researching and reading about new technologies and techniques and trying to find bulls that will improve the overall quality of their herd. Still, though, Ronald and Will James always make time to take care of their customers, and make their hardest and most important decisions based on what they see their customers want.


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