Aaron and Kim Fields seek Angus that will perform well in the pasture, show ring and on the plate

Aaron and Kim Fields reside on a farm in Webster County, near Marshfield, Mo. They have always been very active with their Quarter Horses and Missouri Fox Trotters, but four years ago they took the plunge into the cattle business.
No matter what your endeavor, diving in headfirst can be a risky proposition. Aaron and Kim chose to join forces with CAT Cattle Company, owned by Tanner and Cassi Dowling. Aaron said the reason behind the partnership was, “to quickly gather knowledge of the breed and the industry. With their extensive knowledge of beef cattle and the Angus breed, I felt that Angus was the best fit for us.”
Aaron and Kim have 27 cows and retain or buy around three cows a year. He said, “We are very focused on quality EPD’s, sound/easy keeping cattle that would perform in the pasture, showing and plate.”
To explain their choice of breed, Aaron said, “Black Angus are high in demand from consumers, which influences sale price and demand. They also are great maternal cows from breeding to calving to raising, they hit the ground running and have great growth ability to increase efficiency and profitability.”
To explain his partnership with CAT Cattle Company, Aaron said, “Tanner and Cassi both come from large family operations and have connections throughout the country. They help us to better understand where the industry is heading and what we need to do to stay competitive as a small breeder. They also do the majority of our marketing and help with breeding and nutrition decisions.”
The partnership is working very well. “The strategies that we have implemented together are proving to have success within this market,” Aaron explained.
He commented, “The old saying ‘two minds are better than one’ combined with ‘four feet are better than two’ allows us to be in more places and have more knowledge of what our customers’ needs are and how we need to breed our cattle to meet their needs.” Aaron added, “We combine time, research and money to have a steady, quality growth to become a true player in one of the strongest Angus and beef cattle production areas in the country.”
Aaron would recommend this type of partnership to other farmers. He explained, “With many producers now having a ‘day job,’ it allows you to divide and conquer. We are able to be at more sales, shows and ag events between the two families. We are able to have better communication with our buyers and have the ability to show our cattle in many regional shows.”
They have taken cattle to the Missouri Angus Preview Show, the Ozark Empire Fair and the Missouri State Fair. Aaron said, “We also help youth in many of the junior shows in the area.”
Aaron said, “Our vision is to produce and market versatile purebred Angus cattle that will work in all facets of the industry. Our goal is to maintain a balanced set of EPD’s on production beef cattle that are visually pleasing to look at.”
When it comes to production cows, the vision is, “to produce and utilize a fairly moderate framed brood cow that is very sound footed and can milk,” Aaron explained. “These same cows must be stout and big bodied, while maintaining some fleshing ability so they require less input costs to maximize efficiency and profitability.”     
Aaron stressed that the bull business is very important to them. “We feel this sector of the industry is where we can really give back to the commercial cattle industry,” he said. “Our intent is to market ruggedly built, massive, big bodied bulls that are functional and carry a balanced set of EPD’s.”
By listening to past and present customers, Aaron said, “we have discovered that they prefer to see a bull raised with the use of little corn in their diet. After some extensive research we have found we can increase the longevity of our bulls by minimizing the use of corn and utilizing an alternative high protein diet. Our bulls will begin on a hand fed, creep-fed ration, providing them the essential vitamins and nutrients necessary for a fast productive start through weaning.”
Aaron said, “We then use connections we have in the industry to winter them in southwest Kansas on volunteer wheat until a year of age, supplementing with a loose mineral. This allows them to grow naturally, rather than pushing too much feed at an immature bull. At a year, we bring them back and ease them onto a forage based protein ration through the first of October where we market them at the Ozarks Fall Farmfest or private treaty at CAT Cattle Company in Willard, Mo.”


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here