Positioning itself as the go to spot for commercial cattlemen Beechfork Ranch has something for everyone

“It’s a little over 100 miles just to check all of the cattle today.” To say Beechfork Ranch is spread out, is an understatement. Shawn Burgess, Manager, gave Ozarks Farm & Neighbor the lay of the land for their operations, “We have headquarters here in Prim, Ark. We also have land and leases in eastern and southern Cleburne County and several hundred acres in White County. We grow out some replacement heifers down in White County, too. That trip doesn’t count the horse and cattle operations down in Weatherford, Texas, and then we have the herd out in Magdalina, N.M. With only five full time employees here, we stay pretty busy.”
Kelly and Julie Crum acquired Beechfork several years ago and have grown the operation by working with neighboring operations when land would come up for sale. Today the Arkansas operation is running near 1,000 head of momma cows and replacement heifers. “That’s about all we’ve got land for here,” commented Shawn. The operation has been growing by leaps and bounds in the last few years to accommodate the increase in cow numbers. “Kelly bought the Weatherford operation last year to have a place down in cutting horse country. We are able to house and train the horses with some top quality trainers and have the ability to carry cattle down there as well,” Shawn told OFN.
Beechfork Ranch acquired property in New Mexico a little over two years ago to expand its operations out west. “That growing cycle is so different. When the grass gets rain, it grows and may stand for a while. But when the cows come by and take that bite, it may be a year before the grass grows back. It takes a lot of land compared to right here in Arkansas,” stated Burgess. “But when we move cows from here out there, they do great. Cooler temps, drier heat and loosing that humidity. They really grow.”
Shawn told OFN that Beechfork Ranch is positioning itself as the “go to” spot for commercial cattlemen, “If a guy wants to buy red mottle faced cows, or a good set of blacks, or some good muscled Charolais cows, I want him to be able to buy a great set of any of them. We run Red and Black Angus, Star Five Santa Gertrudis and Hereford bulls from top breeders across the U.S. We want to be able to sell quality heifers to a guy that may just want 10, or a truckload. Either way, good cattle that will produce.” Beechfork is utilizing genetics from across the country and some homegrown sires to help drive their cow base to be top performers for a producer looking to find profit in his herd.
“We run around 150 to 200 head of great looking Santa Gertrudis cows. We cover them with some solid Hereford sires to create outstanding red mottle faced cattle. Those heifers are going to top the market,” detailed Shawn. The cattle function well in any environment, but Burgess looks south for his demand, “Those guys down in Texas will buy every heifer we can get on the ground. They are just great mommas and take the heat real well. They really like ‘em.”
“We run a 60-day window on the breeding season. I like a close group of uniform calves. We vaccinate for the standard respiratory, blackleg and deworm. We started using TrichGuard on the heifers going west. We haven’t had a problem here, but for those guys out west buying our heifers, it makes them bring what they are really worth,” reported Shawn regarding the herd health program. When asked about how the ranch markets cattle, Burgess gave the run down, “We’ve used local barns, Superior Livestock and even direct producer sales.”


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